Cleaning, crafting, woodworking and many of the other skills we strive to teach individuals with special needs are a thing of the past. Well, cleaning is more necessary now than ever, but you get the point. Why not teach them the future! Although, the process and equipment are still foreign to some, 3D printing has been around for several decades. However, it was not until 2009 that several patents expired resulting in the mass production of affordable systems that have flooded the common consumer market. In 2013 the 3D printing market was estimated at 4.1 billion dollars. The number is now 21 billion for year 2020 and is estimated to double in size every three years! (3D Hubs, The 3D Printing Trends Report 2019).
3D printers are now commonplace in every school and college, with some schools starting with students as young as 3rd grade.
Sure, this is not for everyone, but for the tech savvy “transition age” individuals who are moving from the routine of school into adulthood, this could be a tremendous source of purpose, pride, inclusion and most importantly, income!