Updated: February 15th, 2023
3D printing is changing the way we think about engineering. Becoming more well-versed in this area could provide kids with more opportunities across a range of different professional fields in the future. Not only is it practically useful, but it’s also interesting and enjoyable!
Attending a summer camp in 3D design and printing is a great way to gain a deeper understanding of this engineering process. They can bolster technical abilities and familiarize someone with an innovative skill set, but also serve as a solid introduction to this rapidly-developing technique in the manufacturing world.
These 3D printing & design summer camps are some of the best ones for kids to get started with.
1. iD Tech 3D Printing
For kids interested in bringing their imaginative ideas into the physical world, iD Tech’s 3D Printing Courses are a great introduction for all abilities. They offer different classes using Blender and Autodesk, software programs used to create models and designs.
Starting from the ground up, participants are offered the chance to conjure up designs in Blender and AutoDesk before utilizing the 3D printer to bring them to life. Throughout the creation process, kids learn how to work the equipment and what it does behind the scenes. Once the class is over, they can bring back the 3D printers they worked on during the course to continue working on their new skills.
Boys and girls are guided through the courses by enthusiastic, USA-based instructors who use their expertise and experience to provide comprehensive, enjoyable content. They’re an excellent option for those looking to gain a solid foundation of knowledge in the subject through hands on learning. There is also one on one tutoring offered for kids who want to get a more personalized experience. Apart from these, iD Tech offers plenty of other computer science classes and camps.
2. Saint Louis 3D Printing Summer Camp
Aimed at students and teachers alike, Saint Louis Univerisity 3D Printing Summer Camp is a solid on campus program for those looking to sink their teeth into the essentials. This day camp aims to teach the steps necessary to build your own 3D printer and learn the basics. Not only this, but attendees also get to take the device home upon completion! It’s a perfect opportunity to socialize, meet new people, and explore the state-of-the-art facilities that the SLU campus offers.
For kids or teachers looking to learn the essentials around creating an effective 3D printer in a short, concise burst, this is certainly an option to consider. Beginner and advanced students can take part, and they’ll come away with their own printer after an informative four days.
3. GoEngineer 3D Design Camp
GoEngineer’s one-day course is the way to go for kids who are looking for a comprehensive yet easily-digestible introduction to 3D printing and the design process. The class gives prospective 12-18 year olds a chance to think innovatively and gain technical skills that can equip them for the future. Plus, it’s completely free.
The assembling of hardware, exploration of different software, and the ability to express creativity are all offered here. It’s a fantastic way for children to grasp the basics and how things work in the background.
They also offer tutorials on how to make certain 3D objects like skateboards and railings. Apart from this one-day camp, GoEngineer also offers other in-person and virtual camps to gain a more profound mastery of everything 3D.
4. TechCamp 3D Printing Summer Camp
For young, prospective engineers looking to combine creativity with practicality, TechCamp offers a five-day long summer camp. The course is split into age groups of juniors and seniors. Juniors are for 9-13-year-olds, allowing kids the opportunity to make use of Tinkercad to design and create personalized items.
Seniors include 13-17-year-olds who use Autodesk Fusion 360 software to complete a variety of design tasks in a professional manner. All equipment is provided, with one staff member assigned to eight teens, allowing more attention to be given to each individual. Once the class is finished, everything can be taken home, including the 3D printers!
It lasts a total of 5 days and takes place in different cities in the UK, including London, Winchester, and Abingdon.
5. PART 3D Design and Modeling Camps
Aimed at anyone interested in STEM fields, Placer Robotics introduces aspects of technology in an engaging, fun way for campers. Their 3D Modeling and Computer Aided Design camps are aimed at 6-9th grade students looking for an introduction to all things CAD and printing.
Led by a passionate expert in engineering and robotics, these summer programs leverage a variety of abilities and techniques that introduce fundamental 3D design skills. The course is also a precursor to their unique class, Build Your Own Mini Battle Bot, so it’s perfect for those looking to build upon the lessons.
The course lasts 2 days, spanning from 9 am - 1 pm, and is available for students of any skill level, but it’s particularly useful for those with no experience in CAD or 3D printing. These are in-person camps that take place in Loomis, California. All skill levels are welcome.
6. TeachGeek’s 3D Printing & CAD Summer Camp
Approaching innovation in an engaging way, TeachGeek offers a 3D Printing & CAD program to students ages 8+ in Boca Raton, Florida. Running throughout the season, it’s tailored to reinforce technical abilities in a unique manner. Stepping outside of any traditional curriculum methods, TeachGeek boasts its ability to draw children into the technological world. Utilizing core principles from STEM education, participants learn how 3D printing works, exploring software like CAD that make it all possible.
Creativity is encouraged in an interactive environment, alongside the chance to socialize and work successfully with other students. Over the course of a week, children are put into groups, working together to complete their objectives in a collaborative atmosphere. The day camps run Monday to Friday from 10 am to 3 pm.
With their collaborative approach, kids learn more than just technical skills. They also improve their communication, teamwork, and critical thinking abilities.
7. Union University Engineering Camps
Union University offers a good selection of day summer camps in Jackson, TN, hoping to introduce young, potential engineers to this innovative world. One of their camps, Intro to 3D Printing & Engineering, is an excellent way for 6-12th graders to begin immersing themselves in the field. This full-day course introduces middle and high school students to the realm of 3D printing, including how to assemble their own devices. All participants are allowed to bring their device home, which they learn to maintain during the course.
Their other camp, 3D Printing and Beyond, allows 4-8th graders to test their skills in the subject and merge it with the fundamentals of STEM. Healthy competition is introduced in an engaging, interactive environment, creating memorable lessons that students carry into the future. This program does require students to have prior experience in their Intro to Engineering Camp, so it would be advisable to look into that option before signing up.
Overall the programs cover beginner to advanced subjects, how to use different devices, including a 3D scanner, and much more.