3 Ways a Laser Cutter Encourages Critical Design Thinking in Students

Encourage and Foster Design Thinking in Students with a laser cutting machine
Students In A Classroom

Education is not the filling of the pail, but the lighting of the fire.
~William Butler Yeats

A laser cutter may not be the first thing to come to mind when you think of educational tools, but their potential goes far beyond their traditional usage in production. Equipping young minds with the tools and the inspiration they need to enter adulthood ready to transform their world. This is one of the most important – and difficult– jobs in the world. As innovators in our own field, we admire the creative innovation that educators practice every day. You are constantly overcoming countless barriers to provide students with the tools for success. We believe in what you do, which is why we want you to know how an AP Lazer machine can benefit you, your students, and your institution.

A laser cutter produces a laser beam from a CO2 laser tube. The laser is focused through a lens where a very concentrated beam is created allowing for cutting and engraving materials. Lasers work like a printer, but with a laser beam instead of ink. Students can create everything from simple projects like lasering lettering onto a box, to using the laser to produce 3D objects such as usable chairs. And unlike the painfully slow pace of 3D printers, AP Lazer’s laser cutter machines have the ability to complete objects in a matter of minutes. Additionally, lasers are an exciting tool that is interesting to students and keeps them engaged in learning!

In today’s cutting edge, fast-paced world of constantly evolving technologies, students need to do more than simply memorize facts in order to prepare for the real world. They need to learn how to think like creators, so they can enter adulthood with the ability to contribute their own ideas and be innovators themselves. That’s where our AP Lazer comes in.

What Will a laser cutter Do for My Students?

Plan For Achieving Goals

1. Foster a Project-Based Learning Environment

Studies consistently show that students learn far better and retain far more with hands-on projects that have real-life applications. With an AP Lazer, your students can design, create, and assemble objects that have an actual practical use. Thanks to the laser’s incredible versatility, the list of laserable materials includes metal, acrylic, wood, leather, glass, brick, cardboard and paper, fabric, and more. And because laser cutters can be up to 500x faster than a 3D printer, an entire class of students can complete their own small project within a single class period. Laser cutters like ours will equip educators to transform students into project-based builders well before they reach the job market, where such skills are in high demand.

Brainstorming Ideas

2. Encourage Creativity

The professional world has a great need for individuals that can think outside the box while contributing inspiration and innovation to their organization. AP Lazer will provide your students with the opportunity to discover their inner innovator. Watch your students use laser software to brainstorm and design their own laser creations, and give them the opportunity to learn the importance of pairing imagination with practical thinking. This can apply to everyone from your art students lasering individual designs onto wood, to robotics students designing and printing parts for their group projects. Unleash your students on a laser cutter and marvel at their creative process as well as the high quality of their final output.

Try And Fail, But Don't Fail To Try

3. Provide Opportunities for Failure

It’s an instinct for parents – and often educators – to protect young people from experiencing the bitter sting of failure. But all too often overly protected students reach adulthood – and life outside of this protection – and find themselves absolutely devastated by their first failed project, or first professional roadblock. Protection from failure often results in a lack of the development of coping skills required to overcome this kind of blow to ones’ self-esteem. But failure is a natural and healthy part of the human experience, particularly in the professional world. A laser machine class can provide your students with a safe environment to discover their inner Thomas Edison, and teach them to embrace failure as a natural step in the pursuit of success. And most importantly, your students will learn how to respond to false starts and mistakes with determination, and learn to not give up at the first sign of failure.

In Class Laser Cutter Case Study Download

Some AP Lazer FAQs

How user-friendly is an AP Lazer? What is the suggested age minimum for your machines?

Because of its simplicity of design and our hyper attention to safety, our laser cutter is easy – and safe – enough for a ten-year-old to use. And the best part? Laser machine use can easily be geared toward whatever age your school or institution serves. For younger students, you can encourage simple projects, and for older students, you have the ability to provide more complex 3D concepts and projects.

How can I justify this expense in light of my increasingly limited budget?

Laser cutters are a significant up-front investment, but because they are remarkably inexpensive to supply and maintain, you’ll find that they quickly pay for themselves. One way you can easily mitigate the cost of your machine: host a one-time event such as a brick or plaque fundraiser. Sell 315 individually lasered bricks or plaques for $100 each, and with this single event, your laser machine can pay for itself!

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I’m taking the plunge and purchasing my own laser cutter. But once I receive my laser, what kind of support can I expect?

We offer on-site setup assistance, a three-year parts warranty, a very active Facebook user group, and 24/7 tech support. We would love to talk to you about any other questions or concerns you may have, so don’t hesitate to contact us.

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