How 3D Technology Improves Education

September 7, 2016


My role as a subject matter expert for Konica Minolta’s education solutions market couldn’t fit my personal passion for education any better. Aside from my role collaborating with our marketing and sales teams, I’m also an adjunct professor at New York University and a volunteer and board member at Living Values Education, a non-profit agency that teaches children how to live their own social, moral and spiritual values. It includes training teachers on conflict resolution and creating an anti-bullying environment.

Such holistic opportunities may be rare for our children to learn about. Just as rare are lessons that could certainly improve their lives, like technology. So when one of our Konica Minolta sales teams saw an opportunity to address this at The Center for Hands-On Learning (CHOL) in Rio Rancho, NM, I was thrilled.

Let me toot their horn for them.

CHOL is a 13-employee non-profit organization that supplies popular learning kits for grades K-5 worldwide. These kits include games, puzzles and other fun and colorful educational activities. To help fund its growing venture, it began providing copying services for other local businesses, significantly increasing its print production volume. Our team – comprised of commercial print specialist Millard Hall, production print specialist Chris Scirone, production print systems analyst Dean Taylor, and director of production print Tony Barlow – addressed it by providing the appropriate printers. But because our team had grown so familiar with CHOL’s business, they saw another opportunity that would enhance the organization’s curriculum services. One that CHOL had never even considered.

They proposed that CHOL enhance their teaching kits with 3D printers – an innovative technology that many local schools didn’t offer to their students.  CHOL’s administrators considered it and accepted it.

Our team exceeded CHOL’s expectations because they listened over time as the client relationship developed. They learned. They looked at the “big picture” and saw an opportunity. They saw how bundling 3D printers with CHOL’s learning kits wouldn’t just benefit the client, but the entire community. Being able to effectively address a client’s needs is good business, but effectively addressing a child’s education is priceless.

Just as CHOL’s founders had sought to improve learning, so, too, did Konica Minolta.  It may not have been the team’s initial intention, but it became the intention once the unsolicited solution was identified. I could just see that light bulb going off over the heads of our sales team when the idea hit them. I could see them turning to each other at that moment of realization. And I could see the eyebrows of CHOL’s administrators rise when the idea was first presented to them and they recognized the great impact it would have on their kits and on the students.

I’ll bet that the eyebrows of those students throughout the Rio Rancho school district rose, too, when they saw their first 3D printer bring their lesson to life.  Thanks to our Konica Minolta team, now 3D technology is no longer another rare lesson for them to learn.

Stephanie Keer
Manager, Government and Education Solutions

Stephanie Keer is responsible for Konica Minolta’s Education and Government vertical markets, focusing on solutions that improve efficiencies in education. She is a Professor at NYU and the Lead Researcher of Living Values Education Organization. She is an avid scuba diver and meditator.