Integrated 3D learning

Arkadiusz Markowski, Owner of Edukacja / "More and more people these days like to have things customised. Using a 3D scanner and printer we can create all these fully customised items."
- The company has found itself in the right place at the right time - says Arkadiusz Markowski, Owner and Founder of Edu3Dcation.

Edu3Dcation (or Edu3Dkacja in Polish) is the only company on the market teaching kids how to design and print using the latest 3D printing technology. The owner of Edu3Dkacja, Arkadiusz Markowski, has taken his 3D scanning and printing experience from the automotive and aerospace industries, and is transferring his expertise and know-how to the next generation of would-be engineers.

Eight years ago, Mr Markowski, a graduate of mechatronics, started teaching the new form of innovative technology in schools and cultural centres in Warsaw. Today Edu3Dkacja is found in more than 30 cities across Poland. The company really began to grow their business two years ago through franchising after finding themselves in the centre of a perfect storm - when the Polish government bought 13,000 primary schools around the country 3D printers.

The company helps educate the processes involved with 3D scanning, design and printing with afterschool classes that relate directly to industry. We spoke to Arkadiusz Markowski about the companies aims, processes and their thoughts of expanding the franchise across Eastern Europe.

How would you describe the mission of Edu3Dkacja?

We want to teach future engineers. Nowadays new departments are growing in the industry such as research and development and reverse engineering. These titles might seem new to some, but they are growing rapidly. Now, and in the future, we will need people with skills in 3D designing, printing, scanning, robotics, programming dealing with wider engineering jobs. This is our space.  

Does this fill the gap between education and industry?

Many people never saw 3D printers until we started teaching in classes in Poland eight years ago. Now 3D printing is much more popular. For example, last year in Poland there was a large government program which saw thirteen-thousand primary schools across the country receive a 3D printer. This was is a huge step forward in tech education, and also for us. This meant schools have access to the equipment, but have no idea how to use this equipment. Our mission now is not just to train teachers how to operate the 3D printers, but also how to integrate the 3D printer into a history or geography lesson.

For example, we have created several lesson scenarios on how to create and use a 3D printer on a history lesson. Most of our classes are after school hours (08:00 to 14:00) and aim to teach them not only use to use 3D printers but how to design first and then print.

Who is your ideal franchisee?

Ideally, we would like to have a master franchisee’s in each new country. And, we’d like them to have some experience in teaching children. This is based on our successful experiences with partner companies in Poland. Most of our franchisees are companies who already conduct extracurricular educational activities with children such as programming. These companies see the added value in our program and want to include it to a wider range of activities in their portfolio.

We currently have 20 franchisees, many who have more than one city under their belt. For example, one franchisee from the Silesian area currently has eight cities under his portfolio.

How much does someone need to open a Edu3Dkaja franchise?

The starting cost is about 6-7 thousand Euros. This cost includes four days of training. It can be online, or we offer onsite training in Warsaw. We give you all the materials; more than 100 lesson scenarios, with movies, interesting facts about the topics and 3D printing. We also teach you how to use social media marketing such as Facebook and Google.

Then, of course we have to establish royalties. This will depend on whether they’re a master franchise or not – taking into account the size and scalability of each country.

What advantages does a franchisee get out of a Edu3Dkacja system?

We have tested all the different market products for years. So firstly, we offer the right advice and can show the franchisees exactly what to buy. Secondly, we can help them navigate maintenance of the products, as we’re talking about a market of 3D printers that start from a few hundred Euros, into the millions of Euros.

Furthermore, while they’re running the business, every couple of weeks we are providing partners with new lesson scenarios.

We are trying to innovate and create new ideas all the time. For example, we have now also started teaching in pre-schools for 5-to-6-year-old children with the introduction of 3D pens. Normal 3D pens operate at 200 degrees Celsius – which is dangerous for small kids. But we’ve now found one that operates at 60 degrees, which is a lot safer for small children and which is why we can start teaching kids earlier.

Are you looking to expand the system into Europe?  

This is something we’ve only been thinking about more recently. We’ve just started promoting in Slovakia with Also, the Czech Republic, Romania and Hungary. To be honest, in Poland we currently have so much to do because of the program lab of the future, we are still very focused on training in schools.

We are now in the right time, and in the right place. We know how to use the technology and have all the correct materials. We have everything to grow in Poland. Of course, the next step is to move somewhere else. We believe our concept is interesting and will be equally beneficial for others outside of Poland.

Where do you think 3D printers will be in the future? Why is learning this important?

It’s important as industries are changing. More and more people these days like to have things customised. Using a 3D scanner and printer we can create all these fully customised items.  

For example, Christiano Ronaldo used a 3D scanner to create a perfectly formed leg protector. They also used the same technology for his shoes. They scanned his legs and foot to get an impeccable custom fit for optimal movement. In the future everyone would like to have something customised.

Class options / Edu3Dkacja offers cyclical classes lasting two semesters, but also shorter after school and weekend workshops, scientific demonstrations for children's schools and universities, animations at company events or outdoor picnics, day camps and birthday parties with 3D printing.

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