Who Said That 3D Printing is for Introverts!?

The terms ‘introvert’ and ‘extrovert’ are often used to describe a student’s personality, and perhaps even to predict what activities they are likely to engage with. For example, based on the perception that 3D design is a quiet and private activity, one could assume that it is for introverts.

However, 50 to 74 percent of the population are extroverts. Does this mean, then, that a large percentage of your students will not enjoy, or benefit from, 3D design and printing activities?

It’s not that ‘cut and dry’.

Describing Introverted and Extroverted Students

The difference between an introvert and an extrovert relates to how they “recharge” themselves in social settings. “Extroverts (or those with extroverted tendencies) gain energy by placing themselves in social situations. They don’t mind being under the spotlight, or the center of attention. However, spending too much alone time drains them mentally. On the other hand, introverts recharge by spending time alone. After a long period of time in crowded social situations, they need a desperate break to regain their energy back.”

As you may expect, extroverted learners are said to love bouncing ideas back and forth, group projects, class discussions, and such-like activities. Introverted students, on the other hand, are said to have a solitary learning style and often prefer work own their own. Introverted learners like to brainstorm and weigh up options before moving forward.

So… Is 3D Design for Students Who are Introverts or Extroverts?

Given the description of an introverted student above, our common sense would tell us that 3D design is for the introvert. Indeed, when you envisage someone engaged in the 3D design process, you tend to think of them working alone on their computer or laptop, engrossed in thought, weighing up options and brainstorming solutions. Sounds fairly introverted, right?

This is where it gets complicated. Extroverts are said to have more blood flow in areas of the brain involved with interpreting sensory data. According to Vanseo Design, visual perception is the process of obtaining awareness and understanding of sensory data. Based on that, it would appear as though extroverts would be more suited to activities that heavily call upon visual perception, such as 3D design.

So, is 3D design for introverts or extroverts? The answer does appear to be rather obscure. However, the truth is, there is no reason to get hung up on it. Why? Because single word stereotypes, such as ‘introvert’ and ‘extrovert’, are not definitive labels of a student’s personality or learning preferences anyway.

Three Reasons Why ‘Introvert’ and ‘Extrovert’ are NOT Definitive Labels

Personality is a Five-Factor Construction

According to an article published by ThoughtCo, entitled, ‘What “Introvert” and “Extrovert” Really Mean’, people's personalities are actually described based on five personality traits: extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and openness to experience. Clearly, intro-extroversion is only one small piece of the entire personality puzzle.

Each Factor is Measured on a Spectrum

Personality traits such as intro-extroversion are measured on a spectrum, and therefore, cannot be considered as discrete labels or categories. For example, a person might be more extroverted, more introverted, or somewhere in-between. In fact, there is a term for a person who falls in the middle of the intro-extroversion spectrum— ambiverts.

Personality Characteristics are Fluid and Ever-Changing

Studies show that personality will change many times over your entire life-span. According to Business Insider, “late adolescence and early adulthood are times of significant personality development and change; old age too can be a time that our characters evolve.” This suggests that a student’s personality and learning preferences are likely to change often.

3D Design is for Everyone

In truth, it makes little to no difference whether someone is an ‘introvert’ or an ‘extrovert’; 3D design is for anyone who has an interest in bringing their concepts and ideas to life.

To some extent, 3D design transcends above all the rhetoric anyway. It doesn't matter what you are, or are not, because it begins with the student’s own idea. 3D design merely facilitates the creative process. We designed SelfCAD to make that process as simple and pain-free as possible.

Indeed, 3D design is for everyone, however, you define personality.

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