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Prosek Case Study

Teacher using calipers to measure the accuracy of a 3D-printed gear with design software in the background

Customer PROFILE

The Technical School Prosek is a secondary institution specializing in electrical, IT, and mechanical engineering. Its curriculum includes a dedicated 3D printing classroom.

For years, Lukas Prochazka, Deputy Headmaster at Secondary Technical School in Prosek (Prague, Czech Republic), has focused on keeping pace with the dynamic technological developments. His goal is to ensure that his students, upon graduation, have the most modern and technical skills employers require. A substantial part of modern technical skills is using 3D printing, as he sees employers using 3D printing technology more and more.

Since 2011, the school has purchased its first 3D printer, and Lukas Prochazka has investigated ways to leverage this technology efficiently in its educational curriculum and processes. In 2015, the school joined forces with Y Soft to develop a 3D printing classroom equipped with YSoft BE3D eDee 3D printing solutions designed explicitly for education.




In 2010, the school introduced 3D printing to its senior class. It was thought that this was sufficient time to learn how to use 3D technology in time for graduation projects; as a technically oriented school, many students already knew about 3D technology. However, accessing 3D printers in only their senior year didn’t allow for effective use of 3D printers in other subjects relevant to 3D technologies (e.g., Computer-Aided Design, Machinery Construction, Vehicle Construction, etc.

Therefore, Mr. Prochazka decided to introduce 3D printing technology in the sophomore year as a complementary technology to other subjects and to better prepare students for using 3D printing in their graduation projects in their senior year.

Such an ambition raised some practical considerations. What would be the correct number of printers? Would the printers be distributed throughout the school or in individual classrooms? Would they also be accessible to students and teachers outside of classroom assignments? How could the school get the most efficient use of the technology?



In 2015, the school partnered with Y Soft, a global technology company that provides 3D printing solutions for education and manufacturing through its YSoft BE3D family of products. The school dedicated one classroom for a field test of a specialized 3D technologies lab that Y Soft equipped with a fleet of 3D printers. The goal of the field test was to find the best way to integrate 3D printing as much as possible into the school’s curriculum. Y Soft also leveraged what was learned from the field study in the final development phase of its YSoft BE3D eDee printing solution,  designed exclusively for schools.


Initially, 10 YSoft BE3D DeeGreen printers were placed in the classroom lab. Since only one-third of a 30-student classroom ever used the lab at one time, each student had access to a printer. Printers were placed beside a computer on each student’s desk to be easily accessed when they finished the 3D computer modeling process.

The classroom lab was accessible to all students and teachers outside the regular classes. This allowed students and teachers to use the equipment for individual long-term projects and graduation projects. Students were also allowed to use the 3D printers for education-related projects, personal use, and fun.

Soon, 3D printing became an integral part of the sophomore students’ curriculum. In addition to teaching 3D printing technology, the 3D printers were used to complete complex assignments designed to combine different engineering skills—drawing, 3D modeling, etc. For example, students were assigned to create a suspension mechanism for a bicycle fork and check the viability of their design using a 3D printer and a real bicycle front-wheel fork.



For an entire year, the school and Y Soft carefully monitored the interaction of 3D printing in the classroom with students.

As a result of the one-year study, Technical School Prosek made the following 

  • 60% of printed objects were related to education (40% graduation projects, 12% teaching aids, spare parts, etc., and 8% individual education projects)
  • 37% of printed objects were for personal and entertainment use
  • 3% of all printed objects were printed as part of the school’s marketing activities
  • 40 filament spools (the thermoplastic material used to print a 3D object) were consumed
  • Each printer was in use for approximately 5 hours per day.

In addition to introducing modern technology into the education process, the school found many key benefits of 3D printing in the classroom, especially in strengthening students’ motivation to learn. Individual education projects are more entertaining with 3D printers, as the technology allows students to see the results of their efforts immediately. Also, the decision to make the classroom lab widely accessible made it easier for senior students to use 3D printers for their graduation projects.

“The high quality of educational projects using 3D printing really surprised me. I believe this is the most valuable benefit of using 3D printers in school, especially for graduation projects. Students have a more innovative approach; they are more creative and not afraid to explore and experiment, as they can test their designs right away. Once a rather feared experience, the final exam process becomes more fun with 3D printers,” says Lukas Prochazka.

The testing period also helped to identify three unique challenges that educational institutions should consider when implementing 3D printing technology:

  • Cost Management and Recovery

Each object consumes different amounts of filament, and it isn't easy to set 
a transparent, accurate, and automated payment system that could help recover the total cost of ownership for 3D printers.

  • 3D Print Management

Unlike today's paper printers, a fleet of 3D printers is not administered and managed. This can lead to, for example, late identification of failed prints, refills of filament spools, and lack of overall control over who is using the printers and what is being printed.

  • Security

When 3D printers were used outside of regular in-class assignments, students often interrupted each other’s print jobs to start their print without waiting for the current job to finish. In some cases, the taking of printed objects by students who didn’t submit the print job was observed.

These challenges were noted by Y Soft, which specializes in workflows, print 
management, and cost recovery for paper printers. It helped the company understand how similar technologies can be used for 3D printers. These observations were key features incorporated and addressed in the YSoft BE3D eDee solution for education. 

By integrating its YSoft SAFEQ print management and accounting system with a 3D printer, the YSoft BE3D eDee solution enables schools to manage usage, recover costs, lock the printer during printing, and release it only to its authenticated owner.

The classroom field study was completed before the 2016/2017 school year started. Five YSoft BE3D eDees have been added to the fleet. To enhance the lab’s accessibility, the school created a new set-up for the classroom. Now, it is split into two separate rooms (one for 3D printers, and the other houses the computers students use to create their 3D model files). The 3D printers are accessible from the computer section of the classroom and through a hallway door, allowing other students and instructors to enter without disturbing the current lecture. The separate 3D printing classroom also isolates the class from the noise a fleet of 3D printers makes.

To encourage other educators to learn how to successfully bring 3D printing into the school curriculum, Prosek and Y Soft have partnered further to make the classroom lab available to teachers from other schools.

“Usually, acquiring a 3D printer in the classroom leads to a short period of excitement followed by not using the printer at all. This can happen for several reasons – a lack of ideas on how to use it, a lack of technical skills required to operate it properly in the long term, and, more importantly, a lack of a systematic approach when deploying the technology in the curriculum. We learned a lot in these areas and are ready to help others find their perfect way of using 3D printers in the classroom,” adds Lukas Prochazka.