Intro to 3D Printing

With many moldmakers still unsure of the applications and value of 3D printing, I thought this news of a beginner 3D printing course that explores the technology's history, established applications, forward-looking trends and potential social and economic impacts would be interesting.


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With the trend in 3D printing only growing, I have been in many conversations while putting together features for Additive Manufacturing that revolve around the need for a curriculum focused on 3D printing.

Stratasys has developed such a curriculum. The beginner course, Introduction to 3D Printing: From Design to Fabrication, explores 3D printing in terms of its history, established applications, forward-looking trends, and potential social and economic impacts. Through project-based learning, students will experience 3D printing’s impact on the design process firsthand. A variety of projects guide students through the process of designing and 3D printing a fully functional moving part in a single build.

Students will become familiar with the advantages of various 3D printing technologies in terms of precision, resolution and material capabilities. While Stratasys recommends FDM and PolyJet 3D printing technologies for this course, any technology platform and any CAD software with STL support may be used.

Completion of the beginning course should enable graduates to demonstrate knowledge of key historical factors that have shaped manufacturing over the centuries; explain current and emerging 3D printing applications in a variety of industries; describe the advantages and limitations of the main 3D printing technologies; evaluate real-life scenarios, and recommend the appropriate use of 3D printing technology; identify opportunities to apply 3D printing technology for time and cost reduction; discuss the economic implications of 3D printing, including its impact on startup businesses and supply chains; and, design and print objects containing moving parts without assembly.

Stratasys plans to add two sequential advanced courses that will cover material memory, multi-material use and 3D printing for robotics applications.

Schools in Singapore and the U.S. have led the process of implementing Stratasys’ 3D printing curriculum.

Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston uses Stratasys’ 3D printing curriculum. “There are going to be many instructors out there who would love to teach a course in 3D printing, but who simply do not have enough time to do the detailed research and to prepare professional level presentations,” says Assistant Professor Steve Chomyszak. “This curriculum has now made it much easier for any instructor to offer a college level course on the subject.”

Learn more about the courses, specific details or to download free materials, by visiting the Stratasys Educational Curriculum page.