Stratasys’ New Free 3D Printing Curriculum Challenges Students to “Make Something that Moves Something”
"When everyone started using computers to surf the Internet, there was a huge demand for computer classes in middle and high schools, community colleges and universities, and even senior centers." according to 3DPrint.com.
The same goes for 3D printing moving forward. We’ve heard a lot about its educational potential, where people can participate in the design, manufacture, and assembly of items like never before. This new technology has incredible implications for classrooms of young and adult learners, but exactly how do you introduce 3D printing to a new generation of students?
The ball on curriculum is starting to roll thanks to 3D printing giant Stratasys‘ newly released 3D printing technology course curriculum that focuses on fields being transformed by the technology. “Introduction to 3D Printing: From Design to Fabrication” is a free, downloadable, full-semester, 14 week course, which includes a guide, presentations, STL files of 3D models, and grading support.
Course content includes a range of historical, economic, and practical information including: history of manufacturing; pros and cons of 3D printing’s current industrial applications; real-life scenarios that teach appropriate usage of the technology; cost-reduction strategies; economic implications; and design and 3D printing of objects not requiring assembly.
Shelly Linor, Stratasys’ Director of Global Education, noted their drive to create the new curriculum:
“We notice a strong demand coming from the industry for a curriculum focusing on 3D printing. Educators around the world now have an opportunity to make a big impact by using and contributing to our curriculum. They will also be able to better prepare their students for future careers as 3D printing is becoming an intrinsic part of the design and manufacturing processes in leading companies.”Students utilizing Stratasys’ new curriculum will get hands-on experience as they create 3D printing projects from start to finish. The “Make Something That Moves Something” theme will be exemplified through projects intended to highlight the entire process involved in 3D design and printing for functional finished pieces with moving parts.
The theme moves the whole idea of hands-on, experiential learning to a higher level. It is widely acknowledged that people learn best by doing, and teachers of all levels are exhorted to incorporate group work, tactile projects, and process-focused learning into curricula planning. 3D printing technology provides all of these things, and US- and Singapore-based schools have already started to use this curriculum, reporting successful results.