Additive Manufacturing in Education
ABSTRACT Engineering education consistently has a goal to produce innovative, hands-on engineers who are familiar with the latest technologies and have the ability and skill to implement them in their work places. Additive manufacturing techniques continue to be a growing consideration and a necessary experience that students should incorporate into their problem-solving and design strategies. The steps demonstrated here share the experience involved in transforming a portion of a design experience through incorporation of additive manufacturing. The author’s prior experiences and strategies are described in detail. The key considerations of curricular, equipment, and instructional goals are shared in the context of modifying an energy conversion experiment. The successes and challenges of implementating a more thorough design activity, which includes student printed and evaluated solutions, are discussed in detail. The student rotor-impeller designs proved to be a good modication to the previous project. It continues the exploration of energy conversion concepts and adds a meaningful element of student-driven design choices. The activity provides a highly quantiable comparison of original and student impeller designs. Additional samples of how additive manufacturing has been applied in classrooms as a part of student projects and to extend research opportunities are also discussed. Additive manufacturing continues to have a transformative effect on engineering and engineering education. Our efforts to explore and incorporate these techniques into our classrooms and make them more readily available to students will continue to enhance their education. Students with meaningful hands-on and design experiences, including the use of additive manufacturing, will be engaged and well prepared for the work place.