Some of the most exciting developments that happen in engineering, product design and architecture are in the classrooms of universities around the world. The 3D printing movement has opened up research opportunities, turning scientists, researchers and students in active creators. From small labs to research centres, researchers are using 3D-printing to advance their knowledge and perform their jobs more easily. What is happening at the moment and what can we expect more? Time to give you an update.
3D Printing in education
Massive Open Online Courses, also known as MOOC‘s, offer everyone with access to the internet the chance to study at a top university for free. Last year, the Illinois MakerLab (the world’s first and only 3D printing lab in a Business School) was the first to develop a MOOC for 3D printing on online education platform Coursera: the 3D Printing Specialization. Illinois MakerLab co-founder Vishal Sachdev, who shows students how they can use the technology for different applications, will join us on Skype. At University of Twente, Tom Vaneker teaches master courses in 3D printing at the Faculty of Engineering Technology to students from different disciplines. He also is a researcher in the field of additive manufacturing, multi-material 3D printing and fiber-reinforced nylons. How is 3D printing changing your engineering degree and transforming education?
Research: 3D printed infant skeletons
Some use 3D printing to print a table. Others use it to print food. TU/Eindhoven researcher Mark Thielen is 3D-printing a baby together with Maxima Medisch Centrum Veldhoven. Yup… you read that right. The babies organs and body parts are made of flexible material. He already printed the lungs, heart, stomach and ribs and by the end of this year it should look and feel like a real baby. Mark’s research focuses on the development of medical training simulators used by medical staff and/or students to train their skills in execution of medical emergency procedures. Creating realistic mannequins for medical training is difficult, especially when we are talking about tiny babies. The baby mannequin is meant to improve training of nurses and doctors to perform CPR and rescue breathing on young infants.
Student project: TU Delft Formula Student Team
At TU Delft, 3D printing is paving the way for numerous innovative opportunities in science, technology, and design. From Aerospace to Biomechanical Engineering, from soft robotics to bicycle frames and race cars. In order to give students the real experience of engineering, annually teams from the world’s best universities gather for Formula Student, the engineering competition where students design, build, test, and race a small-scale formula style racing car. The TU Delft Formula Student Team is one of the most successful teams in the competition. In their 2016 design, Team Delft used FDM 3D printing to create the steering wheel and the titanium wheel bracket. With 70 students, Thomas van der Hout worked on last year’s car. What are the benefits of 3D printing in engineering?
Student project: MyDayLight
Laura Beunk is an innovative engineer with a multidisciplinary background and keen interest in design. After switching to Advanced Technology at University of Twente, she is now back to finishing her bachelor Creative Technology. As a student assistant, she is involved in MyDayLight, an ongoing project started in 2014 by Jelle van Dijk. MyDayLight is an interactive light system designed to help people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in managing daily affairs in their own life in their own home. Laura works on optimising the casing of the lamps using 3D print technology.
Student project: LOCUS
In collaboration with Medicine Sans Frontieres Japan, a student team from Hogeschool Den Haag has created the first 3D printed surveillance drone to re-create maps in forgotten places for MissingMaps.org. The goal is to provide better maps, so humanitarian human aid organisations can respond to disasters quicker. Bogdan Demeter and his team members recently raised money on Kickstarter to take their prototype to the next level. The drone is easily assembled and is made up of 18 constituent replaceable parts. When finished, the drone will be open source and available to everyone.
Student Project: print head for 3D printed organs
The University Medical Center Utrecht is developing a 3D medical printer to print living cells that grow into tissue. In the future, the device should be able to print complete organs, offering solutions in the shortage of donor organs. Hogeschool Utrecht students Sebastiaan Smit and Ludo Teirlinck worked with a team of students on developing a new type of print head. In order to make complex human tissue, the print head should be able to print four components (and not two as usual. The technology developed by the student team is actually going to be applied in the UMCU research – one step closer to becoming reality!
3D Hubs Student Grant 2017
3D Hubs has become more than just a network of 3D printers. It’s become a trusted source of consumer reporting for the industry, a facilitator of social engagement, and lately, a resource for students. The platform is looking for inventors, problem solvers and creative talents who are able to push the boundaries of 3D printing. Show them your best use of 3D printing in engineering, product design or architecture and you can receive a $500 grant, an honorable mention from co-founder Brian Garret on LinkedIn and a professional photoshoot of your project. 3D Hubs’ Benjamin Redwood will tell you how they provide support to students and how to enroll. The deadline for submissions is June 30th 2017!