One place that 3D printers are slowly but surely finding their place is in the classroom. From elementary schools to college labs, educators have realized the importance of teaching hands-on additive manufacturing to students across the world. But many educational programs are utilizing desktop 3D printers, which is a great introduction to the technology, yet is limited for more industrial endeavors.
Higher educational establishments such as Michigan Tech (who taught students how to build and use their own Delta 3D printer) and Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (who constructed a multimillion dollar 3D printing center) have made 3D printing a major focus within certain programs. Now, thanks to large-scale 3D printer manufacturer 3D Platform, Northern Illinois University plans to implement industrial-grade 3D printing into their curriculum in a big way.
3D Platform’s partnership with Northern Illinois University’s EIGERlab Center for Product Development will help supply the university with the necessary information to utilize their industrial-strength and large-format 3DP100 printer to its fullest potential. 3DP and EIGERlab will work in tandem to develop educational modules and a curriculum engineered to help students both improve their 3D printing skills and knowledge. The EIGERlab itself acts as the hub for NIU’s innovation, and will host “Innovation Tuesdays”, a 3D design and printing meet-up open to anyone interested in attending.
“Additive manufacturing is that hot new thing that many people hear about but don’t understand how to apply it,” said Mark Huebner, 3D Platform’s Development Manager. “So, along with NIU EIGERlab we are building modules for training and bringing the workforce up to speed with this technology.”
The large-format 3DP1000 is both accessible in use and industrial-grade in quality, making it an ideal candidate for the industrial and product design pursuits undertaken by the EIGERlab students. With its build area of 1m x 1m x 0.5m, NIU students can print a variety of industrial products and prototypes with proper scaling, ranging anywhere from the automobile industry to architecture. Students from all around the world could certainly benefit from knowing the inside-and-out of industrial 3D design and printing, and thanks to 3D Platform, NIU will get their 3D printing curriculum made in a large-format.