Australian University adds 3D printing to its curriculum

Australia’s University of Southern Queensland (USQ) has announced an exciting new addition to its archeology curriculum. With the help of Ellipsis Media, the university’s Print Services business unit, archeology students at USQ can now work with 3D replica specimens like never before. The specimens are produced with the 3D Systems Projet 660Pro printer, the Artec Eva, Structure Sensor and NextEngine Ultra HD laser scanners.

Ellipsis Media manager, Robert Keanalley, says this technology is “perfect for capturing specimens imbedded in rock that traditional methods of plaster casting for replication may otherwise damage or destroy the original relic.” Instead, 3D scanning and printing technology can non-invasively laser scan objects ranging in size from five centimeters, up to the size of a passenger car.



The project will be part of a course set to be offered next year, called ‘Archaeological Laboratory Methods: Analysis and Interpretation’, in which students will identify components from archaeological records. With the unveiling of full color 3D printing services, both on and off campus students can have access to the same hands-on learning  experience, which USQ archeology lecturer Bryce Baker says is “essential for the successful learning of this course.”

USQ can thank the ICT Technology Demonstrators Project for the implementation of these new services. With previously successful projects such as virtual animal dissection, teaching space evolution, educational applications of robotics, and various app and e-book innovations, the Technology Demonstrators continuously work to bring the only latest and most innovative technologies and learning methods to the classroom. USQ vice-chancellor and president, professor Jan Thomas was quoted saying, “We continuously seek to explore and drive innovative, evidence-based approaches to the facilitation and delivery of learning and teaching so that all our students receive quality learning experiences and graduate as pioneering connected professionals.”