In my travels across the world with Stratasys, I have been fortunate to speak with many professors, educators and thought leaders on the importance of formal and non-formal 3D printing education. Skills and experience related to 3D printing are already in demand and will exponentially grow across a variety of industries in the years ahead. In the latest research published by Wanted Analytics, the number of job ads requiring workers with 3D printing skills increased 1,834% in 4 years and 103% when comparing August 2014 to August 2013.
There are two challenges to 3D printing curricula. The first is that academic institutions are unlikely to share their programs with other organizations. The second is that 3D printing is so dynamic it requires an infrastructure that enables the content to be constantly refreshed to keep students ahead of the curve.
This is exactly what inspired us to create the a new Stratasys 3D printing curriculum for educators. The full-semester 14-week course can help prepare secondary and post-secondary students worldwide for careers being transformed by 3D printing.
The open curriculum is being created in collaboration with educators around the world to ensure its quality and relevance. Our goal is to ensure that students are fully prepared to enter the new work environment with the right skill sets and knowledge base. Temasek Polytechnic in Singapore and Wentworth Institute of Technology in the U.S. have led the process of implementing the Stratasys’ 3D printing curriculum.
Materials are free to educators and include a curriculum guide, supporting presentations, 3D models (STL files) and grading tools. Centered on academic community engagement, the content is aimed to be continuously refreshed with the help of participating educators.
The beginner course, Introduction to 3D Printing: From Design to Fabrication, explores 3D printing in terms of its history, established applications, forward-looking trends, and potential social and economic impacts. Through project-based learning, students will experience 3D printing’s impact on the design process first-hand. Centered on the course’s theme Make Something That Moves Something, a variety of projects guide students through the process of designing and 3D printing a fully functional moving part in a single build.
Students will become familiar with the advantages of various 3D printing technologies in terms of precision, resolution and material capabilities. While Stratasys recommends FDM and PolyJet 3D printing technology for this course, any technology platform and any CAD software with STL support may be used.
We plan to add two sequential advanced courses, covering material memory, multi-material use, and 3D printing for robotics applications.
You can learn more about the courses or download free materials by visiting the Stratasys Educational Curriculum page.