There has been a lot of excitement about the use of 3D printers in education, but educators can have trouble both getting started with the technology and figuring out what to do with it. This two-class certificate covers both aspects, starting with how the technology works and then moving on to how to use it effectively. If participants already have 3D printers, the instructors will customize the class as much as possible so participants can follow along on the hardware they have. If a participant does not yet have access to a 3D printer, the instructors can help with helping participants define criteria to make decisions about appropriate hardware to buy.
The intro class (recommended to be taken first) covers the entire 3D printing workflow with a focus on open source and free software. The market is somewhat fractured and different 3D printers vary somewhat in their operations there are not a lot of standards in the industry yet, but the instructors will guide participants through what the options are and where to learn the details of operation of their particular existing or planned hardware.
The second class then builds on this knowledge to think about how to help students create their own exploratory models, or how to create models that a teacher can create to help students visualize an abstract concept. Participants will use some of the software covered in the Intro to 3D Printing class to create several different types of 3D printable models, and will discuss the details of how to print their design on the 3D printer they already have or plan to acquire in the future.
Introduction to 3D Printing
3D printing has been hailed as a solution to all manufacturing problems. Obviously that is exaggerated, but what is it good for (and when is traditional manufacturing still the better choice?) In this course you will learn how to separate the real promise of the technology from the hype, and understand the workflow for a consumer-level 3D printer. You will become familiar with some typical online databases of objects available to print, and get a bit of experience with free or open-source software for all stages of the process. This class will be primarily focused to introduce you to the tools of the open 3D printer ecosystem, but the principles will apply to consumer 3D printers in general.
Recommended optional e-book: Horvath, Mastering 3D Printing (Apress: 2014) [discount code for U Got Class students will be available]
3D Printed Science and Math: Visualizations and Experiments
A 3D printer can be used to teach science and math in two ways: when a teacher creates an accurate 3D model of a concept for students to handle, or to design a “starter set” model that students can then alter and use as the basis for explorations. The instructors will impart ideas for developing appropriate content of concepts ranging from kindergarten to grad school and will teach participants to use the free and open source 3D modeling program OpenSCAD. The class assumes participants already know the basics of using a 3D printer, from the UgotClass “Intro to 3D Printing” or equivalent experience.
Recommended optional e-book: Horvath and Cameron, 3D Printed Science Projects (Apress, 2016).