3D Printing

Carnegie Mellon Offers 3D Printing Courses

Carnegie Mellon University has launched an undergraduate engineering course in additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing.

The course, Additive Manufacturing for Engineers, teaches students the business, design and engineering aspects of product development. During the semester, students work in teams to develop an idea into a product while learning about the additive manufacturing process. They upload their designs to the Shapeways 3D printing marketplace and service, where customers can order the products.

"Students conceptualize, 3D design, 3D print and market their own unique product in a very short amount of time," said Jack Beuth, professor of mechanical engineering and creator of the course, in a prepared statement. "This stimulates entrepreneurial, creative problem solving."

Students use CubePro maker-scale 3D polymer printers and 3D metal printers. According to information from the university, "Carnegie Mellon is one of only three academic institutions that has both types of these 3D metal printing capabilities." While 3D polymer printers are becoming relatively common and desktop versions are even available for home consumers, 3D metal printing is a sophisticated process that involves fusing metal powders in either a laser powder bed or an electron beam powder bed.

For other students, the university's Integrative Design, Arts and Technology (IDeATe) network has launched a collaborative 3D printing facility called IDeATe@Hunt. Students from any major can take IDeATe courses, which teach students how to use 3D printers in their field of study. For example, computing students may 3D print enclosures for circuitry and architecture students may 3D print scale models of their designs. IDeATe also offers studio classrooms with 3D printers that are available to all students.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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