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Additive Manufacturing in Manufacturing Education: A New Course Development and Implementation

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Innovations in Additive Manufacturing Education

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R. Radharamanan Mercer University

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Dr. R. Radharamanan is currently working as Professor of Industrial Engineering and Director of Mercer Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (MCIE) at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. He has forty three years of teaching, research, and consulting experiences. His previous administrative experiences include: President of International Society for Productivity Enhancement (ISPE), Acting Director of Industrial Engineering as well as Director of Advanced Manufacturing Center at Marquette University, and Research Director of CAM and Robotics Center at San Diego State University. His primary research and teaching interests are in the areas of manufacturing systems, additive manufacturing, rapid prototyping, robotics and automation, innovation and entrepreneurship, quality engineering, and product and process development. He has organized and chaired five international conferences, co-chaired two, and organized and chaired three regional conferences. He has received two teaching awards, several research and service awards in the United States and in Brazil. His present and past professional affiliations include ASEE, IIE, ASQ, SME, ASME, and ISPE.

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In this paper, the importance of incorporating Additive Manufacturing (AM) as part of manufacturing curriculum in engineering education is emphasized. A new senior level elective course on Additive Manufacturing has been developed and offered as part of the manufacturing sequence to students of all engineering discipline. To provide hands-on experience to students taking this course, a low-cost rapid prototyping (RP) lab has also been developed consisting of CAD software, 3D scanners, 3D printers, CNC mill, and digital measuring devices.

The course curriculum includes the following: basic principles of AM, difference between traditional manufacturing processes (subtractive manufacturing, SM) and AM, recent advances in the AM technologies that specialize in rapid prototyping of three-dimensional objects such as photopolymerization, powder bed fusion, extrusion, beam deposition, sheet lamination, direct write technologies, and direct digital manufacturing; design for AM, process selection, post-processing, software issues, rapid tooling, applications of AM, business opportunities, and future of AM. Web resources are extensively used in the theory classes including the use of YouTube videos of AM processes and applications.

The open-ended hands-on lab work includes the following: design and make simple to complex parts using both CNC mill and 3D scanning/3D printing machines and compare SM and AM process parameters that include material, speed, complexity, accuracy, geometry, and programming; 3D scanning of objects, editing with proper CAD software, and printing the objects using 3D printers (reverse engineering); casting of 3D objects using basic casting principles; and rapid prototyping challenge among student teams that includes designing, making, marketing, and selling the products that we all use. The difficulties encountered in developing the low-cost RP lab to provide hands-on experience to students taking this course, some of the lab projects completed by the student teams using AM technologies, student learning outcomes and assessment, challenges and lessons learned, and recommendations for improving the course contents (both theory and lab) are also presented and discussed.

Radharamanan, R. (2017, June), Additive Manufacturing in Manufacturing Education: A New Course Development and Implementation Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27540

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