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An Engineering Technology Course in Additive Manufacturing

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

ET Pedagogy I

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

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Paper Authors


Christopher David LeBlanc University of New Hampshire

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Christopher D. LeBlanc is currently the Program Coordinator and Assistant Professor for the Engineering Technology program at the University of New Hampshire Manchester campus. Prior to his faculty appointment he spent 16 years at International Business Machines (IBM) as an Analog Mixed Signal design engineer.

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Donald J. Plante University of New Hampshire

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Donald J. Plante is a lecturer of Mathematics at the University of New Hampshire. His main area of research is in fractal geometry, although he also holds interests in 3D printing and mathematical modeling.

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The University of Some State at some city (USS) Department of Applied Engineering and Sciences (ASE) Engineering Technology (ET) program has developed a course (ET401) investigating methods in additive manufacturing through the design and fabrication of 3D models. The curriculum is designed to have students gain skills by applying and integrating techniques from mathematics, engineering, and computing to develop 3D models that can be manufactured by commercially available 3D printers. The course is a four credit hour elective with no pre-requisites available to both ET and non-ET students. ET401 is intended to fulfill the environment, technology, and society (ETS) requirement of the USS Discovery program so particular emphasis is placed on ways 3D printing has effects both the environment and the collective society. An early version of the course was offered at USS in the spring semester of 2016 with eight participating students. This work describes the structure of the course and methods used for assessment of the students.

Student evaluation was based on participation, discussion board activity, portfolio of weekly projects, and a final project. Weekly participation in an online discussion board was required to explore further impacts of 3D printing on the environment and society through its use in various disciplines. Students were tasked to identify areas in society likely to be impacted by new additive manufacturing techniques. Through discussion and development of the portfolio students were able to explore the effectiveness of current advances in 3D printing technologies and model complex geometric shapes using various computer software applications. The class portfolios are published under a creative commons license making designs available to the public and for use in future semesters. Participants were encouraged to revise and improve upon their own work as well as other’s existing models through the open source platform. For the final project students were required to propose a project that represented an original contribution to either engineering, art, or mathematics. Assessment of the final project was based on the following criteria: aesthetic appeal, functionality, durability, and complexity. After completion of the course participants demonstrated the ability to, identify and define basic terms of additive manufacturing, and compare and contrast multiple manufacturing techniques impacts on the environment.

LeBlanc, C. D., & Plante, D. J. (2018, June), An Engineering Technology Course in Additive Manufacturing Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--29781

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