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Board 41: Using 3-D Printing in a Laboratory Setting to Teach Design Principles

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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

Civil Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

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Paper Authors


Suzette R. Burckhard South Dakota State University

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Dr. Burckhard earned a BS in Engineering Physics, a BS in Civil Engineering, (both from South Dakota State University) an MS in Physics. an MS in Chemical Engineering, and a PhD in Civil Engineering with emphasis in Environmental Engineering, from Kansas State University. She has been on staff at South Dakota State University since 1997 in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department where she is a professor and assistant department head. Dr. Burckhard is a member of ASCE, ASEE, ASMR, and several other professional societies. She is a certified distance education specialist and also practices and studies active learning techniques in engineering classrooms as well as the impact of climate on hydrology, water resources and related infrastructure.

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Calvin Wampol South Dakota State University

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I am currently a graduate student at South Dakota State University (SDSU) pursuing my MS degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering with emphasis in Structural Engineering. I earned a B. S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering at SDSU in 2016. I am currently employed by my graduate advisor, Dr. Suzette Burckhard, as a Teaching Assistant and Research Assistant at SDSU. The responsibility for the teaching assistant position requires me to present lectures on the course material, lead the students during the experiments, and design new labs with my advisor. For my Research Assistant position, I am conducting research on composite materials and 3D printing under the guidance of my advisor. Additional, I have work experience in the engineering industry where I worked for the South Dakota Department of Transportation as an Engineering Intern for a summer and worked for a consulting engineering firm as an Engineer in Training for seven months. Through this work experience I have gained knowledge and skills in municipal civil engineering, water resource engineering, and construction management.

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The 3D printing of polymers is an evolving manufacturing process with applicability for teaching design in engineering education at the college level. There is scant research into how to use 3D printing as a novel approach in teaching engineering design. The literature indicates that teaching design is often challenging because students often learn design through experience, rather than traditional lectures alone. The major benefits of using a 3D printer are that it provides students with complete design freedom to create a variety of models on computer software in one afternoon, select the best designs, and create physical models for live testing. Over a period of three years, undergraduate engineering students in a structural materials laboratory class, designed and 3D printed simple connections, lateral beams, and trusses; and they conducted stress analyses. As part of the class assignment, students reflected on their experiences. Based on students' final written portfolios for the class, the majority indicated that designing with computer software, combined with 3D printing, increased their creativity and design confidence, and enhanced their self-efficacy and identity as engineers who solve problems. The findings may be of interest to design teachers and students in order to proliferate fresh and unconventional solutions to engineering problems, while boosting retention of engineering majors.

Burckhard, S. R., & Wampol, C. (2018, June), Board 41: Using 3-D Printing in a Laboratory Setting to Teach Design Principles Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30029

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