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Development of an Additive Manufacturing Laboratory Course with the Ability to Accommodate Asynchronous Students

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Developing Teamwork, Student Attitudes, and Hardware Solutions for Laboratory Courses: Experimentation and Laboratory-oriented Studies Division

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Experimentation and Laboratory-Oriented Studies

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Jill Johnson P.E. Pennsylvania State University

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Jill Johnson is an instructor in Mechanical Engineering at Penn State Behrend. She received her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering Technology from Penn State Behrend in 2003 and her master's degree in Nuclear Engineering from Penn State University in 2009. Jill is a Licensed Professional Engineer in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Jill joined the Behrend faculty full time in 2015, but she has been an adjunct at Penn State Behrend in the past. She was also an instructor in Engineering Science and Mechanical Technology at Jamestown Community College in Jamestown, NY, from 2009 until 2013.

Jill started her engineering career as a commissioned Officer in the United States Navy as part of the Nuclear Propulsion Program. Subsequent to that, she was a Field Engineer for National Fuel Gas Distribution Company.

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Brian Lani Pennsylvania State University

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This work-in-progress paper discusses the development of a flexible laboratory course in Additive Manufacturing, and how the course was customized to meet the needs of each student. The faculty members who developed the course identified the need to ensure that every student enrolled in the course has a 3D printer in their possession for the duration of the course to maximize the hands-on applications of the course. Students are given two options for completing the laboratory course, depending on their discretionary funds. Option 1 is to purchase a commercially available inexpensive kit, which they build and use for the course and then keep after the completion of the course. Option 2 is to borrow a printer from the department, which they will need to repair or upgrade, use for the duration of the course, and then return to the department at the end of the semester. Any tools or parts are paid for by the department, so students who don’t want to invest in a 3D printer can still enroll in the course without any additional out of pocket costs. This decision also allows the students to cater their learning objectives for the course. The students who choose to buy and build their own printers tend to develop a deeper understanding of the parts of the 3D printers while the students who borrow our printers tend to get a more broad overview of how the printers work. With the shift to remote instruction during the Covid pandemic, the fact that each student had their own printer allowed for the students to move their printers off campus and complete the required work for the course remotely. The students still gained the hands-on experience that is critical for a laboratory course, even though they were completing the course remotely. This flexibility also ensures that the students who are continuing their coursework via remote instruction can complete the laboratory course requirement for their major without having to attend a laboratory course in person. In the Fall 2020 semester, some students are completing this course in person and some are working remotely and asynchronously. Minimal data was collected at the end of the Spring 2020 semester; but for Fall 2020, the author is collecting data to compare these two groups. The subsequent paper will study if the delivery method has an impact on the students’ success and satisfaction in the course. Students’ success will be evaluated using the grades on individual assessments and the overall grades in the course, and students’ satisfaction will be measured through an anonymous survey.

Johnson, J., & Lani, B. (2021, July), Development of an Additive Manufacturing Laboratory Course with the Ability to Accommodate Asynchronous Students Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36965

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