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Integrating 3D Printing into Engineering Technology Curriculum

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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

Engineering Technology Pedagogy 2

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

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Paper Authors


Mert Bal Miami University

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Mert Bal received his PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Eastern Mediterranean University, North Cyprus in 2008.
He was a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the University of Western Ontario, and a Visiting Researcher at the National Research Council Canada in London, Ontario, Canada between 2008 and 2010. He was involved in various research projects in the areas of collaborative intelligence, localization and collaborative information processing in wireless sensor networks, intelligent agents, agent-based manufacturing scheduling, systems control and automation, distributed control of holonic systems and integrated manufacturing, agile manufacturing, virtual reality and remote laboratory applications in education. He has authored or co-authored various journal and conference publications in these areas.
Mert Bal is currently the Chair and Associate Professor at the Miami University, Department of Engineering Technology, Ohio, United States of America.

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Farnaz Pakdel Miami University

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3-D printing has witnessed significant improvements since its inception as this process enables economical and rapid prototyping of various product designs within a very short time period. The recent technical advancement in 3-D printing managed to scale down the size of 3-D printers and the complexity of the process, where it is a more affordable technology for hobbyists, educators, engineers, researchers and scientists. The increasing use of 3-D printing technologies in industrial applications such as design and prototyping of products, has started creating demands for a skilled workforce of engineers and technicians who are proficient in all aspects of the additive manufacturing processes, from software-driven 3-D designs to hands-on execution of these designs using modern 3-D printing platforms. In order to be competent, modern engineers will need more advanced skills in CAD and optimization that focus on construction of 3-D structures with a growing number of metal, plastic and gel materials. These recent developments in the 3-D printing sector has also taken the attention of many higher education institutions offering engineering and engineering technology programs. A growing number of institutions have started investing on 3-D printers of various kinds and integrating them into their engineering curriculum and courses in order to assure that their students get familiar with the 3-D printing technologies and get well-prepared to industry. For maximum effectiveness, this integration often requires development of systematic coursework that focuses on the main principles of the technology, so that students are given instruction on the design principles for 3-D printing, proper selection of printing materials as well as proper operation techniques of the 3-D printing machines and corresponding modeling and slicing software tools. The paper describes the teaching experiences gathered along three years at the Department of Engineering Technology at the Miami University focusing on the proper use of 3-D printing technology. We present our efforts in developing hands-on laboratory courses as well as modules using 3-D printing to teach the engineering technology students proper design, creative thinking and analytical problem solving techniques.

Bal, M., & Pakdel, F. (2021, July), Integrating 3D Printing into Engineering Technology Curriculum Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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