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Sustainable Undergraduate Engineering 3-D Printing Lab

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies: Classroom and Online Innovations

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

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Paper Authors


Nebojsa I. Jaksic Colorado State University - Pueblo Orcid 16x16

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NEBOJSA I. JAKSIC earned the Dipl. Ing. degree in electrical engineering from Belgrade University (1984), the M.S. in electrical engineering (1988), the M.S. in industrial engineering (1992), and the Ph.D. in industrial engineering from the Ohio State University (2000). He is currently a Professor at Colorado State University-Pueblo teaching robotics and automation courses. Dr. Jaksic has over 60 publications and holds two patents. Dr. Jaksic's interests include robotics, automation, and nanotechnology engineering education and research. He is a licensed PE and a member of ASEE, IEEE, and SME.

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The 3D-printing revolution is rampaging through all facets of engineering education due to low cost of printers and materials. While this technology’s great potential for unlocking students’ creativity is well recognized, not much is known what happens with 3D-printed parts after they are made. Students are printing thousands of objects that are slowly taking over our labs and offices. ABS plastic can be recycled. PLA plastic is even biodegradable (albeit only in special plants). However, the failed prints and unwanted objects often end up as trash in landfields.

Since many of our environmentally conscious students wanted to recycle 3D printing material, a student-inspired project dealing with plastic material waste at the laboratory level was created. In this work, the technical project objectives, student learning objectives, implementation, engineering/economic analysis, and educational assessments are described. An integration of object recycling as a part of 3D printed object life-cycle in an undergraduate engineering 3D printing lab is presented. The process and equipment required to accomplish this task are developed and described. Assessment of student learning (and change in attitude towards sustainability) due to the implementation and operation of this novel sustainable 3D printing lab is provided. Apart from reduced cost of operation, our sustainable 3D printing lab has inspired our engineering students, university visitors, and K-12 students and teachers.

Jaksic, N. I. (2016, June), Sustainable Undergraduate Engineering 3-D Printing Lab Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25992

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