ADVANCED EDUCATION WITH MAKERBOT METHOD X AT A PRESTIGIOUS UNIVERSITY

Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences enriches additive design and manufacturing courses with MakerBot 3D printers. Students use MakerBot METHOD X for a range of prototyping applications in research and development, industry thesis projects, and more.

A UNIVERSITY THAT ENCOURAGES ADVANCED EDUCATION

Founded in 1878 and located in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, Hochschule Karlsruhe, University of Applied Sciences (HsKA) has a long and rich history rooted in research and engineering education. Through its robust technical and academic training, the University prepares students with critical skills to excel in their careers.

Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences

HIGH-TECH EQUIPMENT, INCLUDING 3D PRINTERS

HsKA is well-equipped with high-tech design, engineering, and manufacturing equipment, including 3D printing technologies. The Additive Design and Manufacturing Lab provides students with access to various 3D printing technologies, such as FFF (fused filament fabrication), SLA (stereolithography), and DLP (digital light processing). The lab has several MakerBot 3D printers, including the METHOD X.

MakerBot 3D printerji na Univerzi aplikativnih znanosti Karlsruhe

“I believe that 3D printing is a valuable problem-solving tool and key competency for the future workforce. It was important to integrate this technology into our courses to give students a chance to use equipment that is currently being used within design and manufacturing companies today,” said Prof. Dr. Florian Finsterwalder.

ADDED VALUE OF 3D PRINTING

Prof. Dr. Finsterwalder teaches the Additive Design and Manufacturing courses, where students are taught the foundations of generative design and additive manufacturing on both a theoretical and physical level. The courses teach students how to conceptualize, design, and transform ideas into tangible objects that they can physically manipulate. Students also dive into the different materials, processes, technologies, and sustainability practices across the additive manufacturing spectrum. Students learn more than just prototyping; they are taught about the industrialization of the entire additive manufacturing chain.

MakerBot
MakerBot Method X 3D printer

“Our plan is to increasingly focus on industrial parts, so advanced 3D printing capabilities are very important for us. We believe that the MakerBot METHOD X is the perfect entry-level industrial equipment that can provide industrial-quality parts,” he added. “We have been quite impressed with METHOD X and what it was able to do. Dimensional accuracy is especially important for us. METHOD X’s heated chamber and rigid steel frame drastically reduce the distortion, yielding tight tolerances and a high level of accuracy.”

PREPARING STUDENTS FOR INDUSTRY 4.0

“3D printing as part of product development can be a great benefit for businesses. It can speed up and improve the design process by letting designers test out ideas as often as they need,” said Steven Seither, graduate student and candidate for the Master of Science degree at HsKA. “When I returned to the University for my master’s degree, I quickly joined the Additive Design and Manufacturing Lab where I have been using 3D printing for quite some time, and I believe that I have an advantage in the job market because of the critical thinking and technical skills that I have developed.”

3D printing and education

FEEDBACK ABOUT METHOD X  FROM STUDENTS

3D printing is increasingly gaining momentum in education, and that is no different at Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences. The feedback from our students on the METHOD X has been overwhelmingly positive. For them, 3D printing is a valuable tool for them to turn their ideas into reality while building the experience and skills they would need for their careers. To give them an opportunity to work in real-world business situations, while supporting local businesses, the University partners with startups to create capstone projects as well as help place them for work after graduation.

Feedback about Method X from students was positive

3D PRINTING IS BECOMING INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT

Prof. Dr. Finsterwalder absolutely believes that 3D printing is increasing creativity and professional development. In the past, the opportunities for realizing prototypes were rather limited due to either time or cost, or both. Today, 3D printing offers us an opportunity to quickly realize parts and prototypes. The iteration and the process of developing these objects no longer stay at a theoretical level. Students face challenges and difficulties directly and use 3D printing as a problem-solving technique to realize or produce parts, products, or carry out projects.