New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Strategy of Education on Materials for Students

Laura Thurn, University of Applied Sciences Aachen (Germany)

Andreas Gebhardt, University of Applied Sciences Aachen (Germany)


The properties of products do not only depend on the ingredients of the raw materials but on the entire production process as well. This is why the education of engineers should cover both, material science and manufacturing - with a focus on its interdependence.

Traditionally, raw materials are made independently from the latter manufacturing. Consequently, the product properties do not wary too much as long as certain production rules are obeyed.

New production technologies such as Additive Manufacturing (AM/3D Printing) act as a game changer, mainly because the properties of the final part result from the build parameters applied to the printer. Another big influence is time. Traditionally, materials are mainly obtained from all kinds of mixing processes accompanied by long term heating and cooling while AM-processes make the material in situ which means in seconds.

Our approach to materials education therefore is based on AM. The concept is to simultaneously teach manufacturing technology including the construction/operation of a 3D printer capable to process the complete range of therm3oplastic materials and material science using the printer.

In our concept the beginner-courses demonstrate the AM-process and the behavior of some sample materials. Next, students are integrated by assembly and operation of the printers for various materials and parameter sets. Results are evaluated in comparison to traditional produced ones by dimensional measuring, weighting, tensile test and analysis of scan data. 

Keywords3D Printing, Additive Manufacturing (AM), Teaching AM, STEM;


[1] ISO/ASTM 52900 Standards. “Additive manufacturing - General principles – Terminology”, Deutsches Institut für Normung, 2015
[2] Wohlers Associates: “Wohlers Report 2017 – 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing State of the industry”. Wohlers Associates, 2017
[3] Gebhardt, A. “Additive Fertigungsverfahren - Additive Manufacturing und 3D-Drucken für Prototyping - Tooling – Produktion“, Munich, Hanser Verlag, 2016
[4] Szulżyk-Cieplak J., Duda A.,Sidor B. “3D printers – New Possibilities in Education Advances in Science and Technology”, Research Journal 8(24), 2011, 96-101
[5] Huleihil M. “3D printing technology as innovative tool for math and geometry teaching applications”, IOP Conf. Ser.: Mater, 2017
[6] Eisenberg M. “3D printing for children: What to build next?”, International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction 1, 2013, 7-13
[7] Department for Education (DFE) “3D Printers in Schools: Uses in the Curriculum Enriching the Teaching of STEM and Design Subjects”, 2013, 1-24
[8] Slavkovsky E. “Feasibility study for teaching geometry and other topics using threedimensional
Printers”, Thesis: Harvard University, 2013, 158


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