The Development and Implementation of Instruction and Remote Access Components of Additive Manufacturing
Additive manufacturing (AM), also known as 3D printing, is one of the latest emerging widespread production technologies. Almost any complex-part geometry is easily made using this technology and is usually used reliably. Many implementations of AM exist from areas as diverse as food industry to biomedical engineering; such a broad-spectrum usage of this technology makes it extremely attractive when combined with its low cost, reliability, color range, and complexity abilities.
Though the cost of buying new AM machines varies greatly depending on the size of the machines (AM equipment ranges from desktop printers to very large production machines), AM equipment is still not affordable for many educational institutions due to limited or low equipment, consumable supplies, physical space, and maintenance budgets. Such issues become even more important for educational organizations in underserved and underdeveloped districts, which typically have inadequate support from their constituents.
To address this issue, AM laboratories and their functionalities can easily be made available through the internet. Educational institutions which do not have the capability of AM technologies can easily access and utilize other laboratories’ capabilities. In the past, various remotely accessible AM laboratories such as these have been introduced, and their advantages and limitations in various P16 STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) practices have been reported. In this chapter, the authors introduce a novel concept of accessing external AM laboratories via smartphones and advanced computer technologies.
KeywordsAdditive manufacturing Laboratory STEM Smartphone Remote access
This work is part of a larger project funded by the Advanced Technological Education program of the National Science Foundation, DUE #1601587.
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