There has been a lot of excitement about the use of 3D printers in education, but educators can have trouble both getting started with the technology and figuring out what to do with it. This two-class certificate covers both aspects, starting with how the technology works and then moving on to how to use it effectively. If participants already have 3D printers, the instructors will customize the class as much as possible so participants can follow along on the hardware they have. If a participant does not yet have access to a 3D printer, the instructors can help with helping participants define criteria to make decisions about appropriate hardware to buy.
The intro class (recommended to be taken first) covers the entire 3D printing workflow with a focus on open source and free software. The market is somewhat fractured and different 3D printers vary somewhat in their operations there are not a lot of standards in the industry yet, but the instructors will guide participants through what the options are and where to learn the details of operation of their particular existing or planned hardware.
The second class then builds on this knowledge to think about how to help students create their own exploratory models, or how to create models that a teacher can create to help students visualize an abstract concept. Participants will use some of the software covered in the Intro to 3D Printing class to create several different types of 3D printable models, and will discuss the details of how to print their design on the 3D printer they already have or plan to acquire in the future.