Students build 3D-printed 2D printers
I must admit, I struggle to come to terms with 3D-printing, so how about getting your head around 2D printers built with 3D-printers? Well, this video does make it clear, covering a very impressive student project in the depatment of mechanical and aerospace engineering at University of Virginia.
It seems 3D printer technology is seen as a way of improving learning for young engineering students, catering for both those more mathematically gifted and those engineers who favour a more hands-on approach…
Stratasys, the company behind 3D printers and 3D production systems, which posted the video on YouTube, writes:
These programmable plotters are the result of the University of Virginia’s mechatronics program. Students built all of the plotters’ plastic components using uPrint 3D printers from Stratasys. Video and music are by UVA mechanical and aerospace engineering professor Gavin Garner.
You can read more about the University of Virginia’s mechatronics project – Using 3D Printers to Transform Learning in Undergraduate Mechanical Engineering Courses.
Get ready, future engineers. Through a collaboration between CASTL-HE and faculty in the UVA School of Engineering and Applied Science  and the Curry School of Education , undergraduate mechanical engineering courses are about to be radically transformed. Thanks to high-tech design software and 3D printers (also called fabricators), mechanical engineering students in undergraduate dynamics courses will no longer have to puzzle over two-dimensional textbook drawings of dynamic components. Instead, they’ll reproduce those static drawings in CAD (computer-aided design), create the actual parts with 3D printers, then design and create a dynamic mechanism from scratch using these same innovative technologies. These new approaches will allow those students newest to the field to more easily connect basic engineering concepts with their practical applications in real-world engineering.