3D printing plays a decisive role in exposing eager learners to the practical application in different domains, including and not restricting to Science, Engineering, Architecture, and Math. 3D printing technology is gaining recognition in the education sector at two levels: primary and university. “3D printing technology has grown so rapidly that it is making waves across every industry. Though the technology is fairly new, its application has become so versatile and so in-demand that there is a growing need for people who can understand, operate, and provide innovation through 3D printers and 3D modelling concepts,” says Swapnil Sansare, CEO, Divide by Zero. In a conversation with Higher Education Digest, Swapnil Sansare talks about the benefits of learning 3D printing as a part of curriculum, career implications of learning 3D printing, 3D printing’s state of R&D at the university level and much more.
What is the importance of 3D printers in augmenting the learning experience?
3D technologies enable active and experiential learning. Virtual reality simulations enable users to interact in space or around an object in ways beyond what is possible in the real world. Augmented reality enables users to interact with an object while possessing “superpowers,” such as the ability to see through surfaces or to see data-overlying objects. With 3D printing, users can quickly create physical objects that might otherwise exist only in simulations. These functionalities enable users to gain hands-on experience with objects that might otherwise be inaccessible in teaching and learning contexts. In the medical professions, for example, VR enables students to repeat hands-on experiences that might not otherwise be possible (e.g., repeating a dissection multiple times) and to experience events that they might not otherwise be able to (e.g., diagnosing a rare condition, testing specific types of emergency medicine). Through repeated practice, students emerge more skilled. While developing a simulated lab may be expensive, it is far less expensive than building and maintaining a physical lab. Furthermore, a simulated lab can be made available to individuals who are not co-located. Therefore, AR and 3D printing make it possible to provide lab experiences to a far greater number of users, perhaps even simultaneously.
In today’s scenario, what are the benefits of learning 3D printing as a part of the curriculum? Tell us about the career implications of learning 3D printing.
3D printing technology has grown so rapidly that it is making waves across every industry. Though the technology is fairly new, its application has become so versatile and so in-demand that there is a growing need for people who can understand, operate, and provide innovation through 3D printers and 3D modelling concepts. The chief driving force behind the explosion in job growth and industry demand is that even traditional organizations realize the potential of 3D printers and interest is expanding with a phenomenal momentum. An increasing number of job postings call for engineers who can implement 3D printing and additive manufacturing into company processes.
There are several fields where 3D printing is making a mark and revolutionizing traditional learning processes and eventually job requirements in a big way. Here are some examples:
3D printers are a rapidly advancing technology that calls for engineers who can understand, maintain, and operate the equipment. Mechanical, industrial, or software engineers will better grasp what’s involved in producing accurate working models and components for manufacturing and architectural designs.
Animation and Design
A related field that uses many of the same tools is 3D animation, used in many venues from web graphics to feature-length films. 3D design software is used in translating visual concepts into tangible objects. A background in 3D animation ensures you already understand the software and the modelling concepts involved.
The constant demand for better healthcare treatments has also become part of the expanding market for 3D printers. Medical researchers can create working organic models and even functional arterial implants from 3D materials. Biomedical experts can lead the way in developing new medical solutions through this new 3D technology.
The current state of 3D printing software is much less user-friendly than mainstream applications, but as the technology progresses there will be opportunities for programmers who can develop cross-platform software, better interfaces, and more features and functions that make using 3D printers easier and more productive.
How 3D printing can be made cheaper in India through R&D collaborations with universities?
3D printing as a technology is an amalgamation of material engineering, robotics and software. If expertise from each domain is brought together, the scope for innovation is boundless. As more 3D printers become available for academic use, university researchers have explored how they might make the devices run more efficiently. For example, based on our collaborations with one of the universities in India, we are working on possibilities of implementing AI with 3d printing wherein machines can calculate errors on the go and correct tool paths resulting into better repeatability of the machine resulting into huge cost saving.
What are the efforts of Divide by Zero in making 3D printing mainstream in the education sector?
3D printing plays a decisive role in exposing eager learners to the practical application in different domains, including and not restricting to Science, Engineering, Architecture, and Math. 3D printing technology is gaining recognition in the education sector at two levels: primary and university. Divide By Zero is working closely with over 50+ leading premier technical institutions in the country spanning over 10 regional states including Jammu Kashmir, Mizoram, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Assam, Karnataka, and Chhattisgarh. Besides, the company is also actively conducting joint research programs with over 10+ educational institutes. Over the years, DBZ has helped over 500+ start-ups incubated through various educational universities across the country’s length and breadth.
How universities with 3D printers are helping frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19?
As manufacturing supply chains struggled amid the nationwide lockdown, 3D printing came as a boon to make key equipment for use in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. Several universities and institutions across India, which already had 3D printers, started using them to make face shields and ventilator splitters, which allow a single ventilator to be used by 2-4 patients simultaneously. Companies like Divide By Zero collaborated with these universities and helped them with the required designs and expertise.
About Swapnil Sansare
Swapnil Sansare, CEO & Founder of Divide By Zero Technologies is a robotics expert turned into entrepreneur. He has rich experience of automation and machine design. Products designed by him at divide by zero technologies have won many excellence awards. He holds India’s first 3d printing technology patent.
Divide By Zero Technologies is India’s Largest Industrial 3D printer manufacturer along with partner network in India, Malaysia, Germany & UAE.