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3D Printers in University Teaching

Not only are 3D printers indispensable at the industrial level, they also contribute importantly to the improvement of the quality of teaching.

They make it possible to move beyond the level of abstraction in many areas and, with the help of illustrative miniatures, to make teaching concepts tangible in the truest sense at a "haptic level of representation" (Heusler 2014:1). Individuals who learn via sensory methods are those who benefit the most from the availability of 3D objects. In other fields off study, 3D printers can be used to scan in rare specimens and thus make them available to every student multiple times. Furthermore, by manipulating existing datasets, the effects of even the smallest differences can be studied not ony theoretically but also in concrete, visible terms - a great advantage fpr experimental setups in the natural sciences and engineering.

Work with CAD software in particular allows for maximal creativity, which can be developed and applied via startup simulations. A positive ancillary effect of the use of 3D printer technology is that it can help prepare students for the professional world, since the secure handling of CAD software and 3D printers is already common in many industried (e.g. medical technology, the automotive industry, design, the games industry, aviation, architecture, and consumer goods industries).