Many very smart people are saying that Additive Manufacturing, or 3D printing, will be more revolutionary than the Internet. Whether or not that's true, 3D printing is already changing established industries such as medicine, food, fashion, and aerospace. Essentially, these are industries where mass production isn't the best fit. These are specialized industries where unique parts are often required.
Beyond these types of industries, 3D printing offers a different type of future. You want something, you press a button and a machine in your home starts producing it. A machine that could make things appear out of nothing!. Printing in 3D gives you the power to create. No longer do you merely need to be a passive consumer. Learning how to design and print in 3D means you can be a creator. Just think of the story of Derby the dog.
Furthermore, being able to design and create in 3D is a critical engineering skill. It's one thing to be able to conceive of an idea and sketch it out in 2D. But to really determine its value, you need to conceptualize it in 3D.
Our Essential Question for this unit is: How can the ability to design in 3D and create using additive manufacturing give me the power to create personalized objects on demand?
The major learning goals are:
Conceptual (what do you need to learn?):
To get you started, visit Autodesk's excellent Fusion 360 Academy for all sorts of training videos.