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Bridging the Social and Environmental Dimensions of Global Sustainability in STEM Education with Additive Manufacturing
|By Michigan Tech's Open Sustainability Technology Lab.
Wanted: Students to make a distributed future with solar-powered open-source 3-D printing.
Pearce Publications: Energy Conservation • Energy Policy • Industrial Symbiosis • Life Cycle Analysis • Materials Science • Open Source • Photovoltaic Systems • Solar Cells • Sustainable Development • Sustainability Education
|This page is part of an international project to use RepRap 3-D printing to make OSAT for sustainable development. Learn more.
Research: Open source 3-D printing of OSAT • RecycleBot • LCA of home recycling • Green Distributed Recycling • Ethical Filament • LCA of distributed manufacturing • RepRap LCA Energy and CO2 • Solar-powered RepRaps • solar powered recyclebot • Feasibility hub • Mechanical testing • RepRap printing protocol: MOST• Lessons learned • MOST RepRap Build • MOST Prusa Build • MOST HS RepRap build • RepRap Print Server
- Chelsea Schelly & Joshua M. Pearce. Bridging the Social and Environmental Dimensions of Global Sustainability in STEM Education with Additive Manufacturing. Chapter 8. In Ali, N., & Khine, M.S. (Eds). Integrating 3D printing into teaching and learning: Practitioners’ perspectives: Leiden, the Netherlands: Brill Publishing. 2020. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004415133
3D printing technologies based on an open source model offer a tool for distributed manufacturing and individual customization of printed goods, diminishing the environmental externalities associated with the global transport of goods, the production of goods based on raw material extraction, and production waste. They also make it possible to address issues of sustainable development and the environmental impacts of industrial development simultaneously via innovative STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education, offering appropriate technologies for use in non-industrial locales. This chapter reports on a university course where students built their own 3D printers, used them to print items, learned about how 3D printers can help minimize the environmental externalities of production and address issues of environmental sustainability, and were introduced to social issues related to inequality of access to material goods. Students were asked to participate in a survey and a follow-up interview about their experience in the class. Results suggest that this course encouraged students to think about the environmental benefits of distributed manufacturing as well as about the human dimensions of sustainability-related to global inequalities of access to manufactured goods. The course also helped students feel like they could work to address environmental problems and social issues in their future engineering careers. Using 3D printing technologies in an active learning STEM education environment can engage engineering students with both the environmental and social issues that will shape the challenges they face as future industrial designers and manufacturers.
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