3D printing is revolutionizing the world of manufacturing, and Colorado State University now offers online training to help individuals from all backgrounds and industries to learn more about this technological advancement.
The Foundations of 3D Printing digital badge program, offered by CSU’s Idea-2-Product 3D Printing Laboratory and CSU Online, teaches the principles and processes involved in 3D printing. Those who successfully complete courses earn digital badges to demonstrate their competencies to employers, clients and others among their network.
Dr. David Prawel, who founded Idea-2-Product and leads the online program, said the training helps people understand “why 3D printing has become one of the most important technologies of our time” and learn to “take your thoughts and turn them into products.”
Prawel has 36 years of experience with 3D technology, has taught courses in 3D printing on campus for many years, and, in the past several years, has helped establish and run the Idea-2-Prouduct lab on campus. He developed the online program after recognizing a growing need for training outside of the traditional academic setting.
He said, while companies across industries are investing in 3D printing technologies, they know very little about how to use and leverage them to their full potential.
“We think we can reach so many more people and help so many more people get up to speed on this technology by making it available in a much easier-to-consume format. …It’s not hands-on, of course, but it offers a lot of detail about what it takes to do 3D printing, the software tools required, and the major types of machines out there,” he said.
In place of course credits or a certificate, this program awards digital badges to those who successfully complete online modules. Badges provide a more practical, tangible representation of what one has learned, and can be easily displayed on resumes, e-portfolios, and social networks such as LinkedIn.
Digital badge programs also offer learners the opportunity to shape their own educational experience, as training is broken down into small, topic-specific modules. “Rather than being thrown a whole full-semester class, you meander through all the different modules and assemble your own class, and your own expertise level according to the types of technology that best fit your organization,” Prawel said.
Who Can Take the Program?
Anyone can earn digital badges. Students do not have to be admitted to Colorado State University, meet any prerequisites, or have a certain GPA to enroll. This program specifically is ideal for anyone who wants to understand the foundations and processes of 3D printing technology. It can be used as an opportunity to learn how to integrate 3D printing into a business or into personal projects, or to gain a better understanding of the technology in order to use it in a classroom setting.
To learn more about the Foundations of 3D Printing digital badge program, contact Colorado State University Online at (970) 491-5288.