Under the guidance of Professors Alberto Valero PhD and Juan Gonzalez PhD, students at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid have been taking advantage of an optional seminar, which focuses on the study of 3D design and printing. Using Open Source tools, this new program is the first of its kind in Spain, and the early returns have been tremendous.
Studying OpenSCAD for designing, and building a MakerBot Thing-O-Matic (named Madre) for printing, students have been looking at how to create and improve upon robotic mechanisms. Inspired by items on Thingiverse, the students have been printing their designs for over three months, eight hours per day, and to date, have gone through over 12kg of plastic! They have even been using it more than their industrial 3D printer. Professor Valero summed it up pretty well: “THIS IS PLASTIC VALLEY.”
You can see a sampling of their work on Thingiverse, under the tag, UC3M. One of the more challenging projects for now and for the future has been to take obijuan‘s MiniSkyBot and make adjustments to make it capable of moving through a sand box.
After a successful introduction to 3D design and printing, the university will soon be expanding to include even more classes, and MakerBots! One class in particular, “Designing and Printing of Mechanical Parts with Open Source Tools’ for the Robotics and Automation Master program looks very promising. Based on what we’ve seen so far, we have high hopes for the program’s future!
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