3D Printing to enhance design practice

Banner image illustrating 3D printing

Prototyping and design practice are very necessary skills for engineers in the workplace. 3D printing is now an affordable technology that allows students to create and have manufactured designs which can then be tested, redesigned and retested to (hopefully) show improvement.  It also enables a practical introduction to the importance of scale and scale-up (model testing) which can then link through simulation work to further enhance the potential learning. By careful selection of groups and design space, a large area can be covered, which would then allow the students to share data and so have simulation and model results at different scales and conditions.  This would then also expose the students to handling large data sets, and the technical skills required for this.

A new introduction to design practice enhancing the student experience was achieved and integrated into a changed First Year.

The created lab helps to generate a broad range of skills which target key areas of employability (team work, problem solving etc).

The experienced created generates a greater appreciation of the importance of experimental design and handling of large data.

The lab and exercises provide experience using 3D printing technology, particularly for prototyping and test/redesign.

Project Category:

Alternative modes of delivery

Funding Allocated:


Funding stream:

Education Enhancement Fund


Dr Phil Robbins, School of Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering and Physical Sciences (p.t.robbins@bham.ac.uk)


For more information, contact the projects office on hefi.projects@contacts.bham.ac.uk, quoting reference CSLP098.