1. Eric Wooldridge
  2. Professor
  4. Somerset Community College
  1. Samantha Godsey
  2. https://www.linkedin.com/in/scgodsey
  3. Project Manager
  5. Somerset Community College

Additive Manufacturing: Expanding Futures in Appalachia

NSF Awards: 1600081

2019 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades K-6, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Undergraduate, Adult learners

Although many schools and colleges now have 3D printers, more often than not, this equipment is poorly utilized in comparison to its true potential.  Too many users are unaware of the transition that is occurring in the additive manufacturing (AM) industry and the number of next-gen products that currently being developed.  Likewise, too few understand that to fully unleash the power of this technology, the user must have a different mindset and learn to solve their problems from a completely new direction. 

The AMEFA (Additive Manufacturing: Expanding Futures in Appalachia) project at Somerset Community College (SCC) resulted in K-12 STEM teacher training and accredited curriculum that broke through the mold of how 3D printers were utilized.  The project exposed students and teachers alike to the industrial realities of AM and the game changing power it is bringing to entrepreneurs, businesses, and even consumers.  The curriculum teaches students how to rethink their approach to making something they need in the most efficient way possible.  How to apply different materials to different situations.  To virtually grow a design solution to fit a problem parameter.  Utilize free software and cloud based repositories of free files to save time and continuously innovate beyond what is existing.  To think like an entrepreneur and to create next-gen products that defy conventional thought.  Resulting in students that are more aware of their personal potential and their ability to utilize AM technology not only for their own benefit, but also for the benefit of those around them.   

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