At Boston University, complex engineering concepts start early, and creating a good foundation for learning requires exposure to theory and application. After assessing the curriculum, the engineering faculty at Boston University realized something was missing. “We were providing a good theoretical engineering education,” said Gerry Fine, director of EPIC and engineering professor at Boston University. “But we weren’t providing sufficient practical, hands-on experience.” The university’s solution was to create a collaborative, practical engineering class that all engineering students must take by their sophomore year.
To accommodate the 450 engineering students taking the class, Boston University
created the 20,000 square foot Engineering Product Innovation Center (EPIC),
equipped to handle the constant workload, including multiple FDM and PolyJet 3D printers. “We’re running a thousand students a year through the facility right
now. It’s not buried in a basement, it’s become an integral part of the curriculum,”
Kara Mogenson, laboratory supervisor at EPIC.
“3D printing allows students to iterate quickly, and learn the skills needed to prototype their designs.”
Aleks Zosuls, Boston University