We started as the first business school based MakerLab in early 2013 and have had thousands of students, faculty,staff, community members, small businesses, and corporates learn about ‘making’. We have had over 21,000 hours of printing done in the lab, and were lucky to get a new year gift of new printers with our partnership with Ultimaker. We have had a few new partners support our lab in 2015, notable among them being Autodesk and Caterpillar .
We held over a 100 workshops in 2015, held our first high school robotics and 3D printing workshop in summer, and supported the MakerGirls run another 80 workshops for encouraging girls age 7-11 consider careers in STEM. We had our first conference on 3D printing in Fall, with presentations by industry leaders and academics. We are also welcoming several new Guru’s to the Lab in Spring, and they are the ones who deserve the credit for our achievements. Finally, we are offering two new sessions of the full semester courses on Making Things and Digital Making to our campus students.
However, our courses/workshops and our outreach are constrained by the physical space we have at the lab and what a few of us can do in terms of outreach. To address this constraint, we are taking 3D Printing and Modeling education online, to the world.
The University of Illinois has been an innovator in the Massive Open Online Education space, with several courses on ‘tap’ or on demand 24×7. The College of Business has launched the Online MBA, and we have had great success with our first offering in Digital Marketing. The first course in the series “Marketing in a Digital World” was ranked in the top 10 courses on Coursera for 2015.
We decided to use this platform for spreading 3D Printing and Modeling to the world. We are fortunate to have Ultimaker as a partner for the course on Hardware and Autodesk for the course on Software. The two co-founders of the lab, Aric Rindfleisch and Vishal Sachdev, will be offering the first two courses exploring the 3D Printing revolution and applications, followed by Jeff Smith @Autodesk for the course on Software or 3D Modeling covering sketchbook (for 2D sketching), tinkercad and Fusion 360( for 3d Modeling). Matt Griffin from Ultimaker will lead the hardware course, where students will learn about how the technology works, and even learn how to assemble/teardown 3D printers, if they are interested. These four courses will be followed by a capstone project, where students will apply their learning to ‘make’ something digitally. We will be partnering up with 3D hubs, to provide our learners access to over 25,000 printers globally, and shapeways.
We are building this innovative corporate/academic partnership to deliver an online course, that also allows users to bring their ideas to life as physical objects. Stay tuned for updates. Subscribe to our mailing list below to get early sneak peek or stay in touch on Facebook or Twitter to get notifications when we launch. If you would like to know more about this #3dPrinting #MOOC, send us an email at UIMakerLab AT Illinois DOT edu.