Preparing students for Industry 4.0

The skills university graduates need to be workplace ready are changing, says Dremel

With the economies of the world gearing towards the next industrial revolution – a rapid economic change driven by dramatic progress in science and technology – the next generation of young people entering the workplace will need to be familiar with a raft of new ground-breaking technologies.

One of these technologies is 3D printing.

Although relatively new to most of us, 3D printing is already a well-established industrial technology used in a range of sectors, from aerospace and consumer goods to medicine. It is already changing the medical profession with 3D printing of bone, living tissue and organs now increasingly common. Over the next decade we will see the benefits of rapid prototyping and production benefit further industries, from architecture to consumer goods.

The Bosch Group has been expanding its use of rapid prototyping, and this is an increasingly important element in our manufacturing, such that we are training engineers from all of our divisions to exploit the possibilities at our Center for Competence in 3D printing in Schwieberdingen, Germany.

Moreover, we fully expect 3D printing to become central to full-scale production in the coming years, changing the manufacturing industry beyond recognition.

Our hope is that with 3D printing being increasingly used in universities, that tomorrow’s employees will come ready with the skills and knowledge they need to thrive in tomorrow’s Industry 4.0.

Safe, hands-on 3D technology experiences inspire and engage students – 10 out of 14 students prefer teaching via experimental methods.

Those universities that aren’t already familiarising their students with this technology are not equipping them to meet the needs of the 21st Century workplace.

Higher education friendly

As the speed, scale and range of applications of 3D printing has expanded so has the accessibility of the machines. Today it is possible to buy a 3D printer that combines simplicity of use and reliability with the capacity to produce advanced designs at a price that universities can afford.

The Dremel Digilab 3D45 is just such a printer. The printer is easy to use, has advanced safety features and comes with a suite of software created specifically for students.

Unlike other 3D printers, the 3D45 has been tailored for use in universities to allow students to bring their creative visions to life. Turn on the 3D45 and it is ready to go, with intuitive instructions and a construction that can cope with hours of continuous use.

The 3D45’s unique fully enclosed see-through chamber means that students can safely watch as their design takes shape. Meanwhile two integrated filter systems protect users from dust and fumes released during the printing process.

Importantly, the printer can also use four different types of filament that work for beginners through to more advanced users, including an environmentally friendly, plant-based plastic, PLA. And the printer’s integrated camera means students and tutors can monitor multiple printers from anywhere.

Eric Schmidt, Director of the College Engineering Makerspace at the University of Illinois-Chicago says “Our printers in the College of Engineering makerspace have about 800 hours of use per unit, totalling 4,000 hours of printing. Dremel printers can stand up to the constant flow of students making parts for their projects.”

Workplace ready

3D printers are a vital learning tool for students studying everything from engineering, architecture and design through to science and maths.

They serve a dual function helping young people develop the skills they will need in the modern world, where 3D printing is a tool used in many industries from engineering to healthcare, and as a teaching aid that helps bring lessons to life.

Universities and students have the opportunity to make a difference with Dremel.

Find out more at dremel3D.com