Design and Assessment of an AM Vending Machine for Student Use
Due to prohibitive costs, access to Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies at academic institutions tends to be limited to upper-level courses that feature significant project-based coursework, such as capstone design. However, with the decreasing cost of desktop-scale AM technology, there is potential to improve student access to such technologies throughout a student’s undergraduate career, and thus provide more opportunities for AM education. In this poster, the authors present the design and implementation of an AM “vending machine” that is powered by desktop-scale extrusion-based AM systems. The resulting machine allows for unrestricted student use of AM equipment, and thus provides ample opportunity for informal learning regarding AM. The results of a formal assessment of student use of the machine are presented.