3D Printing Enhances Experience for Mechatronics Trainees

The Mechatronics program at the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center has now integrated three dimensional (3D) printing

Chute Assembly

Whitlow and Langley’s chute assembly made of paper beside the 3D printed prototype.

into its Level 2 Mechatronics program. With the addition of this technology, trainees can quickly and easily apply classroom concepts into real-world project challenges.

By using 3-D modeling, trainees can apply their knowledge in CAD to design and build an object that can be used in a project. Mechatronics trainees Tyler Whitlow and Caleb Langley had an opportunity to do this on a recent class project.

While working on a piece of manufacturing equipment, the trainees discovered a need to redesign a loading chute for one of the machine’s key components. After fabricating the chute using paper to prove their design would work, the trainees were able to use the SVHEC’s new Prusa MK3 3D printer to build the part out of plastic. Within minutes, Whitlow and Langley had a 3D printed part to insert into their design and test. The use of 3D printing allowed the trainees to quickly move their idea from theory to testing, enhancing their in-class experience and eliminating trial and error.

Learn more about the Mechatronics program: About Mechatronics or call 434-572-5473.

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