Mukesh Patel School of Technology Management and Engineering, Mumbai became the first Indian educational institution that received a grant from American giant GE’s Additive Education Programme. As a part of this grant, the college will receive two 3D printers, supporting software and STEAMtrax curriculum (integrates 3D printing technology with engineering).
Prof. Dhirendra Mishra, Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering who is the lead applicant of the grant, is delighted. So are his students who have been managing with only one 3D printer until now. “This will reduce the time that students have to wait to try out their designs on the printer. Many of our students took part in competitions by using their prototype designs on the printer. In fact, many students from other streams also use the 3D printer that we already have, and they are thrilled with the grant. A student from the school of Pharmacy created a 3D structured body implant as well,” Mishra says.
The college received the grant as a part of $8 million that GE has set aside for research at university level spread over five years. Prof Mishra submitted an exhaustive application across two rounds, to bag it. He intends to apply for the second round of grant that GE will kickstart in 2018, as well.
Apart from imparting practical knowledge to students and rising their enthusiasm levels, the printers will also give a push to the college’s research programme in additive manufacturing. “The new 3D Printing machine will give an impetus to our efforts at the School of Engineering to upgrade our curriculum that perfectly synchronises with the requirements of modern manufacturing industries,” says Dr. Asha Ingle who heads the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MPSTME.
Using the grant, the college intends to start new short-term courses in 3D printing technology. The college is confident that they will find many takers for the course as most of their own students have chosen it as an elective. “Tech-powered additive manufacturing has become very popular worldwide and it is an elective for our students. This year, around 80% of students opted for it,” says Mishra.
3D printing drives a design-powered engineering in manufacturing, Conventional forms of manufacturing has many limitations due to the inability of machinery to executive complicated designs. The printing methodology allows engineers to create highly complex structures which can change the course and quality of products, revolutionizing the manufacturing sector.