Integration of 3D printing, scanning and reverse engineering technologies in VET
The Ikaslab project is framed within the areas of specialisation promoted by the Basque Government’s Vice-Ministry of Vocational Training, with the aim of developing knowledge in the area of 3 D printing technology, a cross-cutting technology owing to its multiple possibilities and applications in virtually all market sectors, and considered as strategic for the industry of the future.
While 3D printing has already been in existence for several decades, its use has been limited to prototyping in a niche, high-end consumer market. After the “boom” in the media 5-10 years ago, the use of additive manufacturing keeps growing in industry every year no less than 10%, and the sector continues developping new machines, applications and materials, and thus the possibility of reaching more sectors and to all types of businesses. This is even leading to social movements and forums on the internet, thanks to the freedom of design and the cost economy permitted by this technology, favouring the use of free hardware and software.
There are already 20 Ikaslab laboratories in Vocational Training centres and Tknika, characterised by being accessible independent classrooms for all training courses at each school. They have 3D printing equipment that firstly allows the practice, experimentation and domination of this technology for its subsequent use in the development of different projects. The project also intends to drive training and promote the use of 3D printing in companies in the field from Vocational Training centres.
Basically, this involves acquiring skills in the handling of machines and the attainment of knowledge of print materials and their applications, learning how to design parts for their manufacture in this technology, and combining 3D printing with scanning and reverse engineering.