A new dimension of teaching and learning will soon begin at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ), through the use of full colour 3D printing in its course offerings.
In a landmark project for Australian higher education, archaeology students will examine and identify 3D replica specimens, produced by Ellipsis Media, USQ’s Print Services business unit. Ellipsis Media uses its 3D Systems Projet 660Pro printer, as well as the Artec Eva, Structure Sensor and the NextEngine Ultra HD laser scanners.
USQ archaeology lecturer, professor Bryce Barker, said it is part of a new course next year, called ‘Archaeological Laboratory Methods: Analysis and Interpretation’, identifying components from archaeological records.
Professor Barker said through 3D printing technologies, students studying by distance could receive the same hands-on experience as students on-campus, essential for the successful learning of this course.
This project is an outcome of USQ’s ICT Technology Demonstrators Project.
USQ vice-chancellor and president, professor Jan Thomas, said the Technology Demonstrators Project was designed as a platform for staff and students to discover and explore the capability and potential of innovative technologies in a learning and teaching context.
“Technology Demonstrators are looking into the classroom of the future.”
“We continuously seek to explore and drive innovative, evidence-based approaches to the facilitation and delivery of learning and teaching so that all our students receive quality learning experiences and graduate as pioneering connected professionals,” she said.
She added that there have been a number of successful Technology Demonstrator Projects such as virtual animal dissection, teaching space evolution, and educational applications of robotics and 3D printing; as well as various app and e-book innovations.
Ellipsis Media manager, Robert Keanalley, said with archaeology, anthropology and museum specimens, its technology can non-invasively laser scan objects ranging in size from five centimeters, up to the size of a passenger car.
“It’s perfect for capturing specimens imbedded in rock that traditional methods of plaster casting for replication may otherwise damage or destroy the original relic,” Keanalley added.