UW-Madison offers a variety of courses in 3D printing and additive manufacturing. Course topics range from an introduction to CAD software, use of 3D modeling to solve manufacturing challenges, and introductions to additive manufacturing applications in a variety of transdisciplinary fields. Visit the Course Guide to search for courses.

UW Makerspace

The College of Engineering Makerspace provides University of Wisconsin engineering students, faculty, and staff with instructional content, workshops, and project support for rapid prototyping. Professional staff and trained students can assist and educate those engaged in work in the shop.

Topics in Biomedical Engineering
ME 603

Biomedical engineering is the application of engineering principles and design concepts to medicine and biology for healthcare purposes (e.g. diagnostic or therapeutic). Applications range from the development of biocompatible prostheses, various diagnostic and therapeutic medical devices, to optical imaging of bio-mechanical processes. Additive manufacturing technologies are becoming more common in biomedical research, for uses such as 3D-printed patient-specific prostheses and implants. In this course, various aspects of living systems of interest to mechanical engineers are discussed, and the students work on a project that involves 3D printing.

Manufacturing Fundamentals: Manufacturing Automation, Control and Engineering Economics
ME 314

In ME314 Manufacturing Fundamentals, custom 3D printers are utilized as a common platform to cover concepts in 3D printing, such as FDM, CAM/CNC, PLC programming, numeric PID control, Metrology, and Economics. Students will program printers utilizing the integrated PLCs/HMIs, build a closed loop temperature controller, write G-code to make the printer create a pattern, use a CAM tool to 3D print a part that can be measured with a variety of metrology tools, including a uCT. Manufacturing costs and machine amortization and depreciation exercises are evaluated and projected using the 3D printer.

Computer-Aided Engineering
ME 331

This is a junior-level course that introduces undergraduate engineering students to fundamental concepts in geometric modeling of engineering form, and computer-aided design of shapes, components, and assemblies, which are required for generating 3D models for printing. Lectures are complemented by the laboratory experience where students operate modern commercial computer-aided design systems to model and to learn the basics of engineering by 3D printing simple, functional models.

Digital Design and Manufacturing
ME 531

Providing students with an overview of methods and tools for creating digital geometric models, this course covers freeform curves, surfaces, and solid modeling. This course also includes elements required for additive manufacturing, such as design of support structures, slicing, and path planning. Students will get hands-on experience with CAD software, 3D printers, and 3D scanners.

Metal Additive Manufacturing
ME 964

This course, offered for the first time in Spring 2020, focus on metal additive manufacturing design, processes, technologies and applications.

Garage Physics

Garage Physics offers informal mini-classes in SolidWorks CAD and 3D printing. To be notified of Garage Physics events and classes, join Garage Physics and subscribe to the e-mail distribution list.

Design Project Courses
ME 349, ME 351, ME 352

These classes involve collaborative work in student groups to solve design problems. The students work on one project to design a practical mechanical engineering system, device or component. In addition to knowledge about project planning and other design problems, the students can use a variety of manufacturing methods to build their prototypes. Additive manufacturing is more and more the preferred technology in these courses.

Additive Manufacturing                                                     ME 449ME 514

Advances in materials, processes, and equipment have enabled additive manufacturing (AM) processes to evolve from prototyping to direct product manufacturing. Such rapid manufacturing capabilities revolutionize industries such as aerospace, defense, biomedical, jewelry and more. Understanding the advantages and limitations of AM technologies is important for developing new engineering systems and identifying emerging opportunities in developing products for mass customization. Since AM technologies are evolving almost daily, this course gives an overview of different technologies and provides tools to evaluate new developments. As part of the course, students work in groups to design and print a project, and the results are shared with the community in a blog. This course focuses on polymers.

Computer-Aided Geometric Design
ME 535

The ability to understand, construct and process three-dimensional geometric models on the computer is essential for many modern engineering fields, such as computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM), engineering simulation, biomedical imaging, robotics, computer vision, and computer graphics. This course focuses on CAGD techniques for modeling freeform curves and surfaces such as body shapes of ships, automobiles and aircrafts. Many consumer products as well as electronic devices are also designed with freeform aesthetic shapes.

Transport Phenomena in Polymer Processing
ME 417

This course describes the properties and behaviors of polymers as they relate to processing. Students will experiment with manufacturing processes such as extrusion, injection molding, blow molding, thermoforming, compression molding and additive manufacturing. Students also explore real-world implications of plastics recycling and environmental issues.

Tools for Prototyping and Manufacturing

An understanding of tools used in prototyping and manufacturing, and their underlying theory, is essential for building an understanding of modern manufacturing processes. Students will gain experience with a variety of tools including 3D printers, 3D scanners, thermoformers, CNC routers, welders, wood saws, mills, lathes, laser cutters, waterjets, machine tools, general electronics, microcontrollers and virtual reality.