Ultimaker, the University of Illinois and Coursera announced a partnership in which Ultimaker will assist the development of a series of online courses on 3D printing.
According to the press release, the material will be comprised of four “cohesive” courses:
- An overview of 3D Printing and its revolutionary potential
- An examination of 3D Printing’s applications across a variety of industries
- An in-depth exploration of 3D design software
- An investigation of how 3D printers are made and how they operate
These will lead to an official “specialization” certification from Coursera.
For Coursera, this is a big thing. Why? Well, it turns out that many other online training course services seem to already have something on 3D printing. A quick check reveals 3D print course material of some type at KhanAcademy, Udemy, Alison and Lynda.com. Some others do not yet have 3D printing, although there are some that specialize in coding that would likely not include 3D printing in their curriculums anyway.
For Ultimaker, it’s also a good idea: they can count on more people gaining awareness of - and perhaps even competence of - 3D printing technologies. It’s also possible they may use their own software and equipment in the courses, which may lead to increased brand awareness of anyone taking the course in the future.
For the University of Illinois, this provides another method of deploying 3D print knowledge to students and potential students worldwide. It will also assist in the effective use of their brand new MakerLab, which just happens to be freshly equipped with 17 new Ultimakers.
For everyone else, it’s yet another good idea. The more people know about 3D printing, the better. The more ways one can know about 3D printing, the better. This is another way.
But alas, these courses have not yet been developed; the two companies have merely announced an intention to do so, and there is no date yet set for release of the material. But keep watch; we trust Ultimaker to get the job done.