BigRep, a manufacturer of large format 3D printers and one of Jacky’s Business Solutions’ vendors, regularly releases e-books on how some of the big names in the manufacturing (and other) sectors uses their technology to their advantage. The latest e-book showcases how the Aix-Marseille Université aerospace facility’s technology-enhanced degree program is made possible with BigRep’s large-format additive manufacturing systems.
Aix-Marseille Université, one of the largest universities in France with 80,000 students, has developed unique accredited degree programs in aerospace engineering and maintenance by combining two novel technologies: large-format additive manufacturing and virtual reality.
Xavier Bonnardel, a doctor of aeronautics, a professor at the University of Aix-Marseille, as well is the founder and director of Aix-Marseille’s technical aeronautical training school, Polyaero. In 2016, Bonnardel helped establish its aeronautical formation center in a 2500 m2 specialized facility for the technologically advanced Polyaero programs. Students from all over the world enroll in the exclusive program every year, drawn by the modern tools it uses to provide a unique hands-on education, a BigRep industrial 3D printer among them.
Polyaero decided that to have a mixed reality program that truly enables virtual learning, the parts students are working with must be as close to the real thing as possible. Here is where BigRep’s large-format additive manufacturing systems have shined. With their part copies printed on a BigRep 3D printer, Polyaero’s students save an abundance of time that would otherwise be wasted creating mockups, work with copies that match a real part’s dimensions, and are sturdily manufactured with BigRep’s affordable PLA filament. Because of the parts’ added strength, Polyaero’s students are even able to include weights that further serve the realistic illusion they’ve created.
As added value, the students working with Polyaero are gaining valuable experience with 3D printing technology and CAD software – an important tool in the modern aerospace industry. “with this generation of students, we didn’t have any problem,” Bonnardel said when asked how students have been getting along with the integration of this new technology. “For them there is no problem.”