3D printing teaches university students a different way of thinking

Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen, is located in the vibrant student city of Groningen. Applied research and innovation is highly integrated in their academic programmes. In addition to this Hanze UAS has various modern facilities on campus to offer its students. In one of the studios, however, there is a Delta printer that prints physical objects nearly all day long.

Entrepreneurship is inextricably attached to the practice-based approach which is characteristic for higher education. Hanze UAS is in constant contact with companies and institutions which they collaborate with, focusing on education and research. Thanks to the printer from Tractus3D, students are introduced to a different way of thinking in their degree program.

Challenge and solution

Impact on development

For example, two students developed different prototypes of an artificial heart for their virtual reality simulation for practicing chest compressions. The 3D printer enabled the students to develop the artificial heart themselves, without a budget. Jan Postema, teaching assistant at the school, points out how great an impact such an activity has on the development of a student: “3D printing requires a different way of thinking. The problem-solving abilities are trained in-depth.”

Big learnings, little effort

Being able to work independently with the printer is important for the learning path of students. This is possible because the Tractus3D Delta printer has a low susceptibility to interference and is easy to handle. Postema: “It is almost always on. We actually haven’t seen any downtime since the printer was put into use, which is also because the Tractus3D printer can be switched off instantly in case anything problematic happens.”

Learning method of the future

Although few SCMI students will have to deal with 3D printing in their professional practice, they will come to work in a world that is slowly being transformed by 3D printing. Thanks to the Tractus3D printer, the communication strategists and media makers of the future are already familiar with the world in which they will soon be working.


  • Students are free to make mistakes so that they are able to learn, as the materials used are not expensive.
  • Students are able to stay on top of the latest technologies by having 3D printing implemented in their degree program.