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University makes learning future-proof.

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.

Learning in a way that was never possible before

Higher education is known to have an approach that is underpinned by a hands-on approach that helps to grow entrepreneurialism. This approach is boosted by the fact that Hanze UAS liaises with large companies and institutions, where education and research are put together to help make a difference. Therefore, the printer provided by Tractus3D is enabling student to alter the way in which they study, enhancing their knowledge and allowing them to learn in a way that has never been possible before.

Experiencing the benefits of this relatively new technology

As the 3D printing technology has become more and more accessible and mainstream, it has enabled Hanze UAS to adopt it. This has made it possible for them to experience the benefits of this relatively new technology, of which they are becoming more evident as time passes. It has grown in popularity with undergraduate students right through to post-graduates as well as professors and so. Universities are now finding new ways in how they could benefit from this growing technology and how 3D printing can complement the work that they carry out.

Challange and solution

Finding Solutions for Medical Problems through 3D Printing

One of the greatest benefits of 3D printing within Hanze University is that it can be used in multiple areas such as natural science and medicine. It is particularly beneficial for the Biotechnology and Biomedical Engineering field. Through using 3D printers, they have the ability to create human tissues in order to help gain a greater understanding of the human body.
They also have the ability to create assistive devices that can help occupations and physical therapy programs proving that the technology is enabling the university to overcome challenges that the medical industry has faced since the beginning of the medical revolution. Practice-based learning through 3D printing makes it possible for students to apply what they have learnt in the classroom to real-life situations. This can help to enhance their learning ability while also helping to create a new wave of treatments that can have a positive effect on the lives of others.
A prime example of this is the creation of different prototypes of an artificial heart by two students. This enabled them to use a virtual reality simulation so that they could practice chest compressions.
The Teaching assistant at the school, Jan Postema, made it clear just how much of an impact this technology can have on the way in which a student develops: “3D printing requires a different way of thinking. The problem-solving abilities are trained in-depth”.

Creating a new wave of research

Within the university, 3D printing has enriched research projects, creating advances that have made it possible for student to test methods that relate to the areas in which they study. It has enabled them to deal with complex problems as they can now get closer to reality than they have ever been able to, paving the way to new findings and improved research.
Using 3D scanning and 3D printing, students have been able to create large-scale reproduction of many different subjects. This improves their level of understanding and enhances enthusiasm but also helps the university to deliver research that is advanced beyond anything that has ever been seen.
Effectively, the ability to work independently with the 3D printer can enhance learning with minimal effort. The Tractus 3D delta printer makes all of this possible because it has a low susceptibility to interference and is simple to handle and operate. Postema said, “It is almost always on. We actually haven’t seen any downtime since the printer was put in use, which is also because the Tractus 3D printer can be switched off instantly in case anything problematic happens. This encourages experimentation and collaboration to levels where results and findings can increase tenfold.”

Taking architectural designs to new levels

The university has always had a problem of dealing with the complex geometries of architecture but 3D printing is making it possible for students to create new and unconventional architectural designs. They now have the ability to move through the design process in a more affordable and efficient way. 3D printing gives them the freedom to consider other possibilities and explore their imaginations to create a wide range of scale models that can then be presented and communicated to their fellow students and professors.

The accessibility of art is enhanced

Art and design within the university has also benefitted from 3D printing. While they have the ability to create new art forms using 3D printing, they can also look at new and innovative ways to make art more accessible to the public. They have the ability to create smaller versions of famous sculptures, enabling them to see the intricate workings while it also makes it possible for those living with disabilities to experience art through their senses such as touch. This is taking information and education to the masses and bringing it down to a completely new level.

Making Learning Futureproof

This case study has highlighted just a small part of what is a very large picture of the fast moving world of 3D printing and how it can be implemented into study within universities. Tractus 3D printers are part of this revolution and are helping Hanze UAS to alter the way in which students learn and think. Learning at the university has been enriched and innovation is encouraged. This is technology that will change lives and help students to become pioneers of the future.
Although not all 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 makers of the future are now already more familiar with this reality.

Students of Hanze university


  • 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.
  • It has made complex research missions possible
  • It makes learning futureproof
  • Big learnings, minimal effort
Students working on a 3D printed drone
Example of a 3D printed object which was made by the University students