Jul 15, 2016 | By Alec

Back in April, Russia again emphasized their commitment to space exploration when launching a student-made 3D printed microsatellite into space. Called the Tomsk-TPU-120, it will be exploring the viability small 3D printed spacecraft, and was made by a student team from the Russian Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) – the oldest technical university on the eastern side of the Urals. Those efforts have clearly made a positive impact at TPU, as the university just announced that they will launch a special 3D printing master’s program next fall.

This new specialized course was just announced by TPU Executive Secretary of Admission Board Vitaly Drobchik, who revealed that they will be focusing on 3D printing in all shapes and sizes – from metal 3D printing to 3D printer construction and material development. “We will educate professionals in the areas of engineering design and will determine operation modes for the equipment to enable plug-and-play 3D printing, straight out of the computer,” Drobchik said. “Furthermore, we will train specialists that can develop specialized 3D printers for very specific tasks.”

According to the Executive Secretary, the Tomsk Polytechnic University is also particularly suitable for this program. TPU has specialists, he said, who are competent in developing equipment and materials that are suitable for additive manufacturing technologies. This is particularly emphasized by the success of the Tomsk-TPU-120.

What’s more, the course is already in demand. The first students will soon be able to enroll, but there are only 10 state-funded places available at the moment. Drobchik further revealed that there’s already a demand for 3D printing specialists among Russian enterprises. “Such specialists are required in the Russian aerospace industry to deal with the development of space applications. Academic institutes in the area, and Tomsk’s high tech industry are interested in such specialists too,” he said.

The Executive Secretary further revealed that the course is fully in line with the standards of TPU, and will hopefully result in more achievements similar to the Tomsk-TPU-120 – which is currently aboard the ISS waiting for its launch. But aside from more 3D printed satellites, TPU hopes to create a 3D printer for use in zero gravity conditions and other aerospace applications.

But the medical world is on their radar as well. Less well publicized was the university’s achievements in powder-based SLS 3D printing for medical implants, and they hope to expand in that field as well. In particular, they are looking at bionic prostheses to be made with Russian 3D printers – which would require more hardware breakthroughs. TPU is, in short, working hard to become a key hub in the Russian 3D printing community.



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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