Ultimaker, the University of Illinois, and Coursera are partnering to create 3D printing content for massive open online courses (MOOCs).
Ultimaker, a manufacturer and developer of 3D printers, will be using the Coursera online education platform to host the tutorials within a course by the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.
According to Julian Horsey of Geeky Gadgets, the series of four tutorials will include an overview of 3D printing, an examination of the technology's possible applications in a variety of fields, an exploration of 3D design software that can be used to make models that can then be printed, and an investigation of how 3D printers work and how they are made.
The tutorials will be included in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's course Marketing in a Digital World, which is the first part of the six-course specialization in Digital Marketing.
The specialization explores topics that may not be covered in more traditional marketing courses, like digital marketing analytics and search engine optimization, in addition to 3D printing. The specialization's goal is to help students "digitally create, distribute, promote, and price products and services." It was 2015's top coveted certificate on Coursera.
The Marketing in a Digital World course focuses on how our technological world shifts power from companies to their customers, and how tools like the internet, smartphones, and 3D printing are contributing to this trend. It's been rated among the Hottest Online Classes for Professionals in 2015.
The 3D printing content appears in module 3, Digital Tools for Effectively Distributing Your Products, along with a case study on Threadless. The three other modules focus on digital tools for developing innovative products, digital tools for persuading customers to buy your products, and digital tools for setting the right prices for your products.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign also offers similar courses like Digital Analytics for Marketing Professionals: Marketing Analytics in Practice, and Digital Marketing Channels: Planning.
TCT Magazine quoted Siert Wijnia, CTO and founder of Ultimaker:
Ultimaker's vision is to make 3D printing accessible to all and has been reflected in our open source printers and community inspired collaborations. With Coursera and the Illinois MakerLab, we are helping to optimize 3D printing courses that are available to everyone interested in digital making with our hands-on knowledge of 3D printing.
In honor of the partnership, Ultimaker will also be providing the Illinois MakerLab with 17 of its 3D printers, writes Kira of 3Ders, and sponsoring "Free Print Wednesdays" to allow students to have hands-on experience with the technology. The MakerLab, co-founded in 2013 by Dr. Aric Rindfleish and Dr. Vishal Sachdev, is the first 3D printing lab situated inside a business school.
Coursera has previously partnered with universities like Stanford, Princeton, and the University of Michigan to offer free online courses in virtually every subject from medicine to business. While courses are free and often self-paced, receiving credit per course or in a specialization requires a small fee.