Infusing 3D Printing into Construction Management Curricula to Educate Future Workforce of its Application Conference

Pradhananga, P, Elzomor, M, Rahat, R. (2022). Infusing 3D Printing into Construction Management Curricula to Educate Future Workforce of its Application .

cited authors

  • Pradhananga, P; Elzomor, M; Rahat, R


  • 3D printing has evolved over the years to the point where full-sized industrial-scale printers are printing small-scale models of occupiable houses. Some of the benefits of industrial 3D printing are the feasibility to develop affordable cookie-cut housing, rapid work completion, reduced margin of error, and minimal waste production. With the increase of homelessness and lack of low-income housing in the U.S. and worldwide, there is a pressing need to leverage our technological innovations to serve such communities by offering affordable and sustainable housing equitably. 3D printing is one of those solutions which has the potential to meet the challenging intricate requirements associated with design, materials, sustainability, construction methods, and maintenance/operation. Despite that civil engineering and construction management (CM) curricula do not often integrate 3D printing as a tool to tackle designing and building affordable housing, it is critical to incorporate such emerging technology within the construction curricula to prepare our future workforces. This goal of the study highlights the need for and importance of 3D printing in the construction domain and how it can be used as a valuable tool to construct affordable housing. To achieve this goal, the study pursued twofold approaches: 1) implementing an educational module within undergraduate and graduate courses followed by discussion sessions; and (2) surveying students to capture motivation, interest, team working skills, knowledge acquisition, experiences, and expectations about 3D printing technology. The study utilized box plots and an ordered probit regression model to analyze the obtained data. The results indicate that many CM students lack skills and knowledge in 3D printed building construction technology, but almost 98% of students showed positive interest to learn more about 3D printing technology in a complete course, which currently, if offered in some programs, is optional and part of the elective courses. The ordered probit regression analysis indicates that the implemented module is effective to increase students' interest in 3D printing technological skills. Additionally, the results also demonstrated that students with lower level of skills in robotic machine operation, data preparation, and programming skills as well as those who currently work in the construction industry are more likely to be inclined towards developing skills and knowledge in 3D printing technology. The findings benefit both academics and industry stakeholders to better inform engineering and construction curriculum.

publication date

  • August 23, 2022