Development of a mentorship program between upper-class and first-year engineering students through 3D printing

Charlotte Marr de Vries, Jill Johnson, Brian Lani

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This work-in-progress paper describes the starting implementation of a mentorship program between senior mechanical engineering students and first-year pre-major engineering students at Penn State Erie, the Behrend College. In EDSGN 100-Introduction to Engineering Design, first-year students are asked to create a prototype for their design using 3D printing. In the first implementation of the project, only 2 teams out of 12 were able to produce a successful 3D print on their first attempt. In order to increase the success of the 3D printing, a mentorship program was developed between mechanical engineering students taking an additive manufacturing lab as a technical elective and first-year engineering students. Prior to submitting a design for printing, the first-year student teams were required to submit it to their assigned mentor, who provided feedback on the design. In the first semester (fall 2018), only student teams in the honors section of the EDSGN course were partnered with senior mentors. In the following semesters, this mentorship program was offered to all students in the first-year course. Over these pilot semesters, the mentorship demonstrated a positive working relationship between freshman and seniors which taught valuable lessons on technical limitations of 3D printers and tolerancing, the importance of communication between engineering teams, and time management skills.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number492
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 22 2020
Event2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference, ASEE 2020 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Jun 22 2020Jun 26 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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