Augmented reality and 3D printing from Sintratec create an immersive learning experience


Educators are constantly looking for new teaching methods to implement in the classroom to keep students engaged and reduce the monotony of learning. And what better way to keep students’ attention than to incorporate exciting new technologies like 3D printing and augmented reality (AR)? This idea is precisely the essence of Sintratec’s new filing cabinet project with the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). Specialized in selective laser sintering (SLS), Sintratec is one of the leading manufacturers of 3D printers in Switzerland. Printer manufacturer SLS worked with group research associate Jonas Christen Knowledge visualization at the ZHdK and together they were able to produce immersive educational materials in augmented reality.

With the risk that the students will be completely captivated by the AR aspect, to keep everyone on the task Christen mentioned, “A pure AR application carries the risk that students will be distracted by fascination with the medium and absorb little information. This is why AR technology is associated with an analog workbook. Although similar hybrid AR educational tools already exist in the market, the introduction of 3D printed supplements could reduce the cost of acquiring these types of educational tools.


The AR-completed workbook teaches students about the digital workflow of modern archaeology.

3D printed archaeological replica

This filing cabinet project centers on an ancient bronze archaeological object, a “chain divider”, which was more than likely used as an adornment for horses. The binder replica was 3D printed with PA12 nylon on the Sintratec S2 system. “Sintratec technology makes it possible to reproduce in the smallest detail the extremely fine aspects of the object. The precision, robustness and haptics of the SLS print were important factors for us.“, explained Christen. Interestingly, similar to an archaeological dig in the field, once the replica is printed, it undergoes post-processing and is depowdered in Sintratec S2.

Using AR glasses, students experience each step of the archaeological process in three dimensions via an animation on the surface of the workbook. in order to better understand the approach of the archaeologist. This particular workbook supplement is a historical find that dates back to 400 BC and discovered in 2014 on the Uetliberg mountain near Zurich. This highly complex ancient artifact has been reproduced and provides a hands-on learning experience thanks to technological advances in 3D printing, and in particular the fine detail that can be achieved using SLS technology. “The 3D-printed reconstruction serves as a visual object for students to experience the dimensions of the find, but can also provide archaeologists with new information about its possible use., said Christen. You can read more about this project HERE.

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Photo credits: Sintratec


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