University Programs

3D-Printed Connections

Steel connection design and detailing is highly three-dimensional and can be difficult to visualize using two-dimensional graphics or photographs. Helping students develop an understanding of how connections are constructed is crucial for making informed decisions during the detailing and design processes.

This teaching aid contains files for producing 3D-printed connection models that can be used as classroom demonstrations. Each model has components that are approximately 3 in. to 6 in. long, and there are four different assemblies:

  • Connection 1: Beam-to-girder shear tab connection
  • Connection 2: Beam-to-column shear connections
  • Connection 3: Bolted-flange moment connection
  • Connection 4: End-plate moment connection

The instructions include talking points for the instructor, information about the 3D printing requirements and process, and tips for post-printing assembly. There are also photos of all four models and their individual components, as well as 3D digital models of the completed assemblies.

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Video Overview

Presented by the developer, this short video provides an overview of the models, as well as a discussion of best practices for implementation in a steel course.