Established in 1867 and located in Bielefeld, the Bodelschwingh Foundation Bethel (the Bethel Foundation for short) is now one of the largest diaconal organizations in Europe that treats, supports, and advises more than 230,000 people every year at over 280 places (primarily the vocational college, KBK Bethel, and vocational training center, BBW Bethel) across Germany.
Figure 1. The vocational college (KBK Bethel) in Bielefeld
3D Software Is Needed for Better Teaching and Learning Experiences
According to the head of the Technology/Natural Sciences department at KBK Bethel, Mr. Michael Harting, there are about 60 students who study metal technologies (metal construction/cutting mechanics) every term. The courses last 2.5 years and cover subjects including production technologies, assembly technologies, maintenance, automation technologies, information technologies, and CNC technologies. Usually, one-third of the students would go on to practice at BBW Bethel after completing their courses.
As for BBW Bethel, “It’s where young people with epilepsy or other brain-organic disorders plant and grow the seeds of their careers. Here, we provide training for 18 occupations of 5 vocational fields, and the apprenticeship takes about 3 and a half years,” said Mr. Dietmar Lübbers, the Metal Technologies instructor, “Mr. Harting and I want to impart our knowledge and experience in mechanical engineering to more students, but it was hard without a proper 3D program, although options abound.”
ZW3D Paves the Way to a Bright Future by Linking Theory with Practice
To ensure the quality of courses, the teachers have four main requirements for the 3D software they use in class: a) suitable for the introduction to the field of technical design; b) easier to manipulate and create technical files; c) beneficial to spatial imagination; d) able to combine practice and theory so that students can cope with vocational tasks with the knowledge of graphical representation acquired.
Luckily, ZW3D came into their sight in 2017. When they turned to GAIN Software GmbH (one of ZWSOFT’s German partners, GAIN for short) about their urgent need for 3D CAD software but lacking financial resources, GAIN immediately decided to donate ZW3D Premium licenses together with initial training to both institutes on behalf of ZWSOFT.
As both teachers observe, ZW3D meets all the needs. “ZW3D is so versatile that it alone can help us introduce the basics of steel construction, sheet metal, assembly, etc. in a vivid way. Plus, its interface and commands are very intuitive. Our classes often involve the creation of features, steel structures, sheet metal, and their 2D drawings with dimensions, and ZW3D is totally up to par,” Mr. Lübbers praised.
Figure 2. ZW3D plays a part in the vocational training at BBW Bethel
Moreover, Mr. Harting added, “From my perspective, the possibility of 2D/3D perspective change in ZW3D helps my students develop their spatial imagination ability. All in all, with ZW3D, my students can acquire knowledge in the field of 3D graphical representation to cope with work assignments in future vocational life.”
Figure 3. Mr. Harting teaching with ZW3D at KBK Bethel
Now that ZW3D is present in class, students participate more actively in project tasks, can better visualize details, and thus, solve the tasks in a more effective way. Also, they have a sense of achievement since ZW3D can help implement the tasks graphically and then produce their works according to the drawings.
Figure 4. Models created by students with ZW3D
Figure 5. 2D drawings created by students with ZW3D
Keep Promoting the Learning and Working of People with ZW3D
At Bethel, they have the vision, “healthy or sick, disabled or not - all people in their diversity can live, learn, and work together”. For over 150 years, the Bethel Foundation has been standing by whoever needs help, support, or assistance. And they will continue promoting the natural coexistence, the common learning and working of all people in their diversity with ZW3D.
(Images courtesy of the Bethel Foundation, ©proWerk/Berufsbildungswerk Bethel)