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3D Printing, also known as additive manufacturing and in industrial circles as rapid prototyping, is the process of building an object using a machine that puts down material layer by layer until the desired object is formed. Such printers use specifications generated by computer modeling applications or by 3D scans of existing objects. This process of creating 3D models is much faster than many traditional methods of creating prototypes or replicas of existing objects, facilitating an innovative culture of learning in which students can quickly move from imagination to the production of a solid model
Explore this resource site—a collection of EDUCAUSE and other resources related to 3D Printing.
Articles, Papers, and Reports
- Trends in 3D Printing. In this presentation is from CNI's December 2014 member meeting, James King of NIH and Kathlin Ray of the University of Nevada, Reno, describe 3D printing programs at their institution's libraries and explore what's different about 3D printing as a service in a library.
- Making It Real: 3D Printing as a Library Service, EDUCAUSE Review Online, October 2014. This article details findings from a University of Nevada, Reno, project that indicate that higher education's need for 3D printing services could be both substantial and broad-based across disciplines.
- High-Tech Maker Spaces: Helping Little Startups Make It Big, NPR, All Tech Considered, April 2014. Maker spaces have become hotbeds of technological innovation and entrepreneurship. Governments, universities and big corporations are noticing and beginning to invest in them.
- Making Way for Maker Culture, Alan Labb and Elizabeth Neely, EDUCAUSE Review, March 2014.
- Horizon Report: 2014 Higher Education Edition, The NMC Horizon Project, January 2014. This report describes six areas of emerging technology that will have significant impact on higher education and creative expression over the next one to five years.
- Video Competition: 2014 Horizon Report, February 2014. Each video focuses on one or two of the six 2014 technologies listed in this year's report, including 3D Printers
- ELI’s 7 Things You Should Know About 3D Printing, contributor: Tim Owens (University of Mary Washington), July 2012.
- 10 Ways 3D Printing Can Be Used In Education [Infographic], TeachThought, February 2013.
- Made in the USA – American companies behind the rise of 3D printers, 3DPrinterPrices.net, July 2013.
- 3D Printing: Making the Virtual Real, A Michael Berman, October 2007.
Institutions using 3D Printers
- Case Western Reserve University's think[box]
- University of Illinois, MakerLab
- Missouri University of Science and Technology
- University of Southern California, Viterbi
Associations and Vendors
Library Items on this Topic
EDUCAUSE Library Items for 3D Printing
- IT Infrastructure Projects: A Framework for Analysis
July 15, 2014
Just as maintaining a healthy infrastructure of water delivery and roads is essential to the functioning of cities and towns, maintaining a healthy infrastructure of information technology is ess…
- Aligning IT with Institutional Strategy: Learning to Think in a New Language
March 19, 2013
A session at the Midwest Regional Conference
Aligning technology with institutional strategy is about technologists learning to think and act in the language of the institution's success. That means they need to understand how to measure…
- Knowledge Sharing: Some Myths and Ideas, and a Little IT
April 11, 2008
Today in many circles the mention of knowledge management conjures up fears of complex IT systems (often equated with failure) or a new initiative (often associated with vague requirements). How …
- The Place of Information Technology in Planning for Innovation
October 19, 2007
Â© 2007 Michael A. McRobbie EDUCAUSE Review , vol. 42, no. 6 (November/December 2007): 12–13 The Place of Information Technology in Planning for Innovation Michael A. M c …
- Designing the University of the Future
January 1, 2006
These authors identify transforming trends in society that are affecting the mission of universities, analyze the impact of those trends on the institutional and spatial structure of universities, …
- The Development of an Institutional IT Policy Process
March 18, 2008
A session at the EDUCAUSE Midwest Regional Conference 2008
The University of Wisconsin–Madison has developed a process for the life cycle of institutional IT policy that emphasizes the involvement of governance bodies, functional offices, campus departme…
- Determinants for Success and Failure of Educational Innovation Projects
October 20, 2004
A session at the EDUCAUSE 2004 Annual Conference
The Dutch Government places a premium on good use of information and communication technologies at all levels of education. This contribution will present the results of an in-depth study identifyi…