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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
- Exploring Students' E-Textbook Practices in Higher Education
July 6, 2015
Key Takeaways A two-year university-wide study of students' e-textbook practices found that e-textbook use has increased and become broader demographically. Lower cost …
- Students' Mobile Learning Practices in Higher Education: A Multi-Year Study
June 22, 2015
Key Takeaways Two university-wide surveys about students' mobile technology ownership and learning practices show that mobile device ownership is high and continues …
- 7 Things You Should Know About Visual Literacy
March 9, 2015
Visual literacy is the ability to recognize and critically appreciate meaning in visual content and to use visual elements to create effective communication. Visualizations often provide better w…
- Making a Difference: Moving Your Organization from Transactional to Transformational
March 16, 2015
Key Takeaways A reallocation of budget and resources in Bucknell University's Library and Information Technology division enabled a shift from transactional functions to tra…
- Prior Learning Assessment & Competency-Based Education
March 25, 2015
“What can you do with what you know?” Competency-based educatio…
- Get More “Tech” from Your Learning Technologies
March 23, 2015
Author: Judith A. Pirani Focusing on outcomes from NGLC’s Building Blocks for College Readiness initiative, guest blogger Judith Pirani explores how learning technologies ca…
- Instructor Engagement with E-Texts
February 23, 2015
Key Takeaways This case study of Indiana University's e-text initiative reports on the participation levels and motivations of instructors in engaging with digital textbooks…
- Assessing the Impact and Efficacy of the Open-Access ChemWiki Textbook Project
January 27, 2015
Rapidly rising costs, including the cost of textbooks, impede access to higher education for many students, particularly among underserved and at-risk populations. The STEMWiki Hyperlibrary w…
- The Texas Digital Library: A Model Collaboration
January 12, 2015
Key Takeaways The Texas Digital Library is a consortium of 20 institutions that offers its members virtual storage and data access , along with long-term preservation of d…
- Study of Students and Information Technology, 2014
October 30, 2014
For the 2014 student techology use study, ECAR also collaborated with 213 institutions to collect responses from 75,306 undergraduate students about their technology experiences. Key F…