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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
- 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
- Preparing Students for Competency-Based Hiring
December 18, 2014
Author: Stacey Clawson, Senior Program Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Transcripts have historically been the official record for what a student has learned in colle…
- Repositioning Budget-Constrained Universities as Third-Generation Universities
November 24, 2014
Declines in government funding challenge universities' historical role as centers of culture and engines of economic growth. A third-generation universities model offers a way forward —…
- 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…
- Academic Analytics
Academic Analytics True Academic analytics, although a re…
- Can Lightning Strike Twice? Choosing and Implementing a Social Network for Interdepartmental Collaboration at Two Universities
September 30, 2014
A session at the EDUCAUSE Annual Virtual Conference 2014
How do you choose a social network for the workplace, one that will meet the ever changing needs of your staff and organization? At Penn State, Yammer was successfully implemented after a thoroug…
- Substantive Collaboration: Are We Ready to Lead?
October 7, 2013
Mark Askren is Chief Information Officer at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Although MOOCs have received the most attention in higher education this year, another issue is aff…
- Trending Now: Recent News in the Postsecondary World of Next Generation Learning
August 23, 2013
Summer – at least in theory – offers us opportunities to step back, think about the big picture, and consider some of those analyses that have been published in recent months. In that spirit …
- Sustaining Strategic Transitions in Higher Education
August 5, 2013
The pendulum has fallen off its pin and is stuck in the mud. We must find ways to stimulate and scale change across institutions—as well as to sustain those changes—if we are to create mod…
- University PC Replacement Program Management and Implementation
March 25, 2014
A session at the NERCOMP Annual Conference
Implementing a new process or initiative on a university-wide scale can be difficult and complicated. To successfully transition staff and faculty, many things need to be coordinated and addresse…
- Business Model Innovation: A Blueprint for Higher Education
November 1, 2012
Christine Flanagan is Student Experience Lab Director for the Business Innovation Factory . Established in 2004, BIF designs, prototypes, and tests new models in education, health car…