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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
- Building a Culture of Innovation in Higher Education: Design & Practice for Leaders
April 16, 2015
This report and toolkit is meant for universities, colleges, community colleges, not-for-profits ,and organizations that serve the higher education landscape who want to reimagine their vision of…
- Hidden Advantages of the Breakthrough Models Academy
May 13, 2015
Author: Dustin Hilt, Simmons College While it isn’t hard to find plenty of background ( here , here , and here , for example) on the Breakthrough Models Academy (BMA)…
- Academic Analytics
Academic Analytics True Academic analytics, although a re…
- Translating CBE Programs into Sustainable Business Models
April 6, 2015
By Rick Staisloff The Higher Education Business Model and CBE As part of its ongoing mission to improve college readiness and completion through the application of technology,…
- Technology & Change: Perspectives on the Role of Faculty
January 27, 2015
I just got new glasses. It’s amazing what I can see now that I couldn’t see before. I begin here because I am going to advocate that all of higher ed get some new glasses. Because the way …
- 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 —…
- 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…
- 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…
- 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 …