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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
- Electronic Lab Notebooks: ECAR-WG Technology Spotlight
April 9, 2015
Electronic lab notebooks (ELNs) are software-based tools to replace paper lab notebooks . Scientists and other researchers use laboratory notebooks to organize their data, and ELNs mov…
- Technology-Driven Service Learning: The Instructor's Role and the Student's Experience
February 9, 2015
Key Takeaways To enhance student interactions with community organizations in a service-learning course, Ohio State University's Sociology Department introduced mobile t…
- Top 10 IT Issues, 2015: Inflection Point
January 12, 2015
EDUCAUSE presents the top 10 IT issues facing higher education institutions this year. What is new about 2015? Nothing has changed. And everything has changed. Information technology has reach…
- 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…
- Creating a Fluid Learning Environment
October 13, 2014
Key Takeaways By 2025, mobile natives — students born after the Apple iPhone went to market — will be entering higher education , bringing with them an era of mobile l…
- Commuter Students Using Technology
September 15, 2014
Key Takeaways A multi-year qualitative study of undergraduates at six colleges at the City University of New York focused on how, where, and when students accomplished their …
- Horizon Report: 2014 Library Edition
August 14, 2014
The NMC Horizon Report > 2014 Library Edition identifies “Increasing Focus on Research Data Management for Publications” and “Prioritization of Mobile Content and Delivery” as fast…
- Why You Should Champion Your Service Desk
August 11, 2014
UCISA, in association with Cherwell Software and the Service Desk Institute, surveyed U.K. higher education IT service desks to better understand their issues and challenges and showcase their…
- 2014 Student and Faculty Technology Research Studies
October 30, 2014
EDUCAUSE Technology Research in the Academic Community This research can catalyze conversations among IT professionals about how to better serve their constituents; among institutional leaders…
- Advancing Without New Resources
July 14, 2014
The expectations for IT services in higher education will not lessen, and the rate of change will not decelerate. How can the IT organization address these demands without new resources? By ma…