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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
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Library Items on this Topic
EDUCAUSE Library Items for 3D Printing
- Calculating the Costs of Distributed IT Staff and Applications
August 20, 2015
As most higher education institutions continue to experience rising costs, reductions in funding from nontuition sources, and growing pressure to curtail tuition increases, the need to know and m…
- Next Gen Finance for Higher Education
September 22, 2015
When it comes to finances, what should colleges and universities focus on? In today’s climate, what’s the right way to plan for a sustainable future? The concern over institutional…
Affordability True Policymakers and the public view highe…
- Wearable Technologies Gain Momentum in Higher Ed
September 21, 2015
Thanks to a device on her wrist, a colleague of mine knows when she’s had a restful night’s sleep as opposed to a more fitful one. Chances are, you know someone (or ARE someone) who …
- 7 Things You Should Know About Institutional Self-Assessment
August 10, 2015
Institutions are increasingly being asked to demonstrate the value of IT investments. An institutional IT self-assessment frequently provides justification for existing or proposed projects a…
- The Brink of Closure: What Motivates Higher Education to Change?
September 1, 2015
Author: James J. Koelbl, D.D.S., M.S., M.J. There are many articles written about the need for change in higher education. The primary options seem to be either reinvent the en…
- IT Accessibility Risk Statements and Evidence
July 31, 2015
This document was created by the EDUCAUSE IT Accessibility Constituent Group to help identify accessibility risks that IT leaders should consider in their risk management process. …
- Effective Communication: Not As Easy As It Seems
August 17, 2015
Effective communication can improve relationships by building trust and respect, it can help us better understand a situation, and it can create environments in which creative ideas, problem solv…
- The Messy Human Core of Reinventing Higher Education Institutions
August 17, 2015
Discussions of business model reengineering and innovation in higher education tend to focus on program design, technology, data, and marketing challenges and on delivery, organizational, revenue…
- Beginning the Fourth Decade of the "IT Revolution" in Higher Education: Plus Ça Change
August 17, 2015
The technology changes of the past three decades continue to be bounded by challenges that impede our efforts to effectively exploit the full value of IT investments. …