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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
- Chapter 3: IT as a Game Changer
May 2, 2012
A chapter from Game Changers Diana G. Oblinger Information technology can be a game changer in higher education, as it has been in other sectors. IT has brought about much of the ec…
- Chapter 2: The Questions We Need to Ask First: Setting Priorities for Higher Education in Our Technology-Rich World
May 2, 2012
A chapter from Game Changers Debra Humphreys New technologies—and particularly new information technologies—are dramatically changing higher education institutions and practices…
- Chapter 1: The Knowledge Economy: Challenges and Opportunities for American Higher Education
May 2, 2012
A chapter from Game Changers Paul E. Lingenfelter The late Peter Drucker apparently first used the phrase "the knowledge economy" in his 1969 book The Age of Discontinui…
May 2, 2012
From Game Changers Diana G. Oblinger This book is dedicated to education. We need more education, deeper education, more effective education, more access to education, and more affo…
May 2, 2012
From Game Changers Among the many strengths of higher education, the ones most frequently mentioned are the roles played by its mission that yield value to society and help create the futu…
- Game Changers: Education and Information Technologies
May 2, 2012
How can we reach more learners, more effectively, and with greater impact? Education changes lives and societies, but can we sustain the current model? New models and new technologies a…
- Planning for Big Data A CIO's Handbook to the Changing Data Landscape
April 4, 2012
In an age where everything is measurable, understanding big data is an essential. From creating new data-driven products through to increasing operational efficiency, big data has the pote…
- Greening IT: How Greener IT Can Form a Solid Base For a Low-Carbon Society
August 23, 2010
The Greening of IT is a symptom of a much larger challenge for humankind - transitioning from economic childhood into maturity. Despite the emergence of large regional alliances such as the EC, h…
- The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind
December 10, 2008
James Boyle introduces readers to the idea of the public domain and describes how it is being tragically eroded by our current copyright, patent, and trademark laws. In a series of fascinating ca…
- The Tower and the Cloud: Higher Education in the Age of Cloud Computing
October 20, 2008
The emergence of the networked information economy is unleashing two powerful forces. On one hand, easy access to high-speed networks is empowering individuals. People can now discover and consum…