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C2C Lantern (Fall 2012 / Winter 2013 Inaugural Issue)

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3D Printing: Teaching and Learning

By David M. Antonacci, University of Kansas Medical Center

Although high-end 3D printing has been available for several decades, it is becoming more affordable and easier to use. A 3D printer creates a physical object from a computer image (e.g., *.obj or *.stl files) by successively layering material, often plastic. For a short video demonstration of 3D printing, watch the video i

3D printing is a real-life technology, especially in health and medical areas, so students need to be aware of this technology—how it works, as well as its technical capabilities, current applications, and future possibilities. Additionally, instructors can create and use 3D models of bones, organs, and systems to better demonstrate concepts and processes. Or, students can create these models themselves, which can require applying and analyzing with these ideas. 


To learn more about how educators are using 3D printing, view this Educause Learning Initiative article:

Seven Things You Should Know About 3D Printing (Educause)

To see what 3D objects are already available, explore:

Thingiverse:  Repository of 3D objects shared around the world

Digimorph: Library of digital biological specimens, including many 3D objects.

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