Research Nuggets #3 and #4

Source #1: Link

Berry, Fiona. “NIH 3D printer project to allow public to create drug models.” N.p., 23 June 2014. Web. 21 July 2014. <>.

This article’s main idea is to explain a new, free program the NIH (US National Institutes of Health) launched to let the public print 3D models of molecules. The point of this service is to allow researchers from different fields access no matter their experience with 3D printing.

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This nugget brings up the themes of our unit  connecting human intellect and computers.  3D printing really presents this idea well because it’s taking human thoughts and creativity and using a computer to create the result.

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This nugget  shows how beneficial 3D printing is for biology. It can create custom models that can aid learning. Another bonus is that the process is quick.

Source #2: Link

Doherty, Davis. “Downloading infringement: Patent law as a roadblock to the 3D printing revolution.” Harv. J. Law & Tec 26 (2012): 353-695.

This source suggests that while advance in 3D printing can be beneficial, one major downside can be patent infringement. It focuses on DIYer, aka Do it Yourselfers which are people who take on projects to make products instead of  buying them. Basically, problems can arise is a DIYers “infringes on an existing patent”.

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This nugget suggests a group be formed to help avoid patent problems involving 3D printing t. It discusses the good that can come from such technology, but also how it should be managed, so less legal issues arise. This may help make 3D printing more wide spread since it is a solution to  one of the problems that’s come up.


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This nuggets shows another solution which is creating patent laws specifically for 3D printing and similar technology.


Source #3: Link

Bourell, D. L., et al. “A brief history of additive manufacturing and the 2009 roadmap for additive manufacturing: looking back and looking ahead.” US-Turkey Workshop on Rapid Technologies. 2009.

This source discusses the evolution of 3D printing or additive manufacturing.  It discusses techniques, uses and benefits and where the author believes this kind of technology is headed.
“Develop university courses, education materials, and curricula at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as at the technical college level”

This nugget is a future goal the author predicts will happen to education in the upcoming years.

“Develop training programs for industry practitioners with certifications given by professional societies or organizations.”

This is another goal the author believes 3D printing is headed or at least is one of the best ways to take advantage of this form of technology.


Source #4: Link

Gross, Bethany C., et al. “Evaluation of 3d printing and its potential impact on biotechnology and the chemical sciences.” Analytical chemistry 86.7 (2014): 3240-3253.

This source goes into detail about the applications of 3D printing in chemistry in biology. The author expresses the benefits of having 3D models to study and use for research.

“Studies have led to the conclusion that students were better able to conceptualize biomolecular structures when using 3D models, as confirmed by administering pre- and post comprehension tests.”

A better understanding of the material when learning is an important benefit of 3D models.  I plan on finding these studies for use in my project.

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3D printing can also be used for surgical preparation. It would be very beneficial for a surgeon to have a model of the patient before hand to help prepare for the actual surgery. I could see this be very helpful in medical school.

Source #5: Link

Loy, Jennifer. “eLearning and eMaking: 3D Printing Blurring the Digital and the Physical.” Education Sciences 4.1 (2014): 108-121.

This source describes a learning strategy involving 3D printing. It suggests 3D printing studios have improved the works of the students and have connected students “to a much bigger sense of the world”.

“In the design studio, 3D printing fundamentally reconnects students to objects and the reality of their work, which is topical as one of the most significant issues for design in higher education over the last ten years has been the breakdown of traditional studio practice [7] and the fragmentation of process. “

This nugget points out what the author finds wrong with the current education system and offers 3D printing studios as a solution.

“This new form of digital design studio places the student very much in the centre of their own learning with the facilities to work iteratively both on their own designs and in groups.”

The author also points out how it can teach students to work independently in their learning. Both collaborative and independent work are important parts of learning.

Source #6: Link

Knapp, Mary E., Ryan Wolff, and Hod Lipson. “Developing printable content: A repository for printable teaching models.” Proceedings of the 19th Annual Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium, Austin TX. 2008.

This source focuses on 3D printing in the classroom and how it can positively affect learning. It explains the benefits of hands-on learning and how 3D models can aid visually impaired students.

“Physical models have been shown to enhance learning in general student populations as well. Students learn in a variety of ways, and models allow students to include their sense of touch in the learning experience. ―The role of experience is emphasized in Piaget’s description of cognitive development, that is, to know an object a subject must act on it and thus transform it – displace, connect, combine, take apart, and reassemble it.‖ (Cohen, 1983). Science education especially benefits from the use of models.”

Piaget makes a good point about actually being about to truly know an object. Looking at a picture of something is nothing compared to being able to touch and see a 3D models of something.

“For-profit sites also host large collections of models. The aim of
this website is to collect and create educational models in one location to give educators easy access to a broad selection of free models.”

Websites are being created specifically for education and 3D printing. These sites give teachers access to models that they would print out and use when teaching. This may make 3D printing more accessible if educators have free models at their fingertips.

Synthesis: All the sources I’ve read and used have very similar themes. Most of the sources found 3D printing in the classroom to be beneficial and improved the learning environment. Hands-on learning was a major idea in many of the sources and the authors found touching and seeing 3D objects to be a helpful aid in class. In the sources where small studies were done involving students, students were observed to be active and interested in the 3D printing process.

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