Synthesis Matrix

How will 3D printing change college biology courses?

I believe 3D printing will further enrich the learning environment of college biology students because…

Names of Authors Answer #1they will be able to learn modern skills and obtain knowledge about 3D printing that will help them further in their career for example being able to print organs and further examine living tumors Answer #2they will be able to experience hands-on learning which is important for biology students who are going into the medical field Answer #3using this kind of technology gets students excited about learning. Being able to use their creativity while learning about biology will enhance their own personal connections to the material Answer #4 3D printing can be accessible and helpful to all types of students Answer #5
Author 1

Hod Lipson

discusses teaching the basics of printing 3D models this source is very focused on hands-on learning, says 90% of knowledge is retained with concrete experience talks about how students with visual disabilities are able to use 3D models as aids
Author 2 

Johnson, L., Adams, S., Cummins, M., Estrada, V., Freeman, A. & Ludgate, H

this source  specifically talks about medical schools using 3D printing to create artificial body parts like the previous answer, medical schools are using 3D printers, this is hands on learning discusses prices of different 3D printers- cost not too high for many schools
Author 3

Vincent F. Scalfan & Josh Sahib

discusses an actual study about 3D printing in Alabama University’s library-students from different majors were getting trained how to operate printer states that 3D models make technology “instantly tangible” and comments on how picking up an object to study it is much different than looking at a 2D figure  the study found that many students from all backgrounds of study were interested in learning more and in the end found the technology useful putting printers in libraries makes this technology available to all students and faculty of the school
Author 4 

Bethany Gross

3D printing can be used for surgical preparation, meaning surgeon can look at 3D model of patient beforehand- good for medical schools?  studies have shown students were able to understand material better with 3D models
Author 5

through 3D printing studios, students can learn independent work as well as the basics of 3D printing  constant hands-n work, which this author feels has been neglected in our current education system labs could create an environment where any student feels welcome to learn 3D printing skillls
Author 6

Knapp, Mary E., Ryan Wolff, and Hod Lipson

 discusses how models have been shown to enhance learning this article also talks about how it helps the visually impaired
Author 7

Faulstick, Britt

 students are able to print living tissue in medical school- a skill that may be very important later in their career  creating tumors and living tissue is a great example of hands-on learning because students are able to work with organs without potentially causing harm to a living person
Author 8

Fiona Berry

 free programs like this give so many access to this type of technology


Author 1 – Lipson, Hod. “Printable 3d models for customized hands-on education.” Mass Customization and Personalization (MCPC) (2007).

Author 2 – Johnson, L., Adams, S., Cummins, M., Estrada, V., Freeman, A. & Ludgate, H. (2013). The NMC Horizon Report: 2013 Higher Education Edition. NMC.

Author 3- Scalfani, Vincent F., and Josh Sahib. “A model for managing 3D printing services in academic libraries.” Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship. 2013.

Author 4- 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.

Author 5- Loy, Jennifer. “eLearning and eMaking: 3D Printing Blurring the Digital and the Physical.” Education Sciences 4.1 (2014): 108-121.

Author 6- 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.

Author 7- Faulstick, Britt. “3D printing cancer tumors.” Drexel University. N.p., 24 Apr. 2014. Web. 8 July 2014. <>.

Author 8- Berry, Fiona. “NIH 3D printer project to allow public to create drug models.” N.p., 23 June 2014. Web. 21 July 2014. <>.


I see a lot of gaps in the last few sources because I think I was just finding less sources that were directly about my topic. For example, if I used a source that had nothing to do with students, it was hard to fill in some of the matrix.  I believe I have enough for all my subclaims, even though my “gets students excited” claim is a little on the skinny side. I really stand by that reason, so I will probably try and do more research solely for this claim, even though it might be a little tricky. I may end up incorporating it into another subclaim if I can smoothly. Overall, this was a really great way to organize everything because I wasn’t realizing just how much information I was collecting and it was getting messy. I think some more research can be done, but I definitely have a good bulk of information.

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