New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Academic libraries, frequently referred to as information or knowledge centers, are among the most accessible facilities on college and university campuses. Many are accessible close to if not 24 hours a day/5 days a week during the regular fall and spring semesters. Logic, as does practice, suggests that a campus library would be one of the better places to house equipment intended to improve accessibility to 3D printing and provide students with an informal workspace to extend their learning beyond their classrooms
In the fall of 2014, an industrial grade 3D printing system was deployed to an academic library where there was no capability. In addition personnel began to receive training on the system. Since then various initiatives have been undertaken to broaden the 3D printing technology knowledge and skill base among the campus communities and increase its accessibility. In addition to equipment being added to the stable, more personnel have been allocated and trained to facilitate this initiative. Web resources have been published for educating, training, and automating, and in general improving access to the 3D printing resources. 3D printing workshops have been offered to campus community members to improve their understanding of 3D printing technology. While the time devoted to training varies, all training is lab-based and hands-on. The workshop participants have come from disparate areas of the campus and from different disciplines including: natural sciences; health sciences; business; and social sciences. Faculty members from different colleges, departments, and disciplines have registered to bring their classes and students to explore 3D printing technology. In less than a year this initiative has grown and has become full-fledged campus wide endeavor with greater growth anticipated. To sustain this growth and to ensure its long term viability, grants and other funding opportunities are being sought. The endeavor’s next step is to begin fostering multidisciplinary research and other creative activities.
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