Teach the Earth > Data, Simulations and Models > 3D Printing

3D Printing for Teaching and Research

by Dr. Franek Hasiuk, GeoFabLab, Iowa State University, franek@iastate.edu

3D Printing is a new and exciting way to communicate 3D data and concepts. It also offers a more efficient way to produce intricate and accurate 3D models for research and teaching. Because the cost to acquire and run a 3D printer has decreased markedly in the last few years, this technology is now beginning to be adopted by educators and researchers who are not experts in engineering and computer science.

Incorporating 3D Printing into your classroom or laboratory is relatively straightforward using the basic workflow of: Plan-Get Data-Model-Print-Share.

1. Plan how your end model will be used

  • Who will use it? Where will they use it?
  • Do they get to keep it?
  • What kind of printer is available?
  • How quickly does the model need to be printed?

2. Getting your Data

3. Building a 3D Model

4. Printing your 3D Model

5. Sharing your Model

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