Critical uses for 3D printing expand to all departments; faculty say it’s the future
In just the span of one year, a relatively new technology is beginning to transform every department within colleges and universities, thanks to its versatility, general affordability, and ‘wow’ factor: 3D printing. And from campus libraries to chemistry departments, faculty and students are reaping the benefits of what was once considered science fiction.
“If you can think of it, you can print it,” said Tony Frankino, assistant professor of biology in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at the University of Houston (UH), who believes that 3D printers are transforming university teaching and research.
The concept of 3D printing has been around since the 1980s, but advances in the technology–along with reduced costs–have made the printers more practical for everyday use in academia.
(Next page: How universities are using 3D every day)