If You're Using 3D Printing, who Manages the Process at Your School? Is it Faculty? IT? The Library?
Do you have a 3D printer in your school? We just bought our first 3D printer at The College of Westchester, and we're getting familiar with it. One thing we find ourselves wondering is … how are other schools handling the labor resource(s) required to oversee the use of the device?
I was rather surprised when I asked for a show of hands while attending the NYSCIO conference this July, regarding who had 3D printers at their colleges and universities. About 2 out of 3 hands went up in this large group of CIOs and similar roles from institutions of higher education across NY and other states (I'd say there were at least 70 attendees in the room at the time). Gartner just published a report stating the widespread use for consumers and education is a decade away, but in the meanwhile the fact is that schools across the world are starting to experiment with practical use of these relatively inexpensive devices.
One of the things you'll learn when you start using 3D printing is how much more complicated it is than the regular ‘2D' printing that we're used to, how long the print jobs take, and how much you have to learn to create successful print jobs.
So Whose Managing These Print Jobs?
With all these considerations and the time required to manage 3D printing, how are schools dealing with it?
If you have students submitting print jobs, how does it work? Do they sit at a computer that is directly connected? Do they send them to a teacher to print them, or to some one else? Maybe they write them to smart cards and you print from them (depending on which make and model you have)?
Forums focused on 3D Printing in Education
I spent some time searching out and scrolling through a variety of forums and really didn't find a lot of insight into this question. There was good information to be had, just not a lot about this in particular (although clearly the most implied answer is that teachers are the hands-on folks working with these devices).
Here are some forums I found that were specific to 3D printing in education:
- ‘3D Printing on Campus’ Page on Facebook (this was the most active forum I found – great stuff here): https://www.facebook.com/3D.Printing.Education
- ‘3D Printers in Education’ forum from 3D Printing Systems: http://3dprintingsystems.com/education/
- Dave White's blog about 3D Printing in Education: http://3dprintineducation.wordpress.com/
- ‘3D Printing in Education’ forum from 3Dprintboard.com: http://3dprintboard.com/forumdisplay.php?81-3D-Printing-in-Education
- ‘3D Printing in Education’ Group on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=7444211&trk=anet_ug_hm&goback=.gmr_7444211
So, how are you Managing 3D Printing at Your School?
If you're using 3D printing at your school, we're wondering who has primary responsibility for handling the print jobs? Faculty members who run related courses? Your Information Technology department? Library personnel? Feedback from practitioners would be tremendously appreciated (in the Comments section bel0w)!
Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):
Augmented Reality – The Coolest Instructional Technology You Haven’t Heard of?
3D Printing – Coming to a Classroom Near you (Sooner Than you Think)!
Interactive Projection Floors – How Engaging Would These be in Your Classroom or School?