Mastering 3D Printing in the Classroom, Library, and Lab (Technology in Action)

Learn how to manage and integrate the technology of 3D printers in the classroom, library, and lab. With this book, the authors give practical, lessons-learned advice about the nuts and bolts of what happens when you mix 3D printers, teachers, students, and the general public in environments ranging from K-12 and university classrooms to libraries, museums, and after-school community programs.
Take your existing programs to the next level with Mastering 3D Printing in the Classroom, Library, and Lab. Organized in a way that is readable and easy to understand, this book is your guide to the many technology options available now in both software and hardware, as well as a compendium of practical use cases and a discussion of how to create experiences that will align with curriculum standards. 
You’ll examine the whole range of working with a 3D printer, from purchase decision to curriculum design. Finally this book points you forward to the digital-fabrication future current students will face, discussing how key skills can be taught as cost-effectively as possible.
What You’ll Learn
  • Discover what is really involved with using a 3D printer in a classroom, library, lab, or public space
  • Review use cases of 3D printers designed to enhance student learning and to make practical parts, from elementary school through university research lab
  • Look at career-planning directions in the emerging digital fabrication arena
  • Work with updated tools, hardware, and software for 3D printing
Who This Book Is For

Educators of all levels, both formal (classroom) and informal (after-school programs, libraries, museums).

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Local Star-Lord Hosts Free 3D Printing Classes At Long Beach Public Library

Star-Lord is volunteering at the Long Beach Main Public Library and teaching free 3D modeling and printing classes that are currently open to the public.

It may not be the real Star-Lord — or even the real Chris Pratt — but the library volunteer is a real star in the Long Beach cosplay community.

Robert Gunderson, a local cosplayer and fan of Guardians of the Galaxy, has gained online notoriety for his portrayal as Guardians of the Galaxy’s Peter Quill (Star-Lord).

He can be spotted at Comic-Cons in the Los Angeles and Long Beach area showcasing his custom costume portraying a believable Star-Lord alongside his girlfriend, cosplayer Lily Liqueur, as Gamora.

“About five months ago, I started doing classes here once a month,” Gunderson said. “The first class was about how to create very simple molds off of 3D prints.”

Now he has added appearances at the Main Library’s Studio and MakerSpace.

Gunderson said that he had learned how to create his own 3D prints a couple of months prior, so the entire concept of the class was new to him at the time.

Originally, the class idea was intended to help cosplayers create 3D printed models to enhance their costumes, but quickly branched into a “how-to” class for anyone interested, regardless of their interest level in cosplay, Gunderson said.

“I have been doing cosplay and prop making since 2004,” he said. “I’d love to pass what I’ve learned to other people.”

Examples of his work include his Star-Lord belt buckle that is 3D printed at the library’s studio, as well as a model that he created of Baby Groot for his cosplay.

He added that the library has so many resources available to the public to utilize and he’s glad that he has the opportunity to teach classes and show others how to use the space.

Currently, each student in Gunderson’s class has learned how to create a 3D mold of the character “Baby Groot.” On Saturday, he showed the class how to fill the mold and during their next class, he will teach participants how to paint and complete their own Baby Groot.

Gunderson said that he hopes to incorporate electroplating (applying metal to the surface of 3D printed products made at the library studio) as well as more 3D printing classes.

All classes offered at the library are free and open to all ages. The classes Gunderson teaches are a part of the library’s MakerSpace, which offers free classes and technology resources to the public.

The Main Library is at 101 Pacific Ave. and is open even during construction of the new Lincoln Park and Civic Center. 

Gunderson’s cosplay adventures — as well as updates on specific classes that he is teaching — are documented on his Instagram page (@the_son_of_ego). 

For more information on free classes available at the Long Beach Public Library, go to or email [email protected].

Stephanie Stutzman can be reached at [email protected].

Library to get new 3D printer and accessories

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At the Idyllwild Library, people are going nuts for 3D printing.
Photo by Marshall Smith

Three-dimensional printing is the rage, especially at the Idyllwild Library. “It’s cutting edge and it’s here,� said Shannon Ng, branch library manager. “So many people are interested in it, both young and older patrons of the library. With 3D printing [also called additive manufacturing] you can print food, jewelry with gold and [human] hearts [using bio-printing processes]. There are thousands of jobs opening in this new technology.

“And what better place is there to learn about this new technology than at a library?  And it’s free. This is lifelong learning at its best and has been one of my huge goals as an educator,� she said. 3D printing is being used in tool, clothing, food, car, truck and aircraft design and production, and new uses are constantly being explored.

Ng said it takes a town such as Idyllwild, with many people interested in learning, to appreciate and be open to new technology. “There’s an open-mindedness here and a willingness to try something different. It’s like a college town in that respect.� Ng noted it’s even more impressive that local nonprofits step up to fund this technology for public use at the library.

Altogether, the printer and accessories price out at nearly $5,000, according to Ng. The Pine Cove Property Owners Association has pledged $3,000, the Rotary International of Idyllwild $500, and several other organizations, including Idyllwild Association of Realtors, Soroptimists International of Idyllwild and Friends of the Idyllwild Library are planning to contribute.

In addition to the printer, the library project includes purchasing hand-held microscopes that transmit images to a computer screen to help illustrate the object to be printed, a scanner and two laptops to assist with programming.

“It’s all about exploration,� said Ng. “There are tons of potentials for education in this technology.�

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3-D Printers for Libraries (Library Technology Reports)

As the maker movement continues to grow and 3-D printers become more affordable, an expanding group of hobbyists is keen to explore this new technology. In the time-honored tradition of introducing new technologies, many libraries are considering purchasing a 3-D printer. Jason Griffey, an early enthusiast of 3-D printing, has researched the marketplace and seen several systems first hand at the Consumer Electronics Show. In this report he introduces readers to the 3-D printing marketplace, covering such topics as

  • How fused deposition modeling (FDM) printing work
  • Basic terminology such as build plate, spool, nozzle hot end, direct extruder, and Bowden extruder
  • Plastics used, such as ABS, PLA, and others
  • Descriptions, price ranges, and filament specs for 3-D printers from MakerBot, Printrbot, Solidoodle, and other manufacturers
  • Suggested staff skills for performing basic maintenance tasks
  • Where to find both ready-to-use designs and the software for customizing, from beginning to advanced systems

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