3D Design/Printing


Note to Sawyer Fellows: This will be a brief Lit Review on the value of 3D printing/storytelling both as pedagogy and as 21st century skill for students. Some initial notes are below (quasi-annotated bib)…

Evans, L. (2014). 15 reasons to learn 3DCreativeBloq.com

  • Author lists all the different off-shoots/applications of 3D design skills/CAD (3D printing is only one):
  1. Illustration
  2. Animation
  3. Multimedia
  4. Game Design
  5. Pre-visuals
  6. Special effects
  7. Broadcast and motion graphics
  8. Character animation
  9. Information design
  10. Corporate communications
  11. Product and industrial design
  12. Architectural design and previz
  13. 3D printing
  14. Interior design
  15. Digital fine art sculpture

McConnell, J. (n.d.). 7 benefits of using 3D printing technology in educationMakersEmpire.com

  • Somewhat K12 in focus, but with broad ideas that also apply to HE
  • Here’s the 7 benefits listed (more details in article)
  1. Creating inventors
  2. Bringing art back
  3. Engaging reluctant learners
  4. Creating responsible digital citizens
  5. Making everything hands-on
  6. Building school camaraderie (this one is the most K12-focused involving buddy systems and parents, not super relevant for HE)
  7. Solving real-world problems

TeachThought Staff. (2015). 10 ways 3D printing can be used in education [infographic]TeachThought.com

  • Infographic is included below
  • Lists some different ways that 3D printing can be used in different disciplines

Infographic describing some ways to incorporate 3D printing in different classes. Full transcript available at https://www.teachthought.com/technology/10-ways-3d-printing-can-be-used-in-education/

Why students need to learn 3D printing now. (2018). TRY Engineering Summer Institute.

  • This article gives good information on how 3D skills are important in the 21st century job market, specifically listing jobs that are related to 3D printing


First, what is 3D printing? Watch the video below for a brief overview.

3D printed objects are the most unconventional of our digital storytelling forms this semester, so it’s exciting to explore a brand new medium for expression. Read the article, “How 3D Printing Can Help Tell the Story,” from 3DPrintWorks, for some ideas of different ways that a 3D printed object can tell a story.

As we have in past modules, let’s define a purpose and audience for our 3D story using the 5 Ws. Watch this TEDxBREDA Talk and see how he developed his purpose and audience for each of his three example projects.

Who – What’s your target audience for this object’s story? Ron van den Ouweland designed that sugar bowl lid and that hands sculpture to tell a story to his family, but his water bottle cap was meant to be a conversation starter with a broader audience.

What – What story do you want your object to convey or support? For Ouweland, he wanted to convey the story of his holiday vacation, of his goal to drink more water, and of his family’s loving hands that support each other.

Why – Why is this a story that your audience should ‘hear’? Why is a 3D medium the best way to communicate and/or support that story? Ouweland had a few different reasons. For the sugar bowl, he wanted to solve a problem (needs a lid) but also contribute a memory (the vacation). For the water bottle lid he wanted a reminder and a conversation starter. For the hands sculpture, he wanted to communicate a heartfelt message to his father, a sculptor, “in his language.”

When and Where – When and where will people interact with your object? Two of Ouweland’s designs were meant for the home and his family, the third was meant for himself and others to see wherever he goes.


References & Further Reading