Maker technologies enable learning-through-doing (constructivism), usually in a social environment. Technologies may be new or old. (Metalworkers and woodworkers are makers, for example.) The maker movement or culture emphasizes creative use of technologies and tools. One maker technology being explored by the DDI is 3D printing.
3D printing technologies allow you to create (“print”) a physical 3D object from a 3D model (computer file). 3D models are created using modeling software such as Sketchup or Blender or by scanning a physical object with a 3D scanner. Although engineering disciplines have been using 3D printers for prototyping since the 1980s, 3D printing has recently become more feasible on a wider-scale as costs have decreased and new printer models have emerged. We are especially interested in how 3D printing can be used by faculty in disciplines that have not traditionally used 3D printing.
At Duke, 3D printers as well as other maker technologies are available to the Duke community (faculty, staff, and students) in the Innovation Studio.
Watch an episode of devilTech from October 2014 for more information about 3D printing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrk9VnHreB0
Note that the information in the video about the location of 3D printers at Duke is out of date. The Innovation Studio provides more space and more printers than the old space in the MPS!