The success of our 3D Teaching Animation Program has motivated us to embark on a new challenge: "3D Printer." This is no ordinary printer; it literally produces physical models which the student has just created in solid color 3D.
For example, animations/models can be developed to show students how joints work, and what happens when one is dislocated. 3D production thus offers tremendous potential for excitement and curiosity in the form of visual teaching and outreach which students seldom experience in science classes.
Students and faculty can actually hold the animated objects/molecules in their hands and touch and inspect the intricate details of cellular and molecular processes. The proposed "3D Center" will be equipped with modern technologies that allow the students to animate, view, and print all in 3-D.
We acquired a Z-650 3D printer from Z-corporation (now "3D Systems") in 2011 with financial support from the Champlin Foundations. This printer provides fast and affordable color 3D printing of molecules and other models.
URI's 3D animation work featured in the January 2012 issue of International Innovation magazine. Article (PDF)
Students touch nano-particles, take robots for walks (Innovations, 2012)