Developing printable content: A repository for printable teaching models

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Knapp, Mary E.
Wolff, Ryan
Lipson, Hod

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Alongside the development of RP technology, there is an increasing need to develop and share printable content. Like digital photography and digital music, content drives technology as much as technology drives content. This paper describes the development and population of an open wiki-style website ( that houses an archive of printable models for education. Teaching models were chosen as the initial focus for this effort for two key reasons. First, quality educational models are difficult for teachers to obtain due to high prices, limited availability, and limited customization options; and second, many studies have demonstrated that learning is enhanced when students interact with physical models. Such models are also indispensible tools for teaching the visually impaired and those with spatial reasoning difficulties. At present, the website contains models relevant to mechanical engineering, aerospace, biochemistry, mathematics, anatomy, and archaeology (e.g. proteins, airfoils, kinematics models, cuneiform tablets). These models are intended to serve as "seeds" to encourage educators to further develop and share printable models and the associated curricular materials.


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