High Five!

3D Printing in Biochemistry

     3D printing is no longer a concept for the future, but rather a reality of the present. 3D Printers can be used in numerous ways, such as printing food, car models, pills, and more. Chris Berndsen , a Chemistry Professor here at James Madison University, is using a mobile 3D printer to print protein models in his biochemistry class. He learned about 3D printers in the 3D Printing Sandbox workshop that CIT offered in Fall 2014. Berndsen wanted to print molecules that could not be create with a regular model molecule kit.

     He feels that 3D printers can benefit his students because it allows them to see and touch molecules that they would not be able to otherwise. Before 3D molecules were possible, he had to show them 2D representations. Studies have shown that 3D printed models have a positive effect on student learning. Ben Hornaksy, a student in Berndsen’s class, said, “using the 3D printed models shows how far the simple stuff we’re learning can go and provides practical uses of it.” Another student in Berndsen’s Chemistry class, Devin Joseph, said 3D printers can help those students that are visual learners because 3D printed models allow opportunities for students to touch and feel the actual object. Since the majority of his students are going into the medical or pharmaceutical fields, it is important for them to gain experience with 3D printing because it is something they will likely use in their future careers.

     Jamie Calcagno-Roach, CIT Instructional Designer who also helps to run 3SPACE, a 3D printing lab on JMU’s campus, talks about the benefits of 3D printing on WHSV 3. The video can be seen by clicking this link http://www.whsv.com/home/headlines/3-D-Printing-at-JMU-Available-to-Many-332618731.html