The Ruth Lilly Medical Library (RLML) Makerspace provides medical students and faculty members access to tools and equipment for prototyping and design. Makerspaces like the one at RLML are becoming increasingly popular, especially in medicine, with some medical schools now incorporating them into their curriculum. One way the Ruth Lilly Medical Library is incorporating the use of its Makerspace is by hosting workshops on 3D printing for medical students. This service works especially well when a faculty member requests it for their class.
Recently the RLML Makerspace hosted a workshop for students in the Master’s degree program for Anesthesiologist Assistants. The workshop covered a range of topics, including how to locate anatomical 3D models, how to determine the printability of 3D models, how to prepare 3D models for 3D printing in a slicing program, and how to send a 3D print on a 3D printer. The students learned about the different types of 3D printers available and the materials that can be used in 3D printing. In addition, the students learned how to evaluate the quality of the 3D prints and how to identify and address common issues that can arise during the printing process.
One key aspect of the workshop was the use of a slicing program. A slicer is a program that converts a 3D model into instructions for the printer to create the object layer by layer. During the workshop, the students learned how to use a slicer to prepare their models for printing and how to adjust various parameters to optimize print quality.
After the workshop, each student received their own 3D-printed larynx model, which they can use for study. In a social media post after the workshop, students highlighted the value of the workshop commenting "A solid understanding of airway management can only be improved by having our very own larynx models."
The Makerspace staff encourages other faculty members to schedule similar workshops with them. The RLML Makerspace can hold groups of up to 10 students at a time, and larger classes should be split into units of 10 or fewer. Workshops can be scheduled by contacting the Makerspace staff via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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