Presentation Title

Information Literacy in the Thingiverse

Location

Room 100

Type of Presentation

Individual paper/presentation (20 minute presentation)

Target Audience

Higher Education

Abstract

In the Fall of 2017, Pearsall Library at NC Wesleyan College took the first steps in creating a makerspace by purchasing a 3D printer and 3D scanner. There was a steep learning curve for the library staff as we researched 3D printers and scanners, evaluated software, wrote the makerspace policies, created a LibGuide, and made our first 3D prints. As we began working with students on projects which needed existing 3D models of things like animals, bones, or molecules, we very quickly realized that Thingiverse is the Wikipedia of the makerspace world. While Thingiverse is a wonderful platform used by the maker community to create, share, and rework 3D models and designs, for those wishing to use the model in an academic setting, the source, authorship, and scientific accuracy of the models is not always clear. In order to best serve our students, it has become very important to extend information literacy skills and instruction to the makerspace world.

The presentation will relate our experiences developing strategies to locate reliably sourced and accurate models within Thingiverse; finding and providing access to 3D models on reputable academic/government sites outside of Thingiverse; and working directly with students to help them locate the types of models actually needed.

Presentation Description

Thingiverse is the Wikipedia of the makerspace world. It is a wonderful source of shareable, remixable 3D models and designs, but the source, authorship, and scientific accuracy is not always clear. As a small college library just beginning our 3D printing program, we quickly realized the importance of information literacy skills in helping our students successfully navigate the good and bad within Thingiverse, and, when seeking accurate, well-document 3D models outside of Thingiverse.

Keywords

information literacy, makerspaces, 3D printing, Thingiverse

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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Sep 28th, 10:00 AM Sep 28th, 10:20 AM

Information Literacy in the Thingiverse

Room 100

In the Fall of 2017, Pearsall Library at NC Wesleyan College took the first steps in creating a makerspace by purchasing a 3D printer and 3D scanner. There was a steep learning curve for the library staff as we researched 3D printers and scanners, evaluated software, wrote the makerspace policies, created a LibGuide, and made our first 3D prints. As we began working with students on projects which needed existing 3D models of things like animals, bones, or molecules, we very quickly realized that Thingiverse is the Wikipedia of the makerspace world. While Thingiverse is a wonderful platform used by the maker community to create, share, and rework 3D models and designs, for those wishing to use the model in an academic setting, the source, authorship, and scientific accuracy of the models is not always clear. In order to best serve our students, it has become very important to extend information literacy skills and instruction to the makerspace world.

The presentation will relate our experiences developing strategies to locate reliably sourced and accurate models within Thingiverse; finding and providing access to 3D models on reputable academic/government sites outside of Thingiverse; and working directly with students to help them locate the types of models actually needed.