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601 West Lombard Street
Baltimore MD 21201-1512

Reference: 410-706-7996
Circulation: 410-706-7928

3D Printing at the Innovation Space: 3D Printing in Health Sciences

How-To Guide for 3D Printing

3D Printing in Health Sciences

The Health Sciences and Human Services Library (HSHSL) at University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) recognizes the significant impact of the Maker Movement and 3D printing technology on both health sciences research and beyond. The Maker Movement and 3D printing technology catalyze innovation and promote entrepreneurship by emphasizing ‘making’ over ‘consuming’ and facilitating experiential learning and rapid prototyping. 

The Innovation Space* at the HSHSL can help the UMB students, researchers, and faculty achieve many things. 

  • Faculty can create instructional tools such as 3D models of molecules or those of human anatomy in order to improve classroom instruction and expedite a student’s learning process. 
  • Researchers can strengthen their grant proposals for funding by including the HSHSL Innovation Space facility, equipment, service, and staff-expertise.  They can also quickly prototype a physical model of a medical or healthcare-related invention to test out the feasibility of a further entrepreneurial pursuit, commercialization, and mass production. 
  • Students will be able to explore novel technology that has a significant impact on health sciences, benefit from interdisciplinary learning and collaboration opportunities, and prototype physical models for their ideas and concepts for study, research, and experimentation.

Below are some examples of what is currently taking place in the Maker Movement and 3D printing technology in the realm of health sciences.


Physical Therapy



Social Work

  • A man in Massachusetts created a prosthetic hand for his son who was born without fingers using a 3D printer at only a fraction of the cost for a commercial prosthetic hand.


Research and Education

The HSHSL Makerspace will also plan and hold a variety of workshops and events to spread the knowledge of 3D modeling/printing technology more widely on the campus. This will promote active collaboration, experimentation, innovation, and entrepreneurial pursuits among students, researchers, and faculty across different disciplines and academic units.  The HSHSL is actively investigating a few potential funding sources.


*‘Makerspace’ refers to a community-operated workspace where people with common interests in computers, machining, technology, science, and art meet, socialize, and collaborate on ‘making’ activities.  The goal of a makerspace is to foster and facilitate people’s creativity and innovation. To achieve this goal, makerspaces offer (i) tools and equipment that are not readily available at home such as 3D printers and laser cutters, (ii) organize events and workshops, and (iii) provide a collaborative space where people can learn by hands-on activities and experiment.  3D printing is the most prominently featured technology at makerspaces because of its ability to quickly create a physical model at an affordable cost. 

Funding Notice

Modernization projects such as the Innovation Space initiative are made possible by the generosity of donors through the UMB Foundation. If you would like to support projects such as these please visit or contact us at (410) 706-7545.