3D Printing and Community Engagement

The price of enterprise-class 3D printers is now under $2,000. Maybe it’s time we started thinking about some of the potential uses of 3D printing in community engagement?

The opportunities for this technology to support small creative enterprises is tremendous. The next surge in manufacturing jobs may just be in manufacturing customized products one at a time. Knowledge sharing will also benefit, as tangible objects of all types will be created to make learning (including applied learning) just a little more real.

Spend a few minutes with this PBS video called, Will 3D Printing Change the World?” You’ll probably think of many, many more community-centered applications for 3D printing.

Great Ideas: Adopt-a-Hydrant

hydrantI am always looking for great examples of readily available, free technologies are being used for public benefit. This sounds like a great potential civic engagement project for campuses inĀ  snowy places like Minnesota.

Developed by Code for America, Adopt-a-Hydrant helps people to claim responsibility for shoveling out a fire hydrant after it snows. The Adopt a Hydrant software is free for any city to adopt. Learn More.

Recording a better quality of audio on your mobile phone

I am a big proponent of capturing the voices of all the players in civic engagement activities. Now that most people are walking around with pretty high quality digital recorders, it seems to make sense to understand how we might make the best recordings possible. If you want some good fundamental advice, check out the following piece by Lindsay Kalter, on the International Journalist’s Network blog, “How to record clear audio on a mobile phone.”