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The Future of Higher Education Reshaping Universities through 3D Printing

Featuring four towering limestone columns and classic Flemish-bond brickwork, the century-old Mackay School of Mines Building at the University of Nevada, Reno, has long served as a bastion of Silver State history. Named after Irish immigrant and “Comstock Lode King” John Mackay, notable touches such as a cast bronze statue designed by Mount Rushmore sculptor Gutzon Borglum just outside the building helped it earn a spot in the National Register of Historic Places. Within its oak doors, however, are the makings of an intriguing experiment that’s decidedly more new school. Like a mini museum, a collection of 3D-printed models are displayed within the building’s sunlit, three-story atrium — attracting a mix of students and teachers. Even more popular than the displays of plastic gears and molecule models, however, are the two 3D printers that made them: a professional-grade Stratasys uPrint SE Plus and a hobbyist 3DTouch machine.

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