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Construct3D 2020

February 13 - February 16

Construct3D is a vendor agnostic 3D printing, digital fabrication conference and expo focused on academic use, best practices, and professional development opportunities for faculty, staff, and students from informal, K12 and higher ed contexts. Construct3D is where passionate and curious educators and innovators converge to exchange ideas, build networks, learn new skills, and accelerate the adoption and exploration of 3D printing in education.

In 2017, Matt Griffin and Lizabeth Arum of Ultimaker, and Chip Bobbert of Duke University, founded the inaugural Construct3D conference: a 3D printing, digital fabrication conference, and expo focused on academic use, best practices, and professional development opportunities for faculty, staff, and students. It was held at Duke University on May 5-7, 2017. Passionate, curious educators and innovators from informal, K12, and Higher Ed contexts came together to exchange ideas, build their networks, learn new skills, and accelerate the adoption and exploration of 3D printing in education.

The conference hosted panels featuring notable educators and industry experts. We also had over one hundred talks and workshops, a vendor area offering demonstrations of leading design, materials, digital fabrication technologies and other resources, and social gatherings that encouraged discussion.

Bookending the past two conferences, we provided in-depth workshops led by core trainers from Autodesk, Rhino, and Shopbot. These popular sessions not only offered educators new skills to take home to their schools and programs, but were also opportunities to speak directly to staff central to the development of these platforms. Our plan for 2020 is to extend these offerings even further. We will be hosting professional trainings and learning opportunities in the Houston area on February 13 and 14, 2020, while the heart of the conference (talks and workshops led by educators and students) will take place on February 15 and 16, 2020.

Past keynote speakers included:

Larry Rosenstock, CEO and founding principal of High Tech High, a network of thirteen K-12 public charter schools in California focused on project-based learning, and is President of the High Tech High Graduate School of Education. He holds a JD from Boston University Law School, an M.Ed from Cambridge College, a BA from Brandeis University, and a Doctor of Letters, Honoris Causa from Cambridge College. Larry and his work have been featured on Oprah, Lehrer, Newsweek, and Forbes. He is an Ashoka Fellow, and a winner of the Ford Foundation Innovations in State and Local Government Award, and the McGraw Prize in Education.

George Hart, an interdisciplinary sculptor, mathematician, computer scientist, and educator. George is a former research professor at Stony Brook University, and is a pioneer in using computer technology and 3D printing in the design and fabrication of sculpture. Examples of his artwork can be seen M.I.T., U.C. Berkeley, Duke University, Princeton University, and Stony Brook University. He has developed original education materials to incorporate 3D printing into the high school math curriculum, and has helped many teachers bring this work into their own classrooms. George is a co-founder of North America’s only Museum of Mathematics. As chief of content, he set the “Math is Cool!” tone of the museum, and spent five years designing their original exhibits and workshop activities.

Jessica Rosenkrantz and Jesse Louis-Rosenberg of Nervous System, a generative design studio in Massachusetts that works at the intersection of science, art, and technology. Writing computer programs based on processes and patterns found in nature, the studio creates unique and affordable art, jewelry, and housewares. Nervous System has pioneered the application of new technologies in design, including generative systems, 3D printing, and webGL, and regularly releases online design applications that enable customers to co-create products in an effort to make design more accessible. Their designs have been featured in WIRED, the New York Times, Forbes, and elsewhere, and their work is a part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art, the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Dale Dougherty, CEO of Maker Media, who kicked off the event with the introductory Informal Education keynote. He recounted stories from his role in founding the Maker Movement as well as opportunities he sees at hand for the future of education – including strategies educators can use to deeply engage and transform the experience of students.

Skylar Tibbits, founder and co-director of MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab, delivered the conference Higher Ed Keynote speech. He wowed audience with the progress of his research lab as it has introduced programming structure, behavior, and information into materials themselves – promising a future in which medical devices, furniture, buildings, and manufacturing facilities might be produced as emergent structures coded into smart materials.

Sallye Coyle of ShopBot and Duke’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute delivered the closing keynote. They focused on K-12 education, delving into the 21st century reinvention of “shop class”, and the importance of encouraging students and teachers alike to work with tools that deepen engagement and enhance creativity. Coyle’s extensive experience in STEAM education and her role in outfitting and constructing in-school and community makerspaces world-over provided attendees with a valuable look at the ingenuity that comes from experimentation and discovery made possible by access to and training with digital fabrication tools.


February 13
February 16
Event Category:


Rice University
6100 Main St, Houston TX 77005 United States + Google Map

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