126 students

To earn CEUs for this session, you must be present for the entire live event and discussion which will take place Wednesday, June 3 from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm– 2:00 pm EDT. You must also complete the Knowledge Assessment.

Dr. Kirkpatrick will focus on the basics of 3D printing and its applicability to assistive technology in the 3D Printing Fundamentals course. You will learn about websites that provide you with free or paid drawings that can be printed using a 3D printer. You will learn how to find a file, download the file, prepare it for printing on your 3D printer, and then print it. For those who want to design their own assistive technology, Michael Weber will demonstrate how to use computer-aided drawing software to make a 3D drawing that can be printed. Dr. Kirkpatrick will take Michael’s file, prepare it for printing, and print it, so you can see the design process from start to finish. For those with computer-aided drawing experience, Michael will also demonstrate designing a more complex item that integrates with other components.

Lunch Break 12:00pm – 1:00pm EDT

Lunch will be followed by a second presentation from Amber Willett. Amber will be presenting her undergraduate dissertation, “3D Printing and Occupational Therapy: The Process of 3D Printing Adaptive Devices.” The paper explores the potential for 3D printers as a tool for occupational therapists. Samples of 3D printed devices used for the study were adaptive keyboard devices, two bottle openers, three pen holders, a key turner, and a signature guide. Cognizant of cost issues, the research team used a 3D printer that sells for about $350.

Learning Objectives

Participants will learn:

  1. Devices can be created ‘in a timely manner.’
  2. Designs for many types of assistive technology are readily available for 3D printing.
  3. Whether a custom design or open source drawing, it is easy to prepare a file and 3D print it.
  4. In some cases, prints are cheaper to make than buy.
  5. Customization offers more options, and comfort, for clients.
  6. Computer-aided drawing software can be used to design custom assistive technology.
  7. Printers offering the use of multiple filaments create great potential in health care.

Supplemental materials provided by Carol Weber and Michael Weber


  • Dr. Elaine Kirkpatrick specializes in fine particle magnetism. Her research focuses on nanostructured thin films and magnetic nanoparticles. She teaches courses that introduce students concepts about physics from the very small (like the electron clouds around an atom) to the very big (like galaxies at the edge of the universe). She enjoys incorporating both new and existing technology into her student’s experience. Students in her classes have used an x-ray diffractometer to probe materials, scanning electron microscopes to look at semiconductor chips, and 3D printers to package their design projects.

  • Amber K. Willett hails from Louisville, Kentucky and has recently been accepted as a graduate student in Occupational Therapy at Eastern Kentucky University. She graduated with a Bachelor’s in Occupational Science in May and will start her Master’s in Occupational Therapy this fall. During the summer and winter breaks, Amber works at the Kentucky Science Center with their School's Out camp programs for children in elementary and middle school. She is interested in the areas of pediatrics and rehabilitation and hopes to work in one of these after graduating. Amber strives to find ways to incorporate 3D printing and assistive technology in her professional career.

  • Michael Weber is a 2020 graduate from Wayne State University with a degree in Electrical Engineering. While at Wayne State, he participated in Formula SAE, a collegiate design competition where they design, build, and race a small-scale formula car. For the team, he was Electrical Captain, Engine/Oil/Fuel Captain, and Director of all Powertrain Systems. During school Michael also had two Co-Op positions at ZF Friedrichshafen, a tier 1 automotive supplier, working in the Braking Electronics group and the ADAS group.