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The 3-D Geological Printing Laboratory

Raised toward our $7,000 Goal
73 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on November 22, at 10:59 PM EST
Project Owners

The 3-D Geological Printing Laboratory

Thank you to our Donors:

Now that we've reached our goal and then some, we would like to thank everyone who donated to this project. We want to give special thanks to our top donor, Tyler Rubin, who will become the namesake of the laboratory! Please stay tuned as we begin to move forward with the project, we'll make sure to keep you all appraised of any upcoming news and progress in getting the lab set up! Once again, thank you again for helping to give our students access to 3-D printing and scanning!

3-D Printing: A New Technology For Understanding the Earth

Geologists study the shapes of things at all scales, ranging from the microscopic mineral crystals inside rocks, to the shape of fossil life, to the overall shapes of mountains, volcanoes, and even entire planets. A key component of geological training is learning how to think about very complex shapes in three dimensions. With the advent of 3-D printing, we now have the ability to design, share, and even generate our own objects. With your help, we plan to launch the 3-D Geological Printing Laboratory, a facility that will be dedicated to providing students, educators, and researchers online access to an ever-growing library of complex 3-D geological objects that are both visual and tactile. This laboratory is intended to be a pioneering facility for the use of 3-D printing in geological research and scientific investigations. 

The 3-D Geological Printing Laboratory

We are seeking your help to purchase the 3-D printing equipment that will provide the students, faculty, and researchers in our Department access to a wide range of geological objects. With your support, we will purchase a high resolution printer, capable of printing in a variety of materials, in up to 3 separate colors. Your support will also enable us to obtain a high-resolution 3-D scanner so that we can scan in and print new objects. We will publish all of the geological objects that we scan in or design to a public website for anyone with a 3-D printer to print out and explore for themselves.

The University of Maryland as a Leader in the Geological Sciences

3-D printing is fast becoming an important part of the academic, scientific, and industrial worlds. Our goal is to position the University of Maryland as a leader in using this technology for geological education and research, as well as in outreach and object curation. Our project would provide the world with access to museum quality geological specimens and models, and will be a boon to geological educators at the University of Maryland and elsewhere.

Stretch Goals!

Now that we've passed our initial goal of $7000, we want to thank all the 3-D printing enthusiasts out there for supporting our project. Thank you! 

Since we still have a few days left, we've set a few stretch goals for the lab: 

  • $8000: ACHIEVED! with this amount, we will be able to add a more expensive lithographic resin printer to the laboratory, which produces 3-D prints in very high resolution! This is a great new technology that will allow our students to explore objects in even more detail!
  • $9000: with this amount, we will be able to add a portable scanner to the lab that allows students to make scans of objects in the field and take them back to the laboratory. Imagine being able to scan a classical outcrop or rock formation and then being able to print it in miniature for closer study in the classroom!

Gifts in support of the University of Maryland are accepted and managed by the University of Maryland College Park Foundation, Inc., an affiliated 501(c)(3) organization authorized by the Board of Regents.  Contributions to the University of Maryland are tax deductible as allowed by law.  Please see your tax advisor for details.


Choose a giving level



You rock! Thank you for helping our geology students to explore objects in 3-D. Every rock and pebble in the bucket helps to get us to our goal of a printer and scanner!



Support at the Age level will give our geology students and faculty the ability to print 4-5 geological objects for use in teaching and outreach. You’ve also brought us a wooly mammoth hair closer to our goal of a printer and scanner!



Your support at the Epoch level has made a gigantic impact on our ability to outfit the laboratory with software that students need to render their geological objects in 3-D. Supporters who donate at Epoch level or above will be offered a personalized tour of the laboratory!



You’re a real gem, and you are an essential part of the lattice supporting our goal to get a printer and scanner! Those who donate at the Period level will be offered a personalized tour of the lab and we’ll give you an object printed in the lab to thank you for your support!



Your tectonic generosity will truly move plates, thank you! In addition to a tour of the lab, supporters at the Era level will get to choose and have us print a 3-D object from an existing library of geological objects!



You're a true connoisseur of 3-D geological objects! At the Eon level, you will be given a tour of the lab, the choice of an existing geological object for us to print, and we will help you to design or scan in a completely new geological object!


Big Bang

An event of dramatic splendor, you are fundamental to the creation of the 3-D Geological Printing Laboratory! The Solar System, geology, and now 3-D geological printing at UMD are all the result of your investment. You get all the above rewards and your name attached to our lab!

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