From Makerspaces to Virtual Spaces: How 3D Changes Everything… – #HITsm Chat Topic

We’re excited to share the topic and questions for this week’s #HITsm chat happening Friday, 2/2 at Noon ET (9 AM PT). This week’s chat will be hosted by Chuck Webster, MD (@wareFLO) on the topic of “From Makerspaces to Virtual Spaces: How 3D Changes Everything…”

What do makerspaces, 3D-printing, and virtual & augmented reality have in common? Three-dimensional objects! Makerspaces, and their 3D printers, make 3D objects in the real world. Virtual & augmented reality are populated by virtual models of objects from physical real world.

At the recent RSNA meeting in Chicago, the same 3D models, of wounds, tumors, and proposed implants, could be viewed in either virtual or physical reality (via 3D printing). 3D printed models can be designed in virtual reality. Physical objects can be scanned and viewed in virtual reality.

What are the implications of this 3D printing / virtual reality connection? Well, for one thing, you’ll find a lot of virtual reality meetups in makerspaces (as occurs here in Columbus, at The Idea Foundary). Microsoft co-locates a “Mixed Reality” (VR + AR) space in its corporate makerspace.

But here is where I want to drive this. Makerspaces are inherently social, based on communities of peer-to-peer teaching and learning. However virtual reality has a loner stereotype, someone covering their eyes with electronics, and withdrawing from social interaction to explore, alone, fantastical, artificial landscapes.

The exception, in a big, big way, is social virtual reality. I wrote about this recently in my blog post Shared Social Virtual Reality Networking for Health, Healthcare, and Health IT Marketing. I won’t belabor the point here, except to say I am as excited about social virtual reality as a I was, and still am, about Twitter. In some ways, I’m reminded of the Blab and Firetalk group social video platforms (RIP!). A bunch of people, from anywhere in the world, can get together, virtually, to, well, do almost anything. Party in space. Watch movies underwater. Customize their avatars however they wish (yes, it can get freaky!)

If above seems like a bit of mishmash, I admit it does seem that way to me too. However, I didn’t want to call this HITsm tweet chat something like “Stuff @wareFLO Thinks Is Cool at The Moment.” So I thought hard, and came up with some connections!

PS. I’m bring my makerspace and virtual reality gear to HIMSS18! Look me up and check out this video preview!

Now for the topics we’ll be discussing during this week’s #HITsm chat. I hope you’ll join in on the discussion.

Topics for This Week’s #HITsm Chat:
T1: Did you ever make something (perhaps out of readily available household items!) that solved YOUR unique problem. How did you feel? Is there something there, about everyday people making stuff, that healthcare needs? #HITsm

T2: Have you tried out a virtual reality headset yet? Which one? What did you see? What was exciting? What was disappointing? How about augmented reality? (Lots of AR apps now on iOS) Same questions… #HITsm

T3: I’m basically an engineer who happened to go to med school. It’s how I got interested in workflow. But now I’m getting back into “mechatronics” (building robots, for example) I’m happy to share my expertise. Anyone wanna build something together? What? #HITsm

T4: What if all of us, in this Twitter chat, right now, by just pushing a button, could appear to each other, in real time, as holograms (think Star Trek or Star Wars) anywhere in the real or imaginary world, what place & setting would you chose? #HITsm

T5: What questions would you like to get answered about 3D printing and virtual/augmented reality? #HITsm

Bonus: How might 3D printing and virtual (or augmented) reality be used for health IT marketing & PR purposes? #HITsm

Upcoming #HITsm Chat Schedule
2/9 – The Role of HealthIT in Driving Payer Provider Employer Collaboration
Hosted by Heather Lavoie (@HSLavoie) from @Geneia

2/16 – TBD

2/23 – #HIMSS18
Hosted by #HIMSS18 Social Media Ambassadors

3/2 – Machine Learning and AI in Healthcare
Hosted by Corinne Stroum (@healthcora)

We look forward to learning from the #HITsm community! As always, let us know if you’d like to host a future #HITsm chat or if you know someone you think we should invite to host.

If you’re searching for the latest #HITsm chat, you can always find the latest #HITsm chat and schedule of chats here.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.