3D printing courses to be available again next fall


Professor Gregory B Stably in 3D Printers room, in Wightman 143, MakerBot Lab, on Friday, Feb 19.

After creating designs for jewelry, shoes and body adornments last semester, Kimberly Johnson was able to print out her creations into three dimensional objects.

The Saginaw senior took a course using 3D printing technology at Central Michigan University, after the MakerBot Innovation Center opened in fall 2015. 

As class registration approaches for fall 2016, students will have the option of registering for classes in which they can print out three dimensional objects in either an art or fashion course. 

Since the 3D lab opened, "Art 397M: Creation in 3D," taught by art and design faculty member Greg Stahly, and "3D Printing and Fashion," taught by human environmental studies faculty member Michael Mamp were added to the bulletin of classes. Both will be offered again in the fall. They are the only two classes that specifically include use of the 3D lab in curriculum.

Last semester, Johnson took 3D Printing and Fashion, where she was able to use computer-aided design software to create a body chain, barrette and flats.

“I get really excited seeing a 3D design made into a physical object I can pick up,” she said.


Professor Gregory B Stably in 3D Printers room, in Wightman 143, MakerBot Lab, on Friday, Feb 19.


3D Printer works on the new product, in Wightman 143, MakerBot Lab, on Friday, Feb 19.


Professor Gregory Stahly poses in the MakerBot Lab in Wightman 143 on Friday, Feb 19, 2016. 


3D Printer works on the new product, in Wightman 143, MakerBot Lab, on Friday, Feb 19.


CMU Student works for 3D Printers, in Wightman 143, MakerBot Lab, on Friday, Feb 19.


CMU Student works for 3D Printers, in Wightman 143, MakerBot Lab, on Friday, Feb 19.

She said having this technology available will make CMU competitive with more well-known fashion schools.

“(The 3D printing) is going to put Central students ahead of other students because not a lot of places have 3D printing technology,” she said. “You always see people talk about (the Fashion Institute of Technology) and Parsons (School of Design), but Central is up and coming.”

Southfield junior Sala White also took 3D Printing and Fashion. She plans to use 3D printing in the future to create more jewelry and possibly enter it in a fashion show.

Holly Conner has not taken a 3D printing class but said it's on her priority list of classes to take before she graduates.

“I know 3D printing will be very beneficial to me both as an artist and as a fashion designer,” the Fowler junior said. “Many styles would be impossible for me to create without 3D printers.”

Stahly said even when students learn skills specific to the model of 3D printers at CMU, these skills can be applied to printers that print in numerous types of materials, such as chocolate, metal and ceramic.

“(3D printing) is very beneficial because it’s becoming, in some ways, very commonplace and if we want students to leave here with experience with new, emerging technologies, I think it’s incredibly important to have this,” he said.

He said the Creation in 3D course filled up quickly this semester and will be offered again next fall.

"I think it's such a new thing for (students) that it's kind of amazing to them to have the ability to model something on the computer screen and end up with that object in the real world," he said.

The course utilizes 3D printers but the printed object is not the final product for most projects, he said. The class involves a lot of mold making and use of other materials.

“(3D printers) are useful because they provide a way to create molds or prototypes and a new way of approaching and thinking about creating things,” said Fraser senior and art student Mackenzie Eddy.

Fashion student Megan Cavellier said part of the reason she enrolled at CMU was because of the well known fashion program and the amount of technology available to students.

The Oxford sophomore said working with 3D printing and other technology gives fashion students real world experience and will help them be more prepared for their careers.

“Fashion is really competitive. I’ve learned that in 100 ways from 100 different people,” she said. “I think it’s a big deal that CMU has one of the newest things in fashion.”


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