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Professor: Dr. Laura Taalman

How can we best represent the world that we live in? On paper we are limited to two dimensions, but with today’s technology we can produce three-dimensional models and visualizations that provide more descriptive artifacts of our world. This will be a project-based class in which students utilize 3D printing and design to create physical and digital representations of the world. Students will work in groups on projects and document their results publicly to share with the community. One project will involve the creation of three-dimensional visualizations to illustrate demographic and scientific data such as gerrymandering and weather patterns. Another project will involve the use of 3D scanners to capture historical objects for tactile replication and public digital collections. Additional projects may be developed according to the majors and interests of the students in the course.

No prior experience with 3D printing or design is needed for this course, although the ability and academic maturity to research and learn new things from online resources is a requirement. Students should be prepared to learn independently about software, hardware, design, and topics related to their projects. In addition, communication and documentation of results will be a key focus, and students will share their work using WordPress, Thingiverse, Shapeways, and other online communities. At the end of the semester, each group will give public presentations of their work. Due to classroom and equipment restrictions in the JMU 3SPACE 3D printing classroom this course is limited to 24 students.

Spring 2018, Spring 2020