The College of Technology is using a variety of 3-D technology equipment to prepare its students for the ever-changing world.
The COT’s School of Construction recently purchased a 3-D printer that faculty said is creating new ways of teaching and learning. This type of printing has been a major benefit to the construction industry, as it allows builders, contractors and designers to view and assess a physical model of what is to be constructed.
“Traditionally, design is done using two-dimensional blueprints,” assistant professor Norman Philipp said. “By adding a 3-D model, it allows you that direct communication from a 3-D design to a 3-D product. We can’t always go out and build the things we’re talking about in class, but we can design it in 3-D and print a model that our students can hold and study.”
In the Graphics and Imaging Technologies Department, a 3-D scanner made headlines for its use in a project to scan ancient fossils and dinosaur bones. The scans will be used to create digital archives of the fossils, which will enhance the study of the bones.
Assistant professor Jason Ward said the 3-D technology is making the impossible possible.
“Once you have a 3-D scan of the object, you can always replicate it,” he said. “If you have something that is one of a kind, such as a dinosaur fossil, you can replicate it out of anything.”
Sean McCartney, a recent PSU grad who worked with Ward on the project, said PSU is one of the few institutions to use 3-D scanning for this purpose.