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3D Printing and Your Course

Friday, February 13, 2015
Jen Anderle
j.anderle [at]
(617) 373-2821
Library Technology Services


The staff at Northeastern’s 3D Printing Studio want to hear about your idea to use 3D printing, scanning, or laser cutting for course work, and even better, they will help you every step of the way.


From 3D printed animatronic arms and laser-cut wooden sunglasses to new landing gear for a drone, Mark Sivak, PhD, Assistant Teaching Professor in CAMD and COE and Managing Director of the 3D Printing Studio, has seen all types of projects come through the studio. 


What could you do with your course?


Recent projects



"Viv is a creative artificial intelligence that attempts to capture and model creative inspiration, generating 3D-printable vases that are inspired by a source image. The system analyzes an image and extracts a color palette consisting of the most common and most noticeable colors in the image, then uses these colors to build up a set of aesthetic characteristics (hardness, activity, warmth, and weight) for the image based on research in color psychology. The ongoing Viv project is a collaboration between students and faculty in the College of Arts, Media and Design and the College of Computer and Information Science."


"The Viv project could not exist without the support of the 3D printing studio. The ability to prototype our ideas and see them produced in tangible form has been an important and exciting part of our research and creative process." 


Gillian Smith, Assistant Professor, Game Design and Computer Science and Janos Stone, Lecturer, Art and Design



Alternative Energy Vehicle Kits


Jennifer Love, Associate Academic Specialist in the College of Engineering, has worked on 3D Printing and laser cutting projects with over 100 first year students in GE 1110 - Engineering Design.


Some educational model vehicles that are used in schools to teach physics and engineering concepts are not designed to be durable enough for heavy use and are too expensive for most schools to purchase in large quantities. I wanted give my students the experience of what it’s like to really engineer a consumer product, so I asked them to design and build something better.”


- Jennifer Love, Associate Academic Specialist, First Year Program, College of Engineering and former engineer in the medical device and athletic footwear industries



Custom Propeller for Research

"Part of our research focuses on studying the physiology and biomechanics of corals. Water flow is a very important environmental factor for corals, so we use a recirculating flow tank, a flume, to control the speed of water over small coral colonies during experiments. I spent most of the fall rebuilding the lab's old flume, and I needed a new propeller to drive the water flow. I had to have a specifically sized propeller, and was unable to find any online. I decided to give 3D-printing a try and design a custom propeller to fit in the flume."


The staff at the 3D printing lab in Snell were awesome and very supportive during the whole process, from design to final product. Mark Sivak met with me in the beginning and gave me tips on how to start using 3D CAD software to design my propeller. This project was an excellent learning experience, and I loved being able to use Northeastern resources to build my own solutions for specific part requirements in my research."


- Sara Williams, Research Technician, Patterson Lab, Marine Science Center



Early Modern Pattern Poems

Last semester, Jonathan Fitzgerald, a PhD Candidate in the Department of English approached Mark and asked about making 3D models of Early Modern pattern poems. “Mark and his staff in the 3D Printing Studio have been amazingly helpful throughout the entire process,” said Fitzgerald, who had to try several 3D printing services to get the correct effect. “We’ve been working together on this project now for a couple of months and [Mark’s] energy and dedication hasn’t flagged. I’ll be presenting a paper on this project at a conference at the end of the month, and I know that I couldn’t have done it without Mark and the 3D Printing Studio staff.”


Inspired yet? Reach out to Mark Sivak at m.sivak [at] or click here for more information about 3D Printing Studio services.