The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Project Showcase

Digital Media Lab Operations Change Due to COVID-19

The Digital Media Lab has modified its offerings due to COVID-19.  You can find information about these specific changes on the services pages.  Please contact DML staff with any questions, 

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Here are a selection of projects the Digital Media Lab have collaborated on. 

“The arm enables our client to pick up dropped objects from the floor whereas before she had to wait for someone to help her.  This reduces tripping hazards and helps our client keep her home clean. We chose 3-D printing for the object because of its speed, cost, and simplicity to manufacture.  No off-the-shelf item could be found that fit our application,” Jennifer Black.  

Students: Jennifer Black, Devin Carroll, Robert Daly, Aimee Gonclaves, and Anna Russell
Project:  Vacuum Mold Gripper “The Yankees Wayfarer”, 
Course:  MIE 415 Design of Mechanical Systems - Mechanical Engineering in Collaboration with the College of Nursing

Jennifer Black Devin Carroll Robert Daly Aimee Gonclaves and Anna Russell Vacuum Mold Gripper


“Transtibial prostheses (‘below knee’) bill $990 million (per) year, in America alone, so the usefulness and financial impact of what we are doing is substantial.  The human cost is also significant: “poor fit” equates to difficulty with the activities of daily living, time lost from work, time in a wheelchair – most relevantly, difficulty in holding a job and building a life," said Bill Vannah.  

Public Patron:  Bill Vannah
Field: Mechanical Engineer and Prosthetist and Private Business Owner

Bill Vannah Prosthetic

“Bringing 3D printed models of actual artifacts into the classroom gives an immediacy to the object and recreates something of that confrontation that comes in actual fieldwork.  I’ve chosen this column not only because embedded in it is a microcosm of the entire building’s history, but also because the evidence for that history is expressed in the presence or absence of materials such as fluting, plaster, and erosion by water,” said Eric Poehler. 

Faculty:  Eric Pohler, Assistant Professor of Classics
Course:  Digital Humanities:The Pompeii Quadriporticus Project 


3D scanned classical column

3D scanned classical column.


3D printed classical column

3D printed classical column.


In this interdisciplinary, project-based seminar, we will examine innovative approaches to problem-solving through ‘makerspace principles.’  Drawing from the course readings and discussions in your Power of Ideas courses, you will be examining issues with potential political, financial or social impact in any of the three thematic categories:


  • Green technology
  • Climate issues
  • Imported labor

The main goal of this seminar is to bring something back - a conceptualization of a project which aims to solve a real-world problem; this solution could be anything from a solid fabricated object, to a recorded video or audio file, digital story, or compelling editorial piece.  The intent is to engage your creative problem-solving skills and work within teams toward a shared solution.


More on Makerspaces


What is a makerspace?


Makerspaces and the maker mindset (an interview with John Spencer):


Open educational resources (OER) in library makerspaces:

The launch of the Virtual Reality facility coincided with the reveal of the Du Bois homesite VR project. It was designed as an interpretive trail displaying information about W. E. B. Du Bois and recreating his boyhood home based on the historic site located in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. The HTC VIVE was used to visualize the virtual trail with the App development taking place in the 'Unity' cross-platform game engine.

The project continues to develop with the 3D scanning of artifacts from the homesite, which will be incorporated into the VR home as interactive objects providing a unique glimpse in the life of W. E. B. Du Bois. A team of students are working on the project.

Parker Louison ’20 is the winner of the Ready Player One Competition with his idea based on a VR application to develop simulations of various career paths and areas of study. This will help students 'test the waters' of their various interests, stretching their perspectives on their own capabilities and helping them thrive in and be passionate about their future careers. Louison received an HTC VIVE set valued at $599 donated to the UMass Amherst Libraries by Dr. Steve Acquah, Digital Media Lab Unit Coordinator and Associate Adjunct Professor of Chemistry. - UMass Libraries