The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Category: 3D Printing

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. 

"Education USA Academy is a short-term academic program that provides English language courses, college preparatory content, tours of diverse colleges and universities, and cross-cultural activities to 15- to 17-year-old students from around the world."

Groups will be learning about 3D Printing and Virtual Reality at the Digital Media Lab

“3D printing greatly expands the vocabulary for our students in mold-making and casting.  By introducing 3D scanning and printing into the course, we can take the same form and print multiple copies, change the scale and color, alter the form within the computer, and even invert the form to print a mold directly, which can then be cast into using a whole range of different materials” said Robin Mandel.

Faculty:  Robin Mandel, Assistant Professor
College:  College of Humanities & Fine Arts
Courses: ART360: Mold-making and Casting, ART 461: Advanced Sculpture


Robin Mandel and Dennis Spencer capturing a 3D scan of an artist created artifact

“This project-based course focuses on the theoretical and practical issues related to designing instruction for digital learning environment. It is designed to show future teachers how to use 3D printers as instructional tools for supporting constructivist learning experiences that are centered around design, creativity, and innovation" said Torrey Trust.


Faculty:  Torrey Trust, Assistant Professor

Affiliation:  Department of Teacher Education & Curriculum Studies,

Course:  EDUC 693: Instructional Design of Educational Technology

 Torrey Trust Class

A 3D printed frog dissection kit. The internal organs are removable.

A structural engineering activity in which 3D printed structures were attached to a shake table and tested with various types of supports and weights in order to evaluate their seismic performance.

Faculty:  Paula L. Sturdevant Rees, Lecturer
Affiliation:  Water Resources Research Center, College of Engineering, Science and Engineering Outreach initiative or SENGI


Students watch an earthquake simulator at a SENGI event.

“The use of the 3D printing is a great opportunity for students to visualize their digital models, explore new opportunities, communicate with clients, and more quickly generate design alternatives. The combination of digital and physical models, allows students to better grasp concepts related to the shaping of terrain, while encouraging creativity in their designs,” says Carolina Aragón

Faculty:  Carolina Aragón, Lecturer, Landscape Architecture + Regional Planning 
Course:  LA297D/ LA 506 Studio - Design with Landform

 Carolina Aragon Class Cast3

Landform Cast

Carolina Aragon Class Print3

3D Print from a 3D Scan of a Landform

“…an investigation of 3D printing usage for making prosthetics and I also wanted to look into how feasible this DIY approach actually is (between downloading the files, finding the resources to print the parts, and then actually putting the hand together).”

Student:  Mei Li Dzindolet
Project:  Snap-Together Robohand
School/ College: Isenberg School of Management
Course: HONORS 391A:  Digital Humanities


Snap Together Robohand, a miniature 3D printed prosthetic hand.

“We have used the model to measure drag in a flow chamber.  The object created a lot of excitement from pretty much everyone who saw it. In my lab, it sparked many discussions on how they could use a 3D printer both for teaching and for their research” said David Matthews.

Student:  David Matthews
Project:  Mantis Shrimp Appendage
School/College:  College of Natural Sciences
Course:  MIE 415 Produce Design and Development


Mantis Shrimp Appendage.

“We are using it for an educational tool in our public debate and hopefully use it as a model to build a system on campus…The result of the 3D printed object has allowed us to present complicated design information with a visual aide.  People have responded well to this project, and we are more prepared compared to other teams in our project,” said Erin Haley.

Student:  Erin Haley
Project:  Aquaponics System
College/School:  College of Humanities and Fine Arts
Course:  NatSci 289H iCons Renewable Energy 2

Erin Haley Aquaponics System3

3D printed aquaponics system used as a visual aid for presentation.

“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