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St. John’s Students Gain Competitive Edge in New Space Designed for Innovation

Saturday, November 17, 2018

As part of the University’s ongoing commitment to creating cutting-edge teaching and learning environments, St. John’s students are using 3D MakerBot printers in a new centralized lab known as the Technology Commons on the Queens, NY, campus.  

“St. John’s always looks to enhance the student experience by incorporating the latest technologies in the classroom,” said Anne Pacione, Executive Director, Infrastructure, and Interim Chief Information Officer. “Students have logged more than 6,400 minutes of print time for more than 1,000 successful jobs in the new space.”

Ms. Pacione went on to note that working with MakerBot—a global leader in 3D printing—is a natural fit for St. John’s given the rapid growth of the 3D printing job market. “The University is committed to giving students every possible advantage for their future careers,” she said.

St. John’s students have had access to 3D printers in the past, but the Technology Commons was specifically built to centralize the technology. Students can now learn and design using 30 Makerbot 3D printers in a single location that is perfectly suited for collaboration. In addition, the new Media Arts & Design Lab, which supports programs in digital media, animation, art and design, advertising, and journalism, is located in the same breezeway as the Technology Commons.

Tauhid Dewan, an Illustration major in his senior year, has used the 3D printers this semester in his Special Topics in Studio Art: 3D Printing course. He has designed and printed a variety of projects, including toy race car models; a Halloween mask resembling the Marvel Comics character, Daredevil; more than five robots; and a prosthetic hand that can be used for a child with a disability.

“Regardless of our different fields of study, students working in the Technology Commons are building knowledge in completely new ways,” Tauhid said.

“Your imagination will be the only limiting factor in how this new type of manufacturing and design technology will be put to use,” said Max A. Hergenrother, Director of Technology Operations for the College of Professional Studies, Adjunct Associate Professor, Art and Design. “3D printing is going to be like cell phones. In 10 years, everybody will be using one.”

The Technology Commons is also currently being used for marketing, fashion, and even foreign language classes and the University is adding course offerings that will increase the number of students who will use the space.  

“I really appreciate the consolidation of 3D printing technology on campus,” said Terri Kazuyo Dorsey, a junior majoring in Illustration with a minor in Fashion Studies. She added, “St. John’s has created an amazing opportunity for students to come together and incorporate innovative ideas into our personal and professional artistic abilities.”