SHU Procures 3D Printer for Use in Curriculum

From left, students Zachary Ryan, Taylor Ann D’Agostino and Mikayla Doyle set up the 3D printer for operation.

News Story: October 1, 2014

Sacred Heart University’s John F. Welch College of Business has purchased a 3D printer for SHU professors and students to use as a tool of innovation in classrooms and for academic projects.

The printer is a U.S.-made MakerBot Replicator 2 that features an 11-by-6-by-6-inch build volume and 100-micron layer resolution. It was purchased over the summer and is housed in the Ryan Matura Library to keep it easily accessible to all departments.

“Being able to bring this kind of cutting-edge technology into Sacred Heart is exactly what our educational mission encompasses—the idea that we can give our students access to and experience with the tools and skills that this generation of young adults will use in their careers,” says John Chalykoff, dean of the College of Business.

The idea for procuring the printer came from Enda McGovern, associate professor of marketing and sport management, who is implementing the technology into his marketing principles course this fall. His students will use the printer to make prototype, demo and proof-of-concept models of products they are creating as a part of a semester-long project. McGovern plans to next integrate the printer into his international marketing course.

“The department of Marketing and Sport Management is excited to have this new tool, but I can envision excellent uses for it in other departments, as well,” McGovern says. “Arts, science, architectural and education courses could all quickly find ways to integrate the printer into the curriculum. We’re always thinking and talking about ideas in class—now we can actually build them, too. This is going to become a valuable tool for digital pedagogy.”

Taylor Ann D’Agostino, a research assistant and sophomore marketing major from Monroe, was one of the first SHU students to use the MakerBot, testing it out with McGovern to build models of nuts, bolts and chains. “I’d never worked with a 3D printer before, and it’s really cool,” she says. “It’s innovative—seeing it in person, it’s amazing that technology can do that. It’s going to be a great way for students to design their own products and see what they would really look like. It will bring the learning outside of the textbook.”