Applied Research and Innovation Services

Capstone Project in 3D

Image Design and Fabrication

Our team regularly works with students either one-on-one or in small groups. From January to April, we worked with the entire Architectural Technologies 390 class on its collective capstone project.

Students were modeling an inner-city community as it developed over time. They worked with our research associate Jim Nikkel to print 3D models of buildings from computer-aided design drawings.

“It was a learning experience for the students because they were producing models that weren’t ready for use in 3D printing,” said Nikkel. “I took them through the process with some of their own models to begin with, so they understood what to do. Then I gave them a checklist to do certain steps so when they sent us the models, they were ready.”

Nikkel individually printed hundreds of buildings, each printing cycle taking 12 to 16 hours. The students then placed the printed buildings into the community footprint. Because 3D printing is costly, Nikkel said this project was able to move forward because of ARIS’s Innovative Student Project Fund.

“The students were very actively involved, and got to do something very substantial,” said Nikkel.


The Architectural Technologies 390 class worked together with the Design, Testing and Fabrication team to a create 3D-modeled inner-city community.


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