Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons

Library stories: Atomic Object Technology Showcase - A spotlight for 3D printing and emerging technologies

Located in the Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons at Grand Valley State University, the Atomic Object Technology Showcase is an initiative of the Information Technology department that provides faculty, staff, and students with an immersive and engaging environment to interact, discover, learn, and share how innovative emerging technologies can enhance teaching and improve student learning at GVSU.

Technology Showcase

When the showcase opened in the Fall of 2013, the ultimate goal was to provide an innovative space for the campus community to engage with the latest emerging technologies.  The showcase provides exploration in 3D printing, augmented reality, virtual reality, gesture computing and mobile computing. In addition, it seeks to focus on promoting STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) applications.

The concept of needing a space to allow Grand Valley students and staff alike to interact and gain an understanding of innovative educational technologies created a pathway for the Atomic Object Technology Showcase to be formed. As technology continues to transform our world,  the focus is on leveraging technology in the classroom. Since the beginning, 3D printing has been a prominent technology that has had a positive impact on the educational experience at Grand Valley State University. Currently, the showcase is using the Ultimaker 2+ and the Ultimaker 2 Extended+ to service our campus community.

Summer Technology Showcase Workers- Megan (Left) and Sam (Right)
Summer Technology Showcase Workers- Megan (Left) and Sam (Right)

Our small, yet mighty “Showcase Makerspace” offers centralized 3D printing that is available across all disciplines, the possibility of incorporating 3D printing into the curriculum became a real opportunity for innovation. Throughout the different disciplines, the showcase has been able to facilitate 3D projects for the departments of marketing, engineering, art, and medical science.

Whether those projects translated into the classes like new product development or an art reliquary project, the showcase was able to provide the students with access to the 3D capabilities they needed. Thanks to the 3D printing resources provided by the showcase, innovative education has flourished at Grand Valley State University.