Board of Regents Grant Provides LSU College with State-of-the-Art 3D Scanner and Fabrication Unit

Demo of the 3D scannerA recent $70,000 Board of Regents grant has provided the College of Art + Design with a state-of-the-art scanner and fabrication unit currently in use by students and faculty to produce three dimensional (3D) models in a variety of materials. This grant was a collaboration of the Communication Across the Curriculum (CxC) Program and the equipment is housed in the Art + Design CxC Studio and the Design Shop.

The scanner, Creaform’s VIUScan, can capture surfaces, textures, and color from almost any existing object (a ceramic cup, for example) in a three-dimensional model on the computer. The model can then be reproduced or scaled down, altered, and rendered utilizing software. Designs can then be produced through the corresponding fabrication unit in materials that include wood, steel, and plastic, among others. The fabrication unit, called a Computer Numeric Control Mill, is a Tormach PCNC 1100.

Students in the college are currently learning advanced visualization techniques digitally, and gaining experience in digital design fabrication with this equipment will prepare them for the technology that has become the future of many fields and is especially reshaping the competitive art and design industry. For class projects and research, students will produce detailed output of designs, digital representations, physical models, sculptures for learning, and artifacts for professional portfolios and college-wide assessment.

The grant was written by Communication Across the Curriculum (CXC) Coordinator Vincent Cellucci in collaboration with Associate Dean of the College of Art + Design Tom Sofranko and Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture Bradley Cantrell. Multiple members of the College of Art + Design’s faculty, engaged with this technology, contributed to this grant as well.

LSU’s Communication across the Curriculum (CxC) is a university-wide program launched in 2004 to implement discipline-specific, communication-intensive instruction into existing courses to improve student writing, speaking, visual, and technological communication skills. Rooted in the proven pedagogy of Writing across the Curriculum (WAC) programs, LSU’s CxC extends the WAC model to address spoken, visual, and technological communication to increase the marketability of student graduates in the professional workforce.