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The Expat Collection: Designing for the Makerbot

Rapid Product Innovation, VCUQatar

Faculty leader

Leslie Forehand, Designer

Student participants

Geetha Rajeswar, Noha Fahmy, Dana Chua, Ameilie Beicken, Dana El Ladki, Danh R Barghouti, Omaima Abdulla, Marsya K Ariffin, Meriem Aiouna

This project introduced students to 3D printing and digital modeling; final outcomes resulted in souvenir-like products made using a Makerbot printer and sold at the VCUQatar Bookstore. As additive manufacturing technology becomes more accessible, the concept of a 3D printer in every home is increasingly plausible, specifically through the introduction of ‘desktop printers.’ Affordable and simple to use, such printers allow for the production of objects with relative ease.

This project imagined the future commercialization of these printers and how they might be integrated into a retail space such as the bookstore. Since digital files can be saved and printed on-demand, there’s no longer a need to bulk order a product that does not sell well, nor is there the possibility of running out of popular stock. Students prepared files for successful printing in order to utilize time and material in an efficient and effective way.