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Marcus Darden's Story

Marcus Darden, assistant professor of computer science, was awarded a grant from the Michigan Association of Computer Users in Learning (MACUL) for the purchase of a 3-D printer last fall. The cutting-edge technology allows his computer science students to make durable, plastic goods as part of their classroom work, thus exposing them to small business opportunities, product marketing and boutique manufacturing.

Darden’s computer science students use the printer as part of their weekly seminar experience.

“We will eventually build small plastic cases for data cloud network analyzers and other things,” said Darden. “Marcus Greathouse [a junior majoring in computer science] and I are spending time this spring continuing to work the kinks out of the process.”

When he returns to the classroom this fall, Darden will teach his students to build custom cases and attachments for emerging technology. “We’re working with computers, sensors and communications equipment, all of which are a few inches across or smaller. We’re then using the 3-D printer technology to construct durable devices that combine all of these things. It’s a good opportunity for our students to see the potential of 3-D printing and manufacturing from multiple angles.”

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