866-386-6110 makercommons@psu.edu

Get Inspired

The technologies collected in the Maker Commons tell a story about the exploration of emergent methods of planning, designing and building our shared future. Discover how leaders in the fields of rapid prototyping, 3D printing, digital modeling and more are pushing the envelope in their disciplines with these compelling new tools.

Mobilizing with 3D Scans

Using an Artec Eva 3D scanner, the CAMERA research team at University of Bath have done something incredible for one man: creating a previously impossible, custom-fitted liner for his prosthetic leg. This pioneering technique slashes time and cost off of the creation of prosthetic accessories by directly imaging a patient’s residuum.

Preserving History in Time of Conflict

Iranian artist and activist, Morehshin Allahyari used 3D printing to recreate artifacts destroyed by ISIS during recent fighting. Allahyari goes one step further, literally embedding each sculpture’s history within the miniature recreations via flash drive. Copies of her work were printed at the Maker Commons for a visit to University Park and originals were displayed during the Palmer Museum of Art’s Plastic Entanglements exhibition in 2018.

All Pioneering People + Projects


Tomorrow’s Build highlights the expansion of Nexii, a British Columbia-based construction start up, into two Pennsylvania cities, Hazleton and Pittsburgh.


These three devices allow for users with differing physical and neurological abilities to customize their digital workflows by programming simple or complex actions into easy interactions with hardware.

Backup Ukraine

A free app, Backup Ukraine, allows users to easily capture objects and spaces by using photogrammetry and LIDAR techniques to create 3D scans.


The Solar Cow creates opportunities for powering connected devices like mobile phones as well as bringing much needed reliable lighting to homes and schools.

Rael San Fratello

The architectural duo behind Rael San Fratello fashions itself as an atelier that is engaged in a conversation with the practice of its field.

New Balance + formlabs

By partnering with formlabs, a longstanding pioneer in 3D printers, high end materials and professional software, New Balance has been able to start sprinting down a new path in product development.

Lund University

Lund University details the pioneering work in the overlapping worlds of 3D printing and instrument design that Olaf Diegel has been steeped in over the last several years at Malmö Academy of Music.

Budmen Industries

All around the world, makers are deploying their skills and technologies to help with the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. CNN profiles one couple, Stephanie Keef + Isaac Budmen who have transformed their home-based 3D printing business.

Tactile Astronomy

Dr Nicolas Bonne at the University of Portsmouth is helping not only himself but others who are captivated by astronomy study the cosmos without relying on vision alone.

University of Bath

Using an Artec Eva 3D scanner, the CAMERA research team at University of Bath have done something incredible for one man: creating a previously impossible, custom-fitted liner for his prosthetic leg.


Starting out with an in-store hack-a-thon, IKEA Israel launched the ThisAbles project to make its most popular products more usable for customers with disabilities.


The Times visits Dutch design firm, MX3D to learn more about the 3D printed, stainless steel pedestrian bridge they have designed to span the Oudezijds Achterburgwal canal in their home city, Amsterdam.

Food Ink

Opened in London’s Shoreditch neighborhood in late 2016, the Food Ink restaurant concept invites diners to sample innovative recipes – that are 3D printed at their table, on demand.


Autodesk visits the Director of Additive Design and Manufacturing at General Motors to learn how new tools are pushing the bounds on what parts can look like by allowing human designers to reach beyond their imagination through partnering with A.I.

Smithsonian X 3D

The Smithsonian’s X 3D digitization program has been transforming this venerable institution’s extensive collections and on-going scientific projects into a globally accessible library of wildly accurate, online 3D models.

Proximity Designs

Radio Free Asia profiles how non-profit company Proximity Designs creates highly affordable, 3D printed parts for irrigation systems that are sorely lacking for farmers in rural Myanmar.


New Story takes us on-site in Austin, Texas where their partner, ICON has just 3D printed the first of its homes intended for the developing world. The units, which take less than 24 hours to complete, are projected to cost around $4,000.


For her “Black Lake” video from 2015’s Vulnicura album, musician and multi-hyphenate Björk called upon Autodesk to design the 3D printed elements of her dramatic costumes and landscapes.

Iris van Herpen

Dutch designer, Iris van Herpen has been pushing boundaries in the world of high fashion since her eponymous label’s founding in 2007. van Herpen’s design process incorporates elements of rapid prototyping as she and her team collaborate on developing wholly new materials.

Wake Forest

VICE News visits Wake Forest University’s Institute for Regenerative Medicine to learn how 3D printing is being leveraged to not only create prosthetics but fully realized replacement body parts made from human tissue.

Morehshin Allahyari

Born and raised in Iran, Morehshin Allahyari is a new-media artist and activist who has lived in the United States since 2007. Her work uses 3D scanners and printers as tools to investigate and re-appropriate tradition, narrative and objectification.

Banner images by NASAMadeline Gannon and Markus Kison found via the Free Media Library