September 20, 2019

3D Printed hands

The Catholic University School of Engineering hosted a free Maker Tech & Art event on Saturday Sept. 14, in the Pryzbyla Great Room for students, faculty, and community members to view D.C. technology and art makers, in addition to showcasing the type of potential activities the School of Engineering has in the works. 

“It is a celebration of invention and creativity,” said Sergio Picozzi, a visiting professor in the school and organizer of the event. “For us, in the material sciences and engineering program, we would like to place an emphasis on advanced manufacturing technologies like 3D printing for example.”

Student standing next to 3D PrinterExhibitors included companies like Markforged, one of the leading manufacturers of 3D printing systems. In addition to tech and engineering companies, the event highlighted artists who use technology as a tool to produce art and alumni who used their time at CatholicU to shape their business model today. 

With gentle music playing in the background and refreshments of coffee and tea available, the tone of the event was relaxed and casual. President John Garvey attended and spoke with the tabling companies. He was particularly intrigued by Markforged, which displayed a 3D printer, printing Kevlar; a bullet resistant metal manufactured and trademarked by DuPont. 

ABC Imaging had different 3D printed trinkets on display. Kevin Armentrout, an account sales executive at ABC, said that the company is planning to install more 3D printers in the engineering and architecture schools this year. 

“3D printing is the future. It’s a great tool to have when studying engineering or architecture to be able to have tangible concepts and pitch them to others,” Armentrout said. 

In addition to the technology demonstrations, there were beautiful and intricate works of art including some from a Saudi Arabian artist who produces realistic drawings highlighting Islamic culture and history. His works ranged from small portraits to large scenes of historical and current Saudi Arabian politicians all sitting together at mecca.  A laptop displayed digital reprints of his art, showing how technology helps him advance and globalize his art sales. 

Among exhibitors, architecture alumna Marta Ali showed how Catholic University gave her the tools and knowledge to start her own business selling custom laser-engraved designs for interior finishes. 


“I want to turn everyday places into extraordinary experiences using technology and Catholic really helped me learn a lot about time management to be able to do that,” Ali said. 

She had on her table a mock-up design of what she said could be an interior wall in a restaurant made out of laser engraved wood and gold spray paint. 

Other tables included an organization called Enable The Future that does work on prosthetic hand designs and a company that uses its engineering tools to help veterans. 

— Rachel Stevens, B.A. 2020, Marketing and Communications Intern. For more information, contact