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Updated Fall 2021 Operating Guidelines

  • Want to come to an Open Lab location in person? We’re open this term – by appointment only!
  • We can also manufacture your designed item for you for contactless pickup, for Approved Users.
  • Training is always available online.
  • As always, we’d love to talk to you about integrating Open Lab technologies and services into your teaching.
  • To access any of the above services, tell us: What Would You Like to Do Today?

Available Technologies

Open Lab Campus Spaces

Open Lab @ Hillman

Open Lab @ Hillman is a collaboration between the University Center for Teaching and Learning and the University Library System. Through workshops, class sessions, consultations and trainings, we aim to connect the Pitt community with technology for hand-on making and experiential learning. Make an appointment to experience virtual reality, learn to 3D print, use a vinyl cutter, or borrow a 360 degree video camera. OL@H is located in G7 Hillman Library.

Open Lab @ Alumni

Open Lab @ Alumni is our main production site, where you'll find multiple 3D printers, a laser cutter and engraver, workbenches and tools for finishing projects, and other resources. Approved users (training required) are welcome to access this space by making an appointment to work on modeling, printing, cutting, and finishing projects. The lab is located in Suite B12 adjacent to Classroom Services.
400+
Faculty, staff, and students who participated in training sessions since Fall 2019
1000+
Walk-in customers since Fall 2019
25
Training sessions during the 2019-20 academic year

Faculty Projects Created With the Help of the Open Lab

3D-printed brain section

Students design 3D brain models to learn and teach neuroanatomy

The human brain is an incredibly complex 3D structure that is difficult to comprehend using only 2D images. However, visualizing the 3D structures of brain components and their spatial relationships is critical for understanding brain function and diagnosing neurological disorders. Students in Erika Fanselow’s neuroanatomy course tackle this by designing 3D models of multiple related brain structures based on measurements made from 2D images such as brain scans. In conjunction with Pitt’s Open Lab, students use web-based modeling software to develop and print their models. This project facilitates students’ conceptualization of brain structures and allows them to teach their peers.

360-degree video header

Students Document Archaeological Sites With 360-Degree Video

The creative seed was planted about a year ago when Dr. Jacques Bromberg, assistant professor in the Department of Classics, read a story about an emerging innovative technology offered by the Teaching Center: virtual reality [VR]. It sparked immediate enthusiasm in Dr. Bromberg — as faculty director of the Pitt in Sicily program, he saw a fantastic opportunity to use VR technology in the study abroad program. But how? Pitt in Sicily is designed for students interested in the history and archaeology of the ancient Mediterranean. The class, consisting of about 15 undergraduate students, focuses on “Greek Archaeology through exploration of archaeological locations,” according to Dr. Bromberg. With so many picturesque settings to capture, one particular technology in the VR toolkit proved to be a perfect match for Dr. Bromberg’s needs: 360-degree video.

The Teaching Center’s Open Lab is a makerspace dedicated to inspiring and facilitating excellence and innovation in teaching and learning at the University of Pittsburgh. Our mission is to provide the support and resources necessary for anyone in the Pitt community to incorporate emerging technologies into their teaching, while providing a supportive environment for members of the Pitt community to engage in exploratory learning through making.

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