Brandeis Design and Innovation

Featured Projects

Research Projects

The Single Camera Photogrammetry Platform, a 3d scanning prototype built by Brandeis Techne at Autodesk Technology Center Boston, in action!
‘Single Camera Automated Photogrammetry Platform’ (SCAPP) with Autodesk/Brandeis Techne Group
Along with Professor Alexandra Ratzlaff as part of the Techne group as residents at the Autodesk Technology Center in Boston; BDI has been creating a new robotic device designed to automate the process of handheld photogrammetry scanning.  We have fabricated an initial prototype ‘Single Camera Automated Photogrammetry Platform’ (SCAPP) with the final designs and methodology to be available for reproduction through an open-source platform. The SCAPP is intended to be relatively low-cost and easily reproduced as an alternative to other digital imaging equipment.  Archaeology has numerous limitations in the scanning process including: difficult types and shapes of materials to be scanned, objects that are often unable to be moved prior to scanning, and major environmental factors that eliminate the feasibility of using conventional, expensive, sensitive, lab-only equipment. The SCAPP attempts to resolve these issues as a relatively light-weight, inexpensive, and portable automated rig for single camera data collection.  This devices allows fragile objects to be scanned before they are excavated and uses a technology that has the potential to handle some exotic materials other scanning technologies would struggle with or be completely unable to capture.  The SCAPP also allows consistent and repeatable results while minimizing the user error and user fatigue that often comes with the photogrammetry process. Our goal in the Techne Group is to “Science the past” - so much photogrammetry is based on artistic decisions, we want to “science” this problem. We have found that by normalizing our data acquisition, we can be agnostic about our processing methodology: cleaner data results in cleaner renders regardless of the software used. Learn more at
3D proteins
3D Printing Biomolecular Models

As an undergraduate Eduardo came into the lab thinking 3D printing was science fiction. After several months immersing himself in the MakerLab, he developed a process to download protein data sets from the Protein Data Bank and render them in a molecular visualizer, in a format suitable to be 3D printed. In the course of his work, he downloaded from the protein bank and rendered on his own over 50 proteins that had never before been physicalized. The National Institutes of Health noticed his work, and while still an undergraduate, in a 2016 collaboration with the NIH, Eduardo published a technique for using low end consumer 3D printers to make models of proteins. Soon after Eduardo worked closely with Prof. Krummel’s Biochemistry class teaching students to print proteins for other students, revolutionizing the teaching of molecular biology and moving it from 3D projection on screen to physical objects every student could handle, examine, and take home with them.

Professor Andrew Koh poses in Greece with students
Greece Fieldwork

Professor Andrew Koh was a professor in the Chemistry and Classics departments, and taught in both. The Brandeis MakerLab partnered with the Digital Humanities Lab to advance his field research. In 2016, we brought a field kit to Greece for the summer to work with the Heraklion Museum digitizing ancient objects from warrior tombs dating between 3000 and 5000 BC. The 3D scans were so accurate that we were able to perceive fingerprints on pottery never before noticed. There are plans through 2020 to do additional field work each summer, including aerial 3D scans of tomb excavations and preservation through the use of digitization techniques of tomb exteriors before excavation. Professor Koh is excited that this will provide major leaps in what’s possible for modern Archaeology. Brandeis CLARC (Classical Artifact Research Collection) undergraduate research students are also involved in the processing of 3D scan data. Also, there are plans to bring Brandeis undergraduates in future summers. It’s a real Brandeis undergraduate research opportunity.

A student holds to small statues from CLARC
CLARC Internship Program

CLARC (Classics Artifact Research Collection) - in summer 2006 about 800 ancient archaeological objects, acquired by a past professor and left behind and forgotten when he moved on, were discovered by Ann Koloski-Ostrow (AOKO) in the Rose Art Museum. In fall 2006, the Department of Classical Studies began a formal year-long internship program where undergraduates research and document ancient artifacts. The MakerLab has been helping with digitization, both 2D object photography and 3D scanning, and 3D printing and reproductions. This gives the undergraduates not just access to a physical duplication of the object that they can take with them, it also teaches them fundamental skills about the future of digital curation and preservation.

Featured News

A student speaks to audience members

A planter that waters itself? A farm irrigation system that runs on its own waste? A portable mattress that traps heat and weighs less than a suitcase?

These inventions may seem futuristic, but a group of Brandeis students put their 3D printing skills to the test on March 17 and 18 to develop those creations and more as part of the Printathon V5.0 Design Challenge.

Read more on BrandeisNOW