TU student creates 3-D likeness of familiar professor

There’s a new face greeting students who enter the doors to Studio Blue, a creative space housed within TU’s Collins College of Business: a full-size, 3-D model of marketing Professor Charlie Wood. MBA student Quinn Starker created the replica, which will be used to showcase the technology and creative outlets available to students through Studio Blue and the NOVA Fellowship program.

Starker, a native of Calgary, Alberta, completed his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at TU in 2015 and chose to complement his technical background with an MBA. He works as a graduate assistant for Studio Blue and eagerly took on the project after a conversation with Wood last semester.

Starker started the design process at Fab Lab Tulsa, a community-based fabrication lab located near TU’s campus. He used Fab Lab’s 3-D scanner, which incorporates an Xbox Kinetic, to create the scan of Wood. He then cleaned up the scan and printed a mini prototype on the 3-D printer in Studio Blue. “For a project of this magnitude, the 3D printer allowed me to work out the kinks before moving to the full size model,” Starker explained. Once the 3-D scan was ready, he used 123D Make software to slice the model into layers that he cut out of cardboard with Fab Lab’s laser cutter. In total, the model contains 438 layers of cardboard pieced together using a combination of glue and screws.

The project presented a challenge in terms of the model’s stability due to a small surface area around the ankles. “I solved the problem by placing metal rods in the ankle area for support and alsoCharlie Wood 3-D added guide wires to secure the legs to the platform,” he said.

Starker hopes the model will raise awareness of resources available to students seeking to make the leap from idea to execution. “The biggest obstacle for students with an idea for a product, company or charity is simply getting started,” he said. “The NOVA Fellowship and Studio Blue act as support functions within the university and encourage students to help one another as well as pursue their own ideas.”

With generous support from the George Kaiser Family Foundation and TU administration, Studio Blue opened in 2008. Students use the facility as an agency-like environment to generate product innovation ideas, create business plans and work on projects for businesses and nonprofit organizations.

Wood also worked with the Koch Foundation to help design the NOVA Fellowship, an interdisciplinary program that equips students with the tools to implement an idea or passion before graduating. Students can obtain an Applied Innovation Certificate by taking a set of courses that teach innovation principles and the process of problem solving.