Mary Jane Franco Ph.D.

Mary Jane Franco Ph.D.

I have always been more of a visual learner, when it came to my studies you were more likely to find me working on an art project than reading from a textbook. When it came time to choose my major, I chose to follow my passion and went with Industrial Design, where I learned to create 2D drawings and build 3D objects. But, it was not until attending the University of Notre Dame that I had the opportunity to work with a Mac computer, that would allow me to create line graphics. It’s here that I also had my first experience in sharing my knowledge as a teacher’s assistant. My passion for the visual arts and teaching are the foundations of what I love to do today: learning, teaching and working with digital media. My career in education has led me to earn a Master’s Degree and a Ph.D. Degree in Education and Technology as well as a Master’s in Fine Arts with a specialization in Animation and Visual Effects. My mission is to help and guide my students to understand how to use design skills and tools to create unique and amazing stories with their projects.

The following are just a few examples of some of these unique and amazing stories created by my students.

3D Modeling & Printing I:


This course help students develop an understanding of scientific concepts by providing a basic knowledge of the field of 3D modeling, imaging, and printing. It is an exploration of the basic tools, skills, and design concepts used to make three-dimensional solid objects from a digital file. Students learn the process of virtual design of an object using a 3D-modeling program and the process of data translation of these virtual models into real physical objects using a 3D printer.

3D Modeling & Printing II:

This second course takes learning a step further, exploring the necessary tools and knowledge used to bring an idea from concept to reality, focusing on the final product, creative thinking, and the unique culture of iteration in this process. It is an examination of the relationship between abstract concepts and real physical 3D printed objects. Students work towards understanding the abstract concepts of words and apply this new knowledge to real physical objects by means of research and analysis, design process and creative thinking. Emphasis is placed on concept and visualization, evaluation, proposal, and implementation.

For the main project, students are asked to identify a problem they would like to solve, do research, brainstorm solutions, and finally create a prototype based on iterations and feedback. The focus this past semester was to create objects to be presented at the next Annual Barry STEM Research Symposium.

3D printed Exoskeleton Hand to aid in rehabilitation

3D printed Exoskeleton Hand to aid in rehabilitation presentation

3D printed Exoskeleton Hand to aid in rehabilitation

3d Modeling & Animation: