News & Blog: Carlos Meza

Carlos Meza teaches Digital 3-D Modeling class NYC

Carlos Meza teaches Digital 3-D Modeling


Since Carlos Meza started teaching 3-D Printing I & II and 3-D Modeling in Cooper Union’s Digital Fabrication Program, he’s had students looking to design a range of prototypes, from surfboards to jewelry to more abstract, conceptual structures. “I’ve taught architects, industrial designers, real estate developers, artists, carpenters, painters and inventors, so I like to keep my classes as flexible as possible, so students can develop their own 3D designs and prints that fit their interests,” he says. “The most important point to learn in my classroom is understanding the considerations and limitations for a successful print.”

Required for the digital fabrication certificate, 3-D Printing is an essential class for anyone interested in testing the design of a new product. Meza points out that the technology lets designers test and perfect their ideas at a far faster rate than previous modeling techniques. As a result, they can get immediate feedback and make necessary revisions or innovations at once. At the same time, the process of testing a product becomes notably less expensive since a designer saves time and can identify any flaws before production.

Meza, an architect whose work Villanueva Library represented Colombia in the Pan-American Biennial of Architecture, has noticed that many students enter the class thinking that learning how to use 3D printing software is easier than it is. But he’s found that students soon realize that putting enough time into developing their skills has considerable rewards. For one, it can be a terrific medium for improving communication between designer and audience. “A realistic 3D model and full color can convey much more information than a computer image,” he says. That alone makes the course a worthy investment of time and energy.


  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.