Digital 3D modeling and fabrication tools are used in myriad sectors from education to industry, enabling ideation, prototyping, and even production. Given their wide application, can Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) be employed to support the transition from a military mindset to a student perspective, and eventually to a contributing member of society? Just one in five veteran students at Kean University successfully transitions to higher education, while the vast majority require support services throughout their academic tenure.
In addition to traditional counseling, the use of industrial design methodology, CAD and CAM, as positive technologies, can help with stress management. Veterans can benefit from design therapy – in other words, problem solving through digital modeling and fabrication. In this ongoing case study, design is a medium used to aid veteran students outside of the creative fields in stress management, academic continuity, and accomplishing career goals. The project is not intended to replace traditional therapy, but rather provide a new type of therapy. The long-term goal of the project is to introduce a remedy for those veterans who are at risk of being placed on probation or dismissed, where traditional methods of counseling are not working.