VAR Studios has launched the MatchBox Studio, a compact 3D asset creation machine built into a box that is located in the Merwin Building’s industrial Highbay. The Merwin Building, part of the Knowledge Park business park near Penn State Behrend, houses numerous companies, including the VAR Lab headquarters. The MatchBox Studio is one of 11 micro work units available for rent to businesses interested in collaborating on research, participating in senior design projects, and accessing student talent for internships. 

The VAR Lab was offered a custom designed MatchBox and decided to use it as a permanent 3D asset creation space. This initiative was prompted by the challenges the VAR Lab faced during the Summer of 2022, when a team of students captured about a dozen historical models for integration into interactive exhibits at the Hagen History Center. The MatchBox Studio will streamline this process, allowing VAR Studio members to easily create models for Behrend Faculty, Staff, and Students, as well as community and industry partners. The studio features overhead lights on a winch-controllable ceiling trellis and multiple rows of black, white, and green curtains on the walls. It also has multiple workstations and screens to capture and view the 3D asset being compiled. Once the studio is operational, it will significantly reduce setup, dialing in, and teardown time, simplifying the process and increasing the quality and quantity of the 3D assets being produced at Behrend. 

The MatchBox Studio is scheduled to be fully outfitted by the end of the current academic year (2022-2023). Eventually, custom signage and integrated accent lighting will be added to the exterior of the box. To view the assets created within the MatchBox Studio, please visit the VAR Lab’s Sketchfab profile by clicking here.