The Academic and Research Computing department provides hardware, software, rapid prototyping, and training sessions for all WPI faculty and students free of charge. Our main offices and rapid prototyping laboratory are located in Higgins Laboratory 232, with our design studio for training sessions and poster printing located in the adjacent laboratory HL 234.


Hardware is available for all domains of scientific computation, including Windows and Linux servers, high performance computing clusters, and hosting of virtual machines. Faculty can also have ARC host, manage, and maintain their research group computing hardware in one of our campus server rooms.

Access to ARC hardware is available by request.


All of the computational hardware available supports a wide range of scientific software, both commercial and open source. Training sessions on many of these applications are available throughout the academic year.

Higgins Design Studio (HL 234)

The 1600 sq. ft. state-of-the-art Higgins Design studio, part of the Keck Design Center at WPI, serves as both an innovative classroom and a premier workspace centered on computer-aided design, simulation, and visualization.

With a focus on design technologies and collaboration, the studio is used for lectures and labs in mechanical design and manufacturing, as well as training sessions in Scientific and Engineering Software Applications (SESA).

When not in use, the studio is available for student projects, coursework and faculty research. It is equipped with high-end workstations running software for mechanical design including parametric solid modeling, structural, thermal, fluid and dynamic analysis, and general purpose applications. The Design Studio is built to facilitate student collaboration and teamwork.

Access to the Design Studio is available by request.

Rapid Prototyping

Rapid Prototyping (RP) is a method of producing models directly from a computer-aided design (CAD) program. It uses a computer-driven, additive process to print solid three-dimensional models one layer at a time.

WPI has two RP machines available for students, faculty, and staff: Dimension SST 1200es and Objet260 Connex, located in Higgins Laboratory 232. The machines are meant to be used for parts that cannot be easily purchased or produced using other on-campus resources such as the machine shop. For more information on using the RP machines, read our Rapid Prototyping Guidelines and visit the Sharepoint WPI Rapid Prototype Machine site.


Each year ARC offers more than 200 group and individual training sessions in Scientific and Engineering Software Applications (SESA) for over 1,200 students and faculty members. As the world-renowned research at WPI continues to makes new strides, our services continue to grow.

The most up-to-date listing of upcoming SESA training sessions can be found on the front page of the ARC website.