MakerBot Innovation Centers | A Year Later at SUNY New Paltz
| by Ben Millstein
It’s hard to believe that it’s been one year since SUNY New Paltz opened the first MakerBot Innovation Center. But for staff and students at the university, time has flown by in the wake of 3D printing’s big splash on campus and on February 25, MakerBot CEO Jenny Lawton will head to New Paltz to celebrate the anniversary and give a talk on the current state and future of the 3D printing industry.
Bringing the Community to the Classroom
Besides giving students access to 30 cutting-edge 3D printers for bringing their innovative designs to life, the school’s MakerBot Innovation Center has also had a huge impact on the community. For example, students enrolled in the Digital Design and Fabrication class get to work with local entrepreneurs on 3D modeling and Real-Time Prototyping projects. So far, the collaboration has provided digital design and fabrication expertise to about 50 businesses and entrepreneurs throughout the Hudson Valley.
The school also launched workshops that have attracted a wide variety of K-12 teachers, from art to chemistry, looking for ways to bring digital design and fabrication technologies in their classrooms.
Catching the Eye of Employers
The outpouring of innovation from the student body is also attracting the attention employers searching for talented job candidates with 3D design and printing experience.
“We’ve seen huge interest from companies looking for talent with additive manufacturing experience, and the number of inquiries we get from local business and industry grow daily,” said Dan Freedman, dean of the School of Science and Engineering.
Governor Cuomo Takes Notice
The positive economic ripple effect in the community has also not gone unnoticed by state officials. In the fall, the school was awarded the $10 million NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant from Governor Andrew Cuomo to help further establish the school as an engineering innovation hub.
“The MakerBot Innovation Center has been hugely successful here at SUNY New Paltz and the interest from both students and industry has exceeded even our wildest expectations,” said Freedman. “MakerBot put us on the map as an innovation leader and we’re now positively impacting the Hudson Valley economy in so many ways,” added Freedman.
Interested in learning more about what a customized MakerBot Innovation Center could do for your university or organization? Visit MakerBot.com/innovation-center