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Montclair State U Opens New 3D Printing Lab

Montclair State University in New Jersey has formally opened its MIX Lab, where students, local businesses and high school students can use the lab's 35 networked MakerBot 3D printers to design and rapidly prototype their ideas and products.

MIX stands for Making and Innovating for X, according to information on the university's site, and the lab is located in the Feliciano School of Business. Its formal opening took place on February 18 with tours and a panel discussion on 3D printing, but it first welcomed students in August when students in the Entrepreneurship, Lean Manufacturing and 3D Design certificate program began using the lab to create their first products.

The students use computer-aided design (CAD) software to plan their ideas and then send the designs to the 3D printer, which uses cornstarch-based plastic to transform the students' ideas into a physical model. The professors in the program want the students to understand that 3D printers have practical applications beyond engineering and industrial design, according to a report in The Record. "This is a lab where students come to solve problems," said Dennis Bone, director of the Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship, in a prepared statement. "We have to come up with new ways to look at the world, to make changes, to come up with innovative ideas. That's what innovation is all about."

More information about the lab and its technologies can be found on the MIX Lab's site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].

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