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MakerBot Launches Innovation Centers for Higher Ed

MakerBot, producer of desktop 3D printers, is launching Innovation Centers for universities and businesses in an effort to improve collaboration.

"The MakerBot Innovation Centers are filled with 30+ MakerBot desktop 3D printer and scanners," according to a cpmpany news release, "with the goal of helping train the next generation of engineers, architects, industrial designers and artists, as well as transform businesses into innovation hubs that can facilitate their own rapid prototyping and increase their product design cycles while saving time and money."

Built in partnership with MakerBot's engineering, creative and training teams, the centers are designed to be 3D printing hubs that serve multiple departments in a business or university as well as the public.

The first center, serving the science, math, engineering and fine arts programs at State University of New York (SUNY), New Paltz, will celebrate its grand opening February 11. SUNY New Paltz currently "offers a certificate program in digital design and fabrication and plans further curricular offerings," according to a news release.

"Forging this partnership with MakerBot allows SUNY New Paltz to offer its students, faculty and local industry an accessible hub for innovation that will bring these three groups together in a creative environment with the latest in 3D technology," said Donald P. Christian, president at SUNY New Paltz, in a prepared statement. "We expect this environment to enhance our students' preparation for high-tech careers that combine creativity and advanced manufacturing expertise, and to seed collaborations among academics, students and regional industry that will further enhance our mission as the region's public university and an economic driver in the Hudson Valley."

College of the Ouachitas in Malvern, AR is home to the largest Innovation  Center Installed so far. Hardware at the center includes:

The Innovation Center at College of the Ouachitas will be used to strengthen ties between regional businesses in the plastic engineering industry and the school's mechatronics and entrepreneurial programs, as well as to support the school's pre-engineering and K12 partnerships.

"Having the largest MakerBot Innovation Center in the world at College of the Ouachitas is another of a series of advanced manufacturing innovations the college has brought to Arkansas and the Southeast region of the country and helps position our campus as a leader in technology," noted Stephen Schoonmaker, president of College of the Ouachitas, in a prepared statement. "We are committed to using the Innovation Center to help change how our community sees and uses technology. By giving our public, students and regional businesses the tools they need to innovate and create, we will help bring our graduates and our state to the forefront of potential jobs and careers in technology."

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About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].

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