3D Printing

New Makerspace to Support Innovation at Florida International U

A new 3,000-square-foot MakerBot Innovation Lab at Florida International University's College of Architecture + The Arts will soon support innovation and entrepreneurship both for students and the local community. Supported by a $185,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the makerspace will supply 3D printers and 3D scanners for public programs, private innovation explorations and educational opportunities across all age groups. Uses will range from dual enrollment programs for local high school students to for-credit classes for FIU students and start-up programs for recent graduates. The space will also be available for community members to develop new products, conduct research or launch personal projects.

"Miami's entrepreneurial ecosystem has seen enormous growth over the last few years - adding co-working spaces, mentor and funder networks, educational offerings and a host of events. But there are few established makerspaces where entrepreneurs can experiment and build," said Matt Haggman, Knight Foundation's Miami program director, in a press release. "The MakerBot Innovation Lab will help to fill this gap, providing the next generation of Miami talent with a space to realize their ideas and inviting the community to connect toward building a stronger startup culture in our city."

The lab will be housed at FIU's Miami Beach Urban Studios, a facility that offers undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to immerse themselves in Miami Beach's arts and design culture, gain professional experience at design firms and work with arts organizations throughout the city. FIU Urban Studios will collaborate with Miami Beach-based Rokk3r Labs, an organization focused on entrepreneurship, to initiate workshops, seminars and other programming within the MakerBot Innovation Lab.

"College of Architecture + The Arts will be the only arts/design college in the nation to house a MakerBot Innovation Lab," said John Stuart, AIA, associate dean for cultural and community engagement and the executive director of Miami Beach Urban Studios, in a statement. "Our vision is that FIU will be recognized nationally at the forefront of innovative teaching, learning, engagement, research and creative activities and this lab will assist greatly in achieving this vision."

About the Author

About the author: Rhea Kelly is executive editor for Campus Technology. She can be reached at rkelly@1105media.com.

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