3D Printers

Central Michigan University Opens MakerBot Center

Central Michigan University (CMU) in Mt. Pleasant, MI has just opened the first MakerBot Innovation Center in Michigan.

MakerBot, which develops and manufactures 3D printers, has opened similar Innovation Centers at other higher education institutions around the United States, providing students and faculty with access to 3D printers that can be used for prototyping, model-making and creative projects.

"The MakerBot Innovation Center will open the door for students and faculty who work on creative projects and explore the intersection of art, technology and the humanities," said CMU College of Communication and Fine Arts Dean Janet Hethorn.

CMU's center in the campus' Wrightman Hall will have 30 3D printers, three desktop 3D scanners and proprietary software, the MakerBot Innovation Center Management Platform, that provides remote access, print queuing and mass production of 3D prints. CMU has spent $350,000 to equip the center.

With a focus on arts and human services, students will be able to work independently or collaboratively on projects. Also, at least two new courses will begin in the next semester.

CMU human environmental studies faculty member Michael Mamp will teach a course on 3D printing in relation to fashion product conceptualization and development. Art and design faculty member Greg Stahly will teach "Creation in 3D," which will focus on the use of the printers in visual arts.

"We want our students to use 3D design to make their ideas come to life," said CMU College of Education and Services Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson.

CMU joins a list of universities that have been equipped with MakerBot Innovation Centers that includes Ohio's Xavier University and State University of New York New Paltz. One of the first was built at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in March.

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.

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