3D printer company MakerBot announces today it is starting up its own MakerBot Innovation Centers for universities and businesses. The MakerBot Innovation Centers are filled with 30+ MakerBot desktop 3D printer and scanners with the goal of helping train the next generation of engineers, architects, industrial designers and artists.
Built in partnership with MakerBot, the Innovation Centers were conceived to be used by multiple departments in corporations or universities that need access to 3D printing and scanning. At the university level, a MakerBot Innovation Center can be open to the students as a destination to foster innovation and make things. On the business side, MakerBot Innovation Centers can be used as a center for design, product development, rapid prototyping and even small-scale manufacturing.
"Having a MakerBot Innovation Center in a place of business or in a university can change the whole dynamic of the new product iteration and innovation cycle," noted Bre Pettis, CEO of MakerBot. "Class projects can be brought to life through 3D printing and scanning. Product prototypes can be created, refined and finalized at a much faster and affordable pace. Schools can train future innovators and be ahead of the curve when it comes to preparing students for the real world."
The first MakerBot Innovation Center in the U.S. is installed at SUNY New Paltz in New York, which will be celebrating a grand opening of the facility on February 11, 2014. The College already offers a certificate program in Digital Design and Fabrication and plans further curricular offerings.
"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 President Donald P. Christian. "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."