By DE Editors
MakerBot has launched an Innovation Center program aimed at business and universities. The new Innovation Centers will include more than 30 desktop 3D printers and scanners that will be used to help train 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,” the company says.
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, the center can be open to the student body or the community. On the business side, the facilities 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,” said 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. We believe that having a MakerBot Innovation Center in a university or workplace is an incredible opportunity for those using it to unleash the power of innovation and change the world.”
The first MakerBot Innovation Center in the country is installed at SUNY New Paltz in New York, and will serve to connect the university’s science, math, engineering and fine arts programs. The College already offers a certificate program in Digital Design and Fabrication and plans further curricular offerings.
The largest MakerBot Innovation Center to date is installed at College of the Ouachitas in Malvern, AK. College of the Ouachitas has 47 MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printers, six MakerBot Replicator 2X Experimental 3D Printers, and six MakerBot Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanners. The main purpose of that location is to work with regional business and industry in the plastic engineering sector in support of the college’s existing mechatronics and emerging entrepreneurial programs.
College of the Ouachitas will also work with MakerBot to offer a desktop 3D printing certificate of training. One of the first large-scale 3D printing assignments the College is exploring is the Robohand Project to print mechanical prosthetic hands.
“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,” said Stephen Schoonmaker, president of College of the Ouachitas. “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.”
For more information, visit MakerBot.
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.