Feb 25 2015

MakerBot Lab Spurs Innovation and Growth at SUNY

3D printers hit their stride in both higher ed and K-12.

It's been one year since the first MakerBot Innovation Center opened at the State University of New York at New Paltz. Since then, the center has become an innovation hub for creative engineering ventures among students and professionals alike.

Dan Freedman, dean of the School of Science and Engineering, said in a press release that the experience students earn at SUNY gives them a competitive advantage.

"MakerBot put us on the map as an innovation leader. We’ve seen huge interest from companies looking for talent with additive manufacturing experience, and the number of inquiries we get from local business and industry grows daily," says Freedman.

Last year, the school was awarded a $10 million NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to create an Engineering Innovation Hub and secured $850,000 in funding for a new 3D printing lab.

"Bringing 3D printing to K-12 schools and universities will help train the next generation of engineers, architects, industrial designers and artists," Johan Broer, public relations manager at MakerBot, told PlasticsToday.

On Wednesday, to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the MakerBot Innovation Center at SUNY New Paltz, MakerBot’s CEO Jennifer Lawton will give a speech titled “12 Years From Now,” on the future of 3D printing technology.

MakerBot has also made strides with students in K–12 schools. In 2014, EdTech reported that at DeSoto West Middle School’s iSTEAM3D Magnet Academy, students are building cities from the ground up, using MakerBot Replicator 2 3D printers.

Schools like DeSoto have used 3D printers to expand their STEM curriculum to STEAM — STEM plus art.

"Everything that we do has an art component to it," said Dr. Jo Green-Rucker, assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and high schools for the DeSoto (Texas) Independent School District. "We're educating the whole child."


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