MakerBot Partnering With Universities To Build Innovation CentersBy: Zach Walton - February 6, 2014
The Maker Space is one of the greatest resources any city can have. Within its walls, people can work with 3D printers and other innovative manufacturing tools to create and express themselves in ways they never thought possible. Now MakerBot is starting up its own Maker Space initiative, but it’s being aimed squarely at universities and businesses.
MakerBot announced this morning that it wants to partner with universities and businesses to create what it calls Innovation Centers. Despite the name change, MakerBot is just setting up Maker Spaces with 30 plus 3D printers and scanners. The only difference is that Innovation Centers will receive support directly from MakerBot.
“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. 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.”
As part of the announcement, MakerBot says the very first Innovation Center will open at SUNY New Paltz in New York on February 11. The Innovation Center will be open to the university’s science, math, engineering and fine arts programs.
“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.”
While SUNY New Paltz may be getting the first Innovation Center, MakerBot is working with College of the Ouachitas in Malvern, Arkansas on the largest Innovation Center in the country. MakerBot says the college has 47 MakerBot 2 Replicators, six MakerBot 2X Experimental 3D printers and six MakerBot Digitizers. The college will work with students and regional businesses to bolster its entrepreneurial programs. It will also work on the Robohand Project to help product prosthetic hands for those who can’t afford traditional prosthetics.
“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,” noted Dr. 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.”
If you’re interested in setting up your own Innovation Center, you can get a quote from MakerBot here.
Image via MakerBot