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MakerBot Announces Innovation Centers for Universities and Businesses

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MakerBot Announces Innovation Centers for Universities and Businesses MakerBot, a global leader in desktop 3D printing, aims at helping transform universities and businesses into MakerBot Innovation Centers that empower organizations to innovate faster, collaborate better and be more competitive. 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, 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 MakerBot Innovation Center is designed to be a large-scale 3D printing destination, built in partnership with MakerBot and its knowledgeable engineering, creative and training teams. The MakerBot Innovation Centers are intended to increase innovation and collaboration, and work as a catalyst for new ideas and growth. The MakerBot Innovation Centers include a forum to bring departments and individuals together to take education or corporate work to the next level. By utilizing the MakerBot Innovation Center's numerous MakerBot 3D printers and scanners, the Innovation Center can generate numerous prototypes and models, streamline workflow, as well as be a center for inspiration, which is ultimately aimed at establishing a valuable recruiting and fund-raising asset for the university or corporation, as well as being a place to generate revenue and build skills for the future. The MakerBot 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 student body, and often the community, 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. 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, which will be celebrating a grand opening of the facility on February 11, 2014, with a visit by MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis for a special ribbon cutting ceremony and lecture to students and faculty. The MakerBot Innovation Center at SUNY New Paltz is the first in the nation and the first in the State of New York and will serve to connect the university's science, math, engineering and fine arts programs, with a goal of solidifying the university's leading role in utilizing and developing 3D printing technology in the Hudson Valley area. 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.”

“Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation brought together SUNY New Paltz's academic prowess in science, engineering and the fine arts, with MakerBot's industry-leading 3D printing technology and global vision, with the desire to create a new economic engine that will drive business growth in the Hudson Valley and New York State for years to come,” stated Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation president and CEO Laurence Gottlieb. “This exciting partnership exemplifies economic development at its best. HVEDC is proud to be a major catalyst for business innovation and workforce opportunity in the region.”

"We believe that the creation of an Innovation Center at SUNY New Paltz is huge step forward for the Hudson Valley Advanced Manufacturing Center and will help solidify our region's leading role in utilizing and developing 3D printing technology," said Sean Eldridge, one of the founders of the Center and president of Hudson River Ventures. "I'm thrilled that Hudson River Ventures was able to facilitate this partnership between MakerBot and SUNY New Paltz that builds on our initial investment in the Hudson Valley Advanced Manufacturing Center. The Innovation Center will accelerate our region's access to this cutting-edge technology and our ability to train our students and our small businesses on its use. There is a great tradition of advanced manufacturing in the Hudson Valley, and 3D printing has tremendous potential to grow our economy and boost job growth in our region."

The largest MakerBot Innovation Center to date is installed at College of the Ouachitas in Malvern, Arkansas. 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 the MakerBot Innovation Center at College of the Ouachitas 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. The Center is an outgrowth of the College's new Project Lead the Way pre-engineering program, enhancing the College's strong K12 partnerships. 3D printing will be integrated into the College's academic curriculum as a natural extension of Project Lead the Way. College of the Ouachitas will also be working in collaboration 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 with the Robohand Project to print mechanical prosthetic hands to benefit those who have suffered amputations or were born with amniotic band syndrome.

“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.”

Mark Schulze, vice president of sales for MakerBot notes, “proving a local solutions-based MakerBot Innovation Center on-site for businesses and academic institutions is a great way to bring innovation right into the hand of those that need it most. Rapid prototyping, model making, project development, design, small scale manufacturing, and even using 3D printing as a source of entertainment, is growing more every day. These Innovation Centers will help expose 3D printing to even more that can benefit from its ease-of-use technology and cost saving potential.”

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