3D Printing Initiative Leads To Partnership

Courtesy of the Office of Communications and Marketing.

After SUNY New Paltz received a $10 million grant for a Engineering Innovation Hub, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand announced that the college will be partnering with 3D Systems to promote the development and use of 3D printing in New York State.

New Paltz President Donald Christian said Gillibrand was the connector between 3D Systems, the  Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporations and SUNY New Paltz.

According to the press release, 3D Systems will support ongoing training of New Paltz faculty, provide internship funding and support New Paltz’s 3D printing curriculum.

“3D printing is going to play a key role in 21st-century manufacturing, and this initiative is continuing to increase its industry partnerships, which will further expand training and business opportunities for New York’s students and entrepreneurs,” Gillibrand said in the press release. “New York State has a rich and storied manufacturing tradition and it is fitting that a major manufacturing initiative like this should happen here.”

Christian said manufacturers have jobs paying $80,000 a year that go unfilled because of a lack of interest.

“Everybody thinks of manufacturing as dirty, manual, heavy lifting and it’s really more like working in an operating room,” Christian said.  “What we’re doing with 3D can be a way to introduce lots of students, with lots of creative minds to the idea of manufacturing and making things. If we can get students with different disciplines thinking about manufacturing and using technology through our 3D printing effort it could really open up some neat opportunities for the future.”

Laurence Gottlieb, President & CEO of Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation, said between SUNY 2020 and the partnership between SUNY New Paltz and 3D Systems, the Hudson Valley is the leading hub for 3D printing in the state, if not the country.

Christian said of the biggest goals of the center is to diversify the equipment that will be there.  He said in addition to the Makerbot there will be more 3D printing equipment.

Avi Reichental, President and CEO of 3D Systems, said in the press release that 3D printing can help the Hudson Valley.

“3D printing can transform the competitive landscape of a region by enabling hyper-local, sustainable manufacturing and innovative new products and services,” he said.  “By introducing its students to 3D printing today, New York is positioning itself to lead in tomorrow’s economy.”

3D Systems employees will also come to New Paltz as guest lecturers and give presentations as part of the partnership, Christian said. Scott Summit, who specializes in body scanning and prosthetics, will bring his work and give a talk in Lecture Center 100 on Nov. 5 at 7 p.m., Christian said.

Christian said a few weeks ago that the college’s engineering faculty, several engineering students and some of the chefs at The Culinary Institute of America met to talk about the material properties of chocolate to hopefully develop a chocolate 3D printer. The college also has a grant out through the Center for Research, Regional Education and Outreach to do a survey of agricultural interests in food service providers in the Hudson Valley to get their ideas of how 3D printing can enhance food production agricultural work

Going forward, Christian said he hopes the college can form more partnerships with 3D printing groups.