SUNY New Paltz hopes to redefine itself as the center for the next manufacturing revolution, changing the way we think about what we can make and how. The university recently opened the MakerBot Innovation Center devoted to 3D printing technology. The goal is to link the worlds of science and technology with the creativity of fine arts.
SUNY New Paltz’s School of Science Dean and Director of the Hudson Valley Manufacturing Center, Dan Freedman describes the program.
“There’s a combination in both the design and the artistry that can really come either from the art side or the engineering side as well as a lot of technical issues that come from the all of the equipment that’s being used and software for designing these objects.”
Professor Freedman helped put together the 3D printing lab with hardware from the Brooklyn based startup, MakerBot. He also runs the related manufacturing center out of it. As the lab was being developed for the engineering department, he realized the engineering and computer science students were just as interested in design, and many of the fine arts students were also technically sophisticated.
“I get a lot of sort of surprised looks when I say we’re putting together a program between the two schools because everyone seems to think that engineering, art are very separate worlds but they really aren’t and probably the first person to really apply this in the business world was really Steve Jobs.”
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