SUNY New Paltz to host grand opening of the nation’s first MakerBot Innovation Center on Feb. 11

The State University of New York at New Paltz will celebrate the grand opening of the nation’s first MakerBot Innovation Center on Tuesday, Feb. 11, at 11 a.m., in the McKenna Theatre Lobby. The grand opening will be followed by a lecture, titled “Leading the Next Industrial Revolution,” at 2 p.m. by MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis, considered the foremost leader in making 3D printing available to educators and consumers, in Lecture Center 102 on the New Paltz campus.

Intended to be a large-scale 3D printing hub, designed and built in partnership with Brooklyn, N.Y.- based MakerBot, the leading manufacturer of desktop 3D printers, and its knowledgeable engineering, creative, and training teams, the Innovation Center includes 30-plus MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printers and scanners for student, faculty and local industry use. The Center will enable rapid prototyping and increase product design cycles, all the while creating a forum for increased collaboration and innovation that will help train the next generation of engineers, industrial designers and artists.

This partnership is the next chapter in the success story of New Paltz’s already-established 3D printing initiative. Launched in May 2013, with private financial support from Ulster County businessman Sean Eldridge of Hudson River Ventures and Central Hudson and the vision of the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation, the Hudson Valley Advanced Manufacturing Center at SUNY New Paltz was born. In August 2013, SUNY New Paltz launched its unique certificate program in Digital Design and Fabrication. And in December 2013, the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council and Governor Andrew Cuomo awarded the initiative $1M in state economic development funds.

The Hudson Valley Advanced Manufacturing Center at SUNY New Paltz integrates the College’s strengths in engineering, computer science, technology, and the innovation and creativity of the arts. It brings state-of-the-art 3D printing equipment to the region and a curriculum in Digital Design and Fabrication, giving rise to powerful forces—art and technology, creativity and ingenuity.

“Because of this curriculum and the establishment of the MakerBot Innovation Center, students will be beating a path to your door. It’s so unbelievably exciting. I would hire students out of this program,” said MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis.

Additional elements of the 3D initiative include: active recruitment of 3D printing enterprises, with access to venture capital funds and potential for participation in the Governor’s START-UP New York tax incentive program; and a network of equipment access and collaborative educational programming at Hudson Valley community colleges and selected high schools to expand 3D printing capability in the region.

“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.”

“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 Pettis. “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.”

“Scientists and artists are always seeking new ways and new tools to further experiments so as to better understand their world—and our MakerBot Innovation Center is just such a tool,” said Dan Freedman, dean of the School of Science and Engineering and director of the Hudson Valley Advanced Manufacturing at SUNY New Paltz. “What Steve Jobs did to bring desktop computers into everyone’s home, Bre Pettis is doing for 3D printing technology.”

Laurence Gottlieb, president and CEO of Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation says:

“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, creating a new economic engine that will drive business growth in the Hudson Valley and New York State for years to come. 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.”

Sean Eldridge, one of the founders of the Center and president of Hudson River Ventures says:
“The creation of an Innovation Center at SUNY New Paltz is a 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. 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.

Nancy Zimpher, Chancellor of the State University of New York, says:

“The new MakerBot Innovation Center at SUNY New Paltz, the first of its kind in the nation, exemplifies the power of innovative public/private partnerships,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “By directly connecting education, advanced technology, and workforce development, the SUNY-MakerBot venture will drive academic excellence and economic growth in the region and across New York State.”

About MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis

Bre Pettis has led MakerBot as CEO since its founding in 2009. Prior to starting MakerBot, he cofounded the Brooklyn hacker collective NYC Resistor, where MakerBot technology was first created, tested, and proven. Pettis was instrumental in building the first prototypes of MakerBot’s 3D printers, and has become known worldwide as a leading evangelist for personal manufacturing. He has spoken publicly about empowering students to solve the problems of the future, and worked behind the scenes to bring professional quality 3D printing technology into the hands of average consumer.

Pettis was recently honored by The Economist with a 2013 Innovation Award, and in 2012, was honored with the Disruptive Innovation Award from the Tribeca Film Festival, for “creating an entire ecosystem for desktop 3D printing.” He has been a highly sought after speaker and interview subject, gracing the cover of numerous magazines, and has been a guest on The Colbert Report, and many more.

About 3D Printing
3D printing is an additive manufacturing process of layer-by-layer printing that produces three-dimensional objects using computer-aided design software. Using a number of different technologies, 3D printers can form objects out of a wide variety of plastics, metals, and ceramics, transforming many industries.