Dutchess County Executive tours 3D printing facilities

20150505-2_Marc-Molinaro-Visit_023SUNY New Paltz welcomed Marc Molinaro, Dutchess County Executive, and Ron Hicks, Deputy Commissioner for Strategic Planning and Economic Development, to campus on May 5 for a tour that included a presentation of the burgeoning 3D printing facilities on campus.

“I came away from this visit very impressed with what’s being done at SUNY New Paltz,” Molinaro said. “I was particularly pleased to learn about the 3D printing initiative and the many opportunities it presents to regional businesses and entrepreneurs, including in Dutchess County. SUNY New Paltz is Dutchess County’s public university in the Hudson Valley and receives more transfer students from Dutchess Community College than any other area institution. The many county residents who study and work here are well-served by its innovative curricula and cutting-edge facilities.”

County Executive Molinaro was joined by College President Donald P. Christian and other campus administrators along a route that began in the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, where visual art students were exhibiting their end-of-semester theses.

The group moved on to the MakerBot Innovation Center (MIC), home to a number of 3D printers, scanners and other digital fabrication equipment. Molinaro saw the equipment first-hand and received an impromptu lesson in digital fabrication from Dan Freedman, dean of the School of Science and Engineering and director of the Hudson Valley Advanced Manufacturing Center (HVAMC).

The group discussed the various kinds and characteristics of materials used to print, the capabilities of different printers and some of the existing partnerships between the HVAMC and Dutchess County businesses and organizations.

More information about Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro can be found online.

About New Paltz’s 3D Printing Initiative

Since launching the HVAMC in spring 2013, the College’s effort to fuse learning and manufacturing, science and the arts has continued to gain momentum. In February 2014, the College partnered with Brooklyn, N.Y. – based MakerBot, the leading manufacturer of desktop 3D printers, to open the nation’s first MakerBot Innovation Center at SUNY New Paltz. The 3D Printing Initiative received additional funding in fall 2014, including a $10 million NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant to help establish an Engineering Innovation Hub and$850,000 in capital funding for a new 3D printing laboratory. In December 2013, the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council and Governor Andrew Cuomo awarded the College $1M in state economic development funds.

Currently, the HVAMC is providing digital design and fabrication expertise to about 60 businesses and entrepreneurs throughout the region. The Center also engages the local community and educates the public about the possibilities of 3D printing. Workshops and courses for K-12 educators, including through the Governor’s New York State Master Teachers Program, have attracted a wide variety of teachers, from art to science, who have an interest in digital design and fabrication and are utilizing these new technologies in their classrooms.