SUNY New Paltz President Donald P. Christian visited the office of Ulster County Executive Mike Hein to present him with two unique gifts produced by the Hudson Valley Advanced Manufacturing Center (HVAMC): a 3D-printed model of the county government building and a topographic map of Ulster County.
Christian was joined by HVAMC Director and Dean of the School of Science & Engineering Daniel Freedman, HVAMC Assistant Director Kat Wilson ’14g (Metal) and Master of Fine Arts graduate student Olivia Privitera ’16g (Painting-Drawing), who designed the rendering of the county building as an intern with the HVAMC.
“I can’t say thank you enough to SUNY New Paltz for what they have done with 3D printing, not just in an educational role, but in partnership with local businesses,” Hein said. “I want to extend a special thank you to Olivia, who did an extraordinary job on this representation. What excites me most about this technology is when we see students coming to it from areas, like fine arts, that we may not have expected. When I think of 3D printing I think of it as an incredibly valuable tool, bringing down the cost of prototypes for businesses, but I also think about the spectrum of what it makes possible. It’s awe-inspiring to think about what 3D printing can mean in the hands of people like Olivia who are incredibly creative.”
The New Paltz and HVAMC representatives joined Hein in celebrating the impact that the College’s 3D printing technology and expertise is having on learning and entrepreneurship in Ulster County and beyond, at a time when a fast-growing number of regional businesses and organizations are turning to the HVAMC to help solve their most difficult design problems.
“We have now partnered with more than 100 businesses and entrepreneurs in the Hudson Valley and beyond for 3D design, prototyping and custom manufacture that supports economic development,” Christian said, citing several Ulster County businesses including Helopak (Shokan), Czinkota Studios (Gardiner), Alfandre Architecture (New Paltz) and Zumtobel and Selux (Highland). “Our students from art, engineering and business working on these projects have tremendous applied learning opportunities that challenge them and prepare them for the workforce. We take pride in the initiative’s many accomplishments and are privileged to be an anchor for additive manufacturing in the state.”
The College’s 3D printing initiatives, including 3D printing curricula and certification programs, the HVAMC and a partnership with industry leader MakerBot, have enjoyed invaluable support from Hein and other officials at the state and local level. This event underscored the reality that digital design and fabrication at New Paltz is powered first and foremost by the creativity, knowledge and enthusiasm of students.
“I’m in the Painting and Drawing program, and I have a background in sculpture, ceramics and other fine arts, but I’ve always had an interest in other fields, like math and science,” Privitera said. “I gravitated towards art because it gave me opportunities to synthesize a lot of my interests and express them in new, creative ways. When I learned that the HVAMC was hiring design interns to work with external clients, I was attracted to the opportunity to add a new skillset to my portfolio. My experience with 3D printing at SUNY New Paltz has been more wonderful than I ever thought it would be, and I’m really excited to apply these skills creatively and continue working across the disciplines as I move forward with my career.”
About New Paltz’s 3D Printing Initiative
Since launching the Hudson Valley Advanced Manufacturing Center 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.
The HVAMC provides digital design and fabrication expertise to about 100 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 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.