University of Maryland Opens MakerBot Innovation Center to Foster Entrepreneurship on Campus and in the Region

First Large-Scale 3D Printing MakerBot Innovation Center at Big Ten University and First in the Baltimore-Washington Area

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — April 23, 2015 — The University of Maryland (UMD) and MakerBot, a global leader in the desktop 3D printing industry, will be holding a grand opening of the new MakerBot Innovation Center at UMD on April 23, 2015. UMD is the first in the Big Ten, and the first in the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan area, to launch a MakerBot Innovation Center – a large-scale 3D printing installation that is designed to empower university faculty, students and organizations to innovate faster, increase collaboration and compete more effectively. Grand opening festivities will begin at 2:00 p.m., Thursday, April 23, at the University of Maryland, Technology Advancement Program Building, 387 Technology Drive, College Park, Maryland, with speeches from university staff and representatives from MakerBot.

The MakerBot Innovation Center brings 3D printing technology to faculty and thousands of students, a ...

The MakerBot Innovation Center brings 3D printing technology to faculty and thousands of students, as well as the local business community, to collaborate on Real-Time Prototyping™, model making and small-scale creative and manufacturing projects. (Photo: Business Wire)

The Grand Opening of the UMD MakerBot Innovation Center will be followed by a special 3D printing and additive manufacturing showcase by students, faculty and friends and a presentation by Local Motors CEO John "Jay" Rogers entitled, "Welcome to the Third Industrial Revolution - Local Motors and the 3D Printed Car.” The opening of the MakerBot Innovation Center is part of UMD’s 30 Days of Entrepreneurship, celebrating the university’s Fearless Ideas, innovation and impact with a showcase of special events, lectures and contests.

“What we’re seeing here is the future of manufacturing in this country,” said Darryll J. Pines, Dean and Nariman Farvardin Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the A. James Clark School of Engineering. “The MakerBot Innovation Center gives our students an edge in the changing and adapting marketplace. We see desktop 3D printing as a catalyst for new thinking and are excited to make this technology more broadly available.”

Located at the A. James Clark School of Engineering, the MakerBot Innovation Center brings 3D printing technology to faculty and thousands of students, as well as the local business community, to collaborate on Real-Time Prototyping™, model making and small-scale creative and manufacturing projects. Open to all UMD students, it will be a place where students from diverse majors can come together to apply the power of 3D printing to their studies and interests — from business to art, design, engineering and science students.

Having a large-scale installation of MakerBot 3D Printers will allow the A. James Clark School of Engineering to further integrate 3D printing into the curriculum and introduce more students to this important technology. Every freshman entering the Clark School will use the MakerBot Innovation Center as part of their required introductory course (ENES100), so they can get familiar with 3D printing early on in their careers to internalize engineering concepts and principles quickly.

“Innovation is an important skill to teach to students,” noted Jordan Brehove, vice president at MakerBot. “By bringing in a large-scale 3D printing lab and providing access to 3D printers to students at an early stage, universities can create an atmosphere of creativity and collaboration that spurs innovation and invention like never before.”

To nurture the next generation of innovators, UMD has consistently been at the forefront of embracing entrepreneurism and collaborative learning. The MakerBot Innovation Center at UMD will complement an existing rapid prototyping space and be a key resource for Startup Shell, a student-run co-working space and incubator, which has already produced over 60 student-founded startup companies. The MakerBot Innovation Center will provide more student entrepreneurs access to 3D printing and may contribute to acceleration of the product development process by allowing students to iterate more quickly and cost-efficiently than with other prototyping resources already available on campus.

The MakerBot Innovation Center at UMD is a custom, centralized and scalable 3D printing solution. It has been built in conjunction with training from MakerBot for university staff by the MakerBot Learning team of highly trained 3D printing experts. The UMD MakerBot Innovation Center includes 48 MakerBot Replicator 3D Printers (32 MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printers, two MakerBot Replicator Z18 3D Printers, 12 MakerBot Replicator 2X Experimental Desktop 3D Printers and two MakerBot Replicator Mini Compact 3D Printers), a large supply of MakerBot PLA Filament, a MakerBot Digitizer™ Desktop 3D Scanner and MakerBot MakerCare® protection plans. At the core of the MakerBot Innovation Center is the MakerBot Innovation Center Management Platform, a proprietary and innovative 3D printing software platform that links all of the MakerBot Replicator 3D Printers together, provides remote access, print queuing and mass production of 3D prints, and is designed to streamline productivity and staffing of the center. The scalable design of the MakerBot Innovation Center allows UMD the option to easily add additional MakerBot 3D printing technology in the future.

UMD has used 3D printing in an educational setting for many years. Clark School faculty, staff and students have worked on projects including vascular grafts, over-sand hovercrafts, prosthetics, automobile parts and robotics. Examples include small-scale robots capable of removing hard-to-reach brain tumors, structures used aboard small helicopters that allow sensors to test for close obstacle avoidance and designing custom-fit protective sleep masks for glaucoma patients to minimize pressure on the face that could otherwise increase a patient’s risk of blindness.

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