NEW PALTZ, N.Y. -- When it comes to 3D printing, the Hudson Valley is at the forefront of technology.

"It gives you the ability to go immediately from an idea in your head to a physical manifestation," said Paul Widerman.

Widerman said his idea of creating a fitness tool came to fruition after having his prototype created using a 3D printer. In the past, he said he's had to build his prototypes with clay that often took days. 3D printing can take as little as hours.

"I could have a 3D printer version of it and then I could say it needs to change this way or that way," said Widerman.

Widerman is one of 60 businesses that uses the 3D printers located in SUNY New Paltz. The Hudson Valley Advanced Manufacturing Center has 30 MakerBot printers that builds products layer by layer.

"It takes a piece of plastic, runs it through a hot end and melts it very much like a fancy glue gun and puts one layer down, and increments up," said Dan Friedman, Director of the Innovation Center. 

Friedman said their center is at the forefront of 3D printing nationwide. The center opened two years ago and they've already worked with people in the automotive, art and medical industries to design innovative products.

"We got in on the technology exactly when it was starting to hit the public consciousness," said Friedman.

He said the business of 3D printing is just beginning and it's only a matter of time before they start printing final products for use and not just prototypes for testing.