NEW PALTZ, N.Y. --- Students at SUNY New Paltz will be able to use 40 new 3D printers at the school's new advanced manufacturing 3D printing center.
"I tend to think of a 3D printer like the ultimate Swiss Army Knife," New Paltz School of Science & Engineering Dean Dan Freedman said.
"You have your original idea and you either can 3D scan it to come up with a file or you can actually model it yourself on a computer rated design program," student Caryn Byllott said. "It basically reads layer by layer and so as it lays down one layer the bed moves down just a bit and it just builds up until your object has been created."
New Paltz received $850,000 from the state to renovate the lab on campus.
"Our goal is to create special education opportunities for students and in the process provide a design and prototyping and 3D printing and other support for businesses and entrepreneurs in the Hudson Valley,” SUNY New Paltz President Donald Christian said.
The lab has already assisted more than 100 businesses in the Hudson Valley. Students like Caryn Byllott are able to develop 3D prototypes.
"I do some of the 3D design here, I do maintenance on the printers, I do post processing work and I also have had the opportunity to sit down with clients as well and sort of start from the very beginning with their idea and bring them all the way to the end," Byllott said.
"Really gives our students an incredible advantage in both their education and when they land on the job market," Freedman said. "I mean this is very advanced technology, learning both how to use the technology and design for the technology is really important."
Students in any concentration will now be able to take a 3D design classes. They can also minor in digital design and fabrication. Faculty members say a 3D lab like this in the Hudson Valley allows entrepreneurs to search for talent and develop new assets for their companies.
"We need to be a regional center for economic growth and being able to provide access to this equipment to businesses and entrepreneurs and inventors really gives them the ability to create things and do things that they wouldn’t have been able to do before," Freedman said.