3D printing company MakerBot has opened yet another MakerBot Innovation Center; this time at the University of Maryland (UMD).
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.
“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.
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.