MakerBot Opens Innovation Centers, Bringing 3D Printers to Academia

2/7/14Follow @jpruth

Bre Pettis is starting to see more of his master plan come together.

MakerBot Industries in Brooklyn announced Thursday it will hold a grand opening next week for its first innovation center, which was set up at SUNY New Paltz in New Paltz, NY.

The company has outfitted the center with desktop 3D printers and scanners for students and others at the university to use. Pettis has said he wants to get MakerBot 3D printers in the hands of as many youths as he can. A former teacher, he believes the technology can help inspire future innovators and creators (and customers too, of course).

MakerBot has been quite busy so far this year. Last month Pettis unveiled new 3D desktop printers and plans to develop a new type of 3D scanner with SoftKinetic.

The new center at SUNY New Paltz is expected to help train industrial designers, architects, artists, and engineers. Though New Paltz is the first, MakerBot has already outfitted its largest innovation center to date at the College of the Ouachitas in Malvern, AR. That location is equipped with 53 3D printers and six desktop 3D scanners.

In its press release, MakerBot talked up plans to establish innovation centers at businesses and universities but did not say where or when. The company has not immediately responded to requests for more details.

João-Pierre S. Ruth is the editor of Xconomy New York. He can be reached at jpruth@xconomy.com and followed on Twitter @jpruth. Follow @jpruth

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