SUNY New Paltz announced in May a new program — and venture — into Digital Design and Fabrication at the College in way of 3D printing. The commercialized aspect, appropriately named Hudson Valley 3D Printing, will continue to seek investment and work directly with the state’s first certificate program in 3D Printing at SUNY New Paltz.
“This is what they do in Silicon Valley. This is what they do in Cambridge,” Laurence Gottlieb, President and CEO for the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation, told YNN.
3D printers can create a wide array of objects — products — from melting plastic or bonding advanced bioproducts together a little bit at a time. We witnessed SUNY Canton‘s 3D printer in action at SUNY Day in Albany earlier this year and it was very cool.
The practice is advantageous for a myriad of reasons, like the shorter time between design and production, testing, affordability, and exclusive access. This access is what saved an infant’s life last month; doctors and researchers at the University at Michigan quickly designed and printed a splint to support a child’s collapsed bronchus. And in the business of thinking big, NASA has announced that it is openly exploring the technology in hopes of creating edible 3D food.
For SUNY New Paltz, these tasks are simply that: tasks. The advanced laboratory will explore infinite options for printing and designing. The best part is that it’s not restricted to researchers and students — the community is invited to use the 3D printers.
This access, along with the technology’s potential and trade, fosters entrepreneurialism and the potential to create new jobs in New York.
For new businesses, 3D printing helps decrease the barriers to entry for new production firms, Sharon Smith, Marketing CP for Stratasys, explained.
Experts laud the technology as a game changer in the global economy. The idea is that since the majority of trade is manufacturing-based, that trade will decrease because consumers will be able to create their own, custom products at home instead of purchasing them at the store. The Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation points out that this is a seamless fit with Governor Cuomo’s plan for Tax Free New York.
The curriculum for Digital Design and Fabrication will highlight ethical responsibilities that couple emerging technologies like 3D printing.
“Every human invention can be used for good or for ill and we would certainly regulate the kind of work that our students do in our program,” SUNY New Paltz President Donald Christian told YNN.
The program is funded by Sean Eldridge, who is married to Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, through his group Hudson River Ventures, and with Central Hudson. Their investment totals $1 million.