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May 30, 2013

3D Printing Center Set up at SUNY New Paltz

By Ed Silverstein, TMCnet Contributor

New York State’s Hudson River Valley is the latest location to start a 3D printing initiative.

The State University of New York at New Paltz has set up a new center dedicated to 3D printing, which is also called “additive manufacturing.” It will be funded by about $1 million from private efforts.

In fact, the Hudson Valley Advanced Manufacturing Center at SUNY New Paltz will include 3D technology and offer courses to students.

 But, what is 3D printing exactly?

“It’s the process of making a three-dimensional solid object of virtually any shape from a digital model,” explained a recent report from TMCnet. “It’s achieved by laying down successive layers of material to make different shapes, unlike traditional manufacturing processes which require machines to take a portion of raw material and subtract to create a shape (also called ‘subtractive processes’).”

There are a few key donors for the college’s center. Sean Eldridge, a founder of Hudson River Ventures, will donate $250,000. A matching grant will come from Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. Eldridge plans to also give $500,000 from Hudson River Ventures to invest in Hudson Valley businesses which use 3D printing, according to a report from the Poughkeepsie Journal.

"Although there's no silver bullet for economic development in the Hudson Valley, 3D has great potential," Eldridge told the newspaper.

Later, businesses will be able to rent equipment at the center to make prototypes.

"I'm excited," Cathy Maloney, president of Dutchess County Economic Development Corp. told the newspaper. "I can tell the manufacturers in Dutchess County that in 18 months they can have people trained to work on 3D printers. That's fantastic."

Laurence Gottlieb, president of the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation, predicts that the Hudson Valley will become a leader in 3D printing applications.

“We feel that by investing in this technology upfront we can rapidly accelerate the growth of this industry to the benefit of all seven counties that we cover in the Hudson Valley,” Gottlieb added. “In this instance we feel that there are so many people that are right on the edge of using 3D technology that we can pull these people into a cluster, offer a hub which will be SUNY New Paltz where they can learn how to use the technology, and also to allow entrepreneurs to come in and hopefully have spin-off businesses.”

Edited by Jamie Epstein
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