A promising technology

3D printing “puts the power of making into the hands of the common man and will revolutionize the world of objects,” predicted Arthur Hash, who provides technical instructional support at the Digital Fab Lab at SUNY New Paltz.

The college first bought a 3D printer in 2007, planting the seeds for its digital laboratory. The lab, now equipped with three machines and two computer-aided design software packages, is now enabling students at the School of Fine and Performing Arts to design and print out all kinds of objects, from a model of a brain to jewelry to fans to an LED lantern.

Some of the printed objects are solid. Others are hollow, constructed of interlocking parts. Still others are built of linked modules, including a crochet-like rubber fabric that’s dishwasher-safe. Such work is spurring an ambitious new economic development initiative that seeks to make 3D printing the springboard for economic growth in the region, from training the workforce of the future to creating new jobs around an innovative manufacturing process.

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