In the spring of 2013, the Hudson Valley Advanced Manufacturing Center (HVAMC) was launched at SUNY New Paltz, only a year before the public university opened its MakerBot Innovation Center, which ultimately helped the HVAMC grow into one of the area’s major manufacturing hubs. A little less than a year ago, the HVAMC opened a Stratasys-MakerBot Additive Research & Teaching (SMART) 3D Printing Lab, making SUNY New Paltz the first higher education institution to get one. Now, the HVAMC has announced that it is launching its new 3D printing service, the Build Business Platform (BBP), which is dedicated to getting businesses, entrepreneurs, and the campus community to the next level in real-world 3D printing applications, design education, and technology.
The goal of the BBP is to provide leadership and a safe environment for innovation. Teams of students will work with the SUNY New Paltz School of Business to help BBP leaders support HVAMC-grown businesses. Local entrepreneurs will benefit from the use of the BBP’s resources, while students get solid experience. In addition, the BBP aims to make 3D printing technology and design education accessible to everyone, while also exploring the practical applications of current 3D technology in terms of producing physical objects.
Daniel Freedman, HVAMC director and dean of the SUNY New Paltz School of Science & Engineering, said, “Over the last four years, we have built the HVAMC into a unique academic center that combines design and materials expertise with the most advanced technology 3D printing has to offer, available to everyone from manufacturers to individual inventors. The Build Business Platform is the next phase of evolution for the HVAMC customer experience and the next step in helping to grow new businesses in the Hudson Valley.”
Two area industry leaders collaborated with the HVAMC to create the BBP. Wallace Patterson, a 3D printing industry executive, brings a decade of experience at some of the top 3D printing companies, like MakerBot and Stratasys; he was the first salesperson ever hired at MakerBot, and actually established its Innovation Center solution. Patterson will serve as Entrepreneur in Residence. Garnet S. Heraman, who will act as Investor in Residence, has 25 years of investment experience in brand development, early stage ventures, and business strategy; he is a founder of New York City’s Anvil Venture Partners.
Patterson and Heraman will act as mentors for the BBP, and guide the students, entrepreneurs, and businesses working with the HVAMC through the whole manufacturing process: all the way from prototyping, to production, and finally business ventures.
“The accessibility and the practical competencies of the HVAMC make it an obvious choice for regional businesses to work with. They have the tools and knowledge required to move you from an idea to a prototype,” said Patterson. “The purpose of the Build Business Platform is to take it to the next step. We’ll help move you from a prototype to a business.”
The HVAMC has partnered with about 150 entrepreneurs and businesses in the four years since it opened its doors. With its BBP, Patterson and Heraman will work with the College’s School of Business students to offer marketing support and business planning to clients, and help solve real-world problems. Through these efforts, students may find internships or, indeed, employment following graduation as they benefit from work in real business conditions.
Heraman said, “Once a project is completed with the HVAMC, this platform gives regional businesses and students access to expertise and resources needed to explore the full commercial potential of their work. The service fills a gap in the additive manufacturing market, and the HVAMC is the first lab of its kind to offer it.”
The HVAMC has several available 3D printers, including a full-color 3D Systems ProJet 660, a Stratasys Fortus 400mc and a Stratasys Objet 260/Connex 2, and several MakerBot 3D printers, including the Z18 and a Replicator 2X. It offers 3D printing workshops and courses, not only to area colleges and educators, but also the local community, in fields ranging from engineering and the sciences to the arts.
At the same time the HVAMC opened, SUNY New Paltz also announced the unique result of a partnership between the School of Science & Engineering and the School of Fine & Performing Arts: a new, 18-credit Digital Design and Fabrication minor program. The interdiscinpinary minor introduces aesthetics, 3D modeling skills, and design theory, and exposes students to the study of material properties and constraints, while also teaching them how to apply analytical approaches to problem solving. Students who choose this minor will be prepared to “conceptualize and design for 21st century manufacturing,” says the school. Discuss in the HVAMC forum at 3DPB.com.