President Obama Visits Boise State University – Checks Out 3D Printing Tech., Including 3D Printed Graphene Chips

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obama4I’m not political by any means, and personally I don’t affiliate myself with any particular political parties. I have some ideologies that would be considered conservative, while others would be more liberal in nature. Usually when it comes to Presidents of the United States, I support them fully no matter if I agree with the majority of their decisions or not. After all, the President is our leader, and he was voted into office by the voters. I trust that whomever is in office is doing the best they can for the country. Surely not everyone will agree with my assessment, but then again, that’s exactly what politics are about. There is one thing for sure, and there is no arguing this point: President Obama has certainly taking a bigger liking to 3D printing technology than any President we have had in the past. He sees it as a way to move forward, to grow the economy, and become more self-sufficient as a country. He has proven this by several initiatives that have been put in place, and many comments that he has made about the technology during his speeches.

This past week, following his State of the Union Address, President Obama decided to make a visit to Boise State University, and take a look at some of the school’s 3D printing technology, as well as the new College of Innovation. Obama had a chance to visit Boise State’s College of Engineering and the school’s New Product Development Lab, which is a collaboration at the Engineering school and managed by the College of Business and Economics.

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The President had the opportunity to check out prototypes and other objects printed on the school’s 3D printers, which included a Delta-style 3D printer by SeeMeCNC as well as other more conventional Cartesian 3D printers.

“Here at Boise State, innovation is a culture that you’re building,” President Barack Obama stated during his speech at the school. “And you’re also partnering with companies to do two things: You help students graduate with skills that employers are looking for, and you help employees pick up the skills they need to advance on the job. It’s contributing to the economic development of the city and the state, as well as being good for the students.”

Obama was shown how students at Boise State had 3D printed a custom handle for a local disabled student, so that he could access his locker like his classmates do, without requiring the help of others. They also showed the President how Rekluse Motor Sports has been using the school’s New Product Development Lab in order to prototype parts for their high-performance motorcycles.

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“The work you do here is one of the reasons why Boise is one of our top cities for tech startups,” Obama told students and faculty at the school.

Boise State has been working on 3D printing electronics, using flexible, light, and conductive graphene nano-materials, which can be printed in stacks onto small, inexpensive sensors, and resistors. These 3D printed devices may then be attached to packages to monitor their location, or even onto human skin to monitor a person’s glucose levels.

The New Product Development Lab is one more example of how universities across the United States have been gradually moving toward using 3D printing as a means of research, education and collaborative work with large companies. President Obama has been at the forefront of encouraging the public to begin adopting these new advanced manufacturing methods since he took office in 2009, and it should be expected that he will continue to push for these innovative approaches to manufacturing until his time in office runs out.

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Some believe that we are at the start of a third industrial revolution because of advancements in 3D printing and other means of manufacturing. If this is the case, President Obama may be looked back at in history as the man who jump-started this revolution.

What are you thoughts on President Obama’s visit to Boise State University and him taking a major interest in the 3D printing technology that the school utilizes? Discuss in the President Obama Visits Boise State forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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