3D Printing — Helping Shape the Future of Innovation


Wallace Patterson, educational account and enterprise executive with MakerBot, and Tom Hull, Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Florida Polytechnic are at the RAD Makerspace, Florida Polytechnic University. Photo Credit: Florida Polytechnic University/Rocket Science Photography.

3D printing — actually more correctly called "additive manufacturing" —has been all the buzz lately and rightly so. The technology is not only shaping the way that prototyping and manufacturing is done, it is letting almost anyone build everything from jewelry items to model replicas of cars, working firearms, acoustic guitars, smartphone cases, and even camera lenses — and the list goes on. In the spirit of helping inspire the creative powers of the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs, MakerBot, a fabricator of desktop 3D printers, is helping Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland, Florida, build a Rapid Application Development (RAD) Makerspace that will house more than 55 MakerBot desktop 3D printers and desktop 3D digitizer scanners. 

Florida Poly is considered a hub of innovation, with a focus on STEM disciplines such as engineering, big data analytics, and computer science.   

The school will hold its grand opening LAUNCH Celebration on Saturday, August 16, inviting students, parents, business partners and community members to tour the campus and its innovation labs including the RAD Makerspace.

“Having a RAD Makerspace on campus will provide our students, who will shape the future, with the technology they need to succeed today,” says Tom Hull, Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Florida Polytechnic. “3D printing has many possible applications in various fields, and the space will inspire students as they explore, discover, innovate, and create.  We encourage research that is applicable to the real world, and 3D printing is at the center of the product iteration and technological innovation process.”