STEM / Technology

MakerBot pushes into big-box stores and university makerspaces

A new tech school in Florida opens with the largest MakerBot lab of any school in the country. Meanwhile, contractors and DIYers will start seeing 3D printers in some Home Depot stores.

3D printing is a Brooklyn strength a new group is looking to leverage. (Photo by Flickr user Antonio Rubio, used under a Creative Commons license)

MakerBot has had a couple of milestones in terms of bringing 3D printing to the masses. While getting a spot on the Home Depot website is important, honestly, we can’t imagine that that sort of visibility helps move the dial. What may move it, however, is its newfound presence in 12 actual Home Depot stores (in California, Illinois and New York, since July 14). It’s seeing what additive manufacturing really looks like that enables people to get it.

Another way to help bring the technology to the mainstream is to reach young people before time and circumstance have warped what was imagination into a cynical strategy-making. To that end, it just announced a partnership with Florida Polytechnic University.

Downtown Brooklyn’s 3D printing pioneer is establishing its largest MakerBot Innovation Center to date in a space the university has named the Rapid Application Development (RAD) Makerspace, according to a joint press release from the school and company. It’s one of four related labs at the school, which welcomes its first class of 500 students this fall, in Lakeland, Florida.

You can tell the new university is going to be about innovation because they are seriously all up in the Parallax scrolling on their landing page. Like, whoa.

“It’s so exciting to see an educational institution rethink the learning and innovation process and embrace technology that will, we believe, truly turn the students of today into the entrepreneurs and business leaders of tomorrow,” noted Bre Pettis, CEO of MakerBot.

Of course, what may prove to be the most fruitful move toward making additive manufacturing mainstream was all but giving away its technology to loads of public schools this past winter. It will be years till we see what fruits that investment bears out, but the best investments seldom mature quickly.

Companies: MakerBot
Series: Brooklyn

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