A new 3D printer donated to the city of New London through an economic development initiative is an innovative opportunity – and an opportunity for innovation – for those who might not otherwise have access to the expensive technology.
The printer will be kept at the Public Library of New London as an educational tool and a way for designers to test their ideas, according to a press release issued Monday. It was donated by the University of Connecticut’s Small Business Development Center through a partnership with the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut. The SBDC is a technical assistance agency funded in part by state and federal funds.
An SBDC spokeswoman said the CubePRO by 3D Systems can print objects as large as 10.8 x 10.45 inches x 9.5 inches using two types of plastic and 23 colors.
The most recent model retails for $2,799 on the company’s website.
Library staff involved in the project will be trained by the University of Connecticut 3D Printing Club and will in turn offer classes on how to use the equipment.
The library’s executive director, Suzanne Maryeski, said the collaboration is a great way to increase access to the new technology for people in New London.
“Public libraries today are transforming into interactive spaces for the community to create and learn,” Maryeski said.
Tony Sheridan, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut, described the availability of the 3D printer as a leap forward for the region. “Students will now be able to explore scientific concepts they’ve learned in a new and very engaging way, while our region’s talented designers and 3D modelers have a means to instantly test new concepts. The entire community benefits from access to this technology,” he said.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony and demonstration will be held at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28, at the Public Library of New London at 63 Huntington St.