Florida International University Partners with MakerBot to Open 3D Printing Lab

Florida International University (FIU) and MakerBot will be holding a grand opening of the new CARTA Innovation Lab at the FIU College of Architecture + The Arts (CARTA) Miami Beach Urban Studios on September 29, 2015. The FIU Innovation Lab incorporates a MakerBot Innovation Center, a large-scale 3D printing installation designed to empower universities and organizations to innovate faster, collaborate better, and compete more effectively. FIU is the first university in the United States to house a MakerBot Innovation Center in a college focused on design and the arts where students, faculty, and local entrepreneurs will work on creative projects and explore the intersection of art and technology. Grand opening festivities will begin at 10 a.m., Tuesday, September 29, at FIU's Miami Beach Urban Studios, with speeches from FIU President Mark Rosenberg and MakerBot CEO Jonathan Jaglom.

"The College of Architecture + The Arts is the first arts college in the nation to work with MakerBot to embrace 3D printing at a large scale," said Brian Schriner, dean of FIU's College of Architecture + The Arts. "This new creative space will prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow by exploring the intersection of arts, design, and technology. The CARTA Innovation Lab is a major milestone that will help establish FIU as a national destination for innovative teaching, research, entrepreneurism, and creativity."

Miami's startup scene has seen enormous growth over the last few years, but the city has few established makerspaces where entrepreneurs can experiment and build. The CARTA Innovation Lab will help fill this gap, providing the next generation of Miami talent with a space to realize their ideas and inviting the community. The 3D printing lab will be part of the Miami Beach Urban Studios, which provide expansive space for design and fine arts students, practice, and performance spaces for music and theatre students, and expansive gallery/exhibition spaces and classroom space for use by the entire College. The location is an ideal base for the study in arts, design, communication, and entrepreneurship, and for exposure to the wealth of arts organizations and design firms located in Miami Beach.

The CARTA Innovation Lab features an open layout to encourage collaboration and will be made available to the community. It will bring together students from various disciplines with local entrepreneurs and artists to work on creative projects, develop new products, and conduct research. The lab will support a range of activities, from dual-enrollment programs for local high-school students to for-credit classes for FIU students and start-up programs for recent graduates.

"Desktop 3D printing is changing the way we think, work, and create things, and FIU is taking the lead in unlocking the creative potential of this transformative technology to art students," noted Jonathan Jaglom, CEO of MakerBot. "By bringing in a large-scale 3D printing center and providing access to 3D printers to students at an early stage, FIU can create an atmosphere of collaboration and accelerate the creative process like never before."

According to John Stuart, AIA, associate dean for cultural and community engagement and the executive director of Miami Beach Urban Studios, "FIU students already have ideas of how to utilize the lab, ranging from architecture students who want to use MakerBot Replicator 3D Printers to reimagine urban landscapes and showcase models, to art students who are designing 3D printed musical instruments.'' With collaborators from other disciplines, students in the lab will also explore the design and 3D printing of objects that address a variety of issues from sea level rise, world potable water shortages, aging in place, health, prosthetics, and mobility. Composer-in-Residence, Orlando Jacinto Garcia, has even begun working on a new composition in which 3D printers will join the world-renowned FIU School of Music's ensemble-in-residence Amernet String Quartet in a production of a quartet with 3D printer soloists that produce sound and relevant objects.

Support for the CARTA Innovation Lab is a part of the Knight Foundation's efforts to invest in Miami's emerging innovators and entrepreneurs as a tool to build the community while fostering talent and expanding economic opportunity. Over the past three years, Knight has made more than 100 investments in entrepreneurship in South Florida.

The CARTA Innovation Lab includes 30 MakerBot Replicator 3D Printers, 1 MakerBot Replicator Z18 3D Printer, 1 MakerBot Replicator Mini Compact 3D Printer, a large supply of MakerBot PLA Filament, and 5 MakerBot Digitizer™ Desktop 3D Scanners.

For more information, visit: carta.fiu.edu/innovlab

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