How to Build an Additive Manufacturing Center at Your University

STEM-focused colleges have two main objectives when educating their students. First, they seek to build a strong backbone of technical knowledge through theory-heavy classes. Second, and perhaps more importantly, they provide a place for students to learn and practice real job skills before joining the workforce. These job skills are taught via project-centric curriculum, where students learn through experience instead of lecture.


While project-centric curriculum is a great concept, most universities are not equipped to support the initiative. Fabrication resources are often  dispersed throughout campus, largely unavailable for general student use. That’s where innovation centers come in. They provide a centralized physical space for students to interface with manufacturing technology directly. Use of the space can vary from university to university, but most allow students to bring class, club, or personal projects from concept to creation. This is the perfect way to introduce students to additive manufacturing as a means to create parts that would traditionally be made using subtractive manufacturing methods.

In this white paper, we’re going to highlight a few different  ways four universities created additive manufacturing innovation centers — from how they funded and built them to who uses them  and how they’ve impacted their respective universities.

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