When is a thing not just a thing?
When it’s elevated beyond normal everyday use. Discovering that new level of ‘thinginess’ was the subject of SUNY New Paltz’s first ever ANYthing Conference.
The conference brought together students, teachers and professionals from a multitude of disciplines to showcase the applications of additive manufacturing (that’s 3D printings technical name) in art, design, manufacturing, engineering and medicine.
Professor Dan Freedman, Dean of the School of Science and Engineering and the Director of the Hudson Valley Advanced Manufacturing Center at SUNY New Paltz says 3D printing was first done in the art department almost a decade ago, so the fine art students were the first experts. For a long time 3D printing was a way to make prototypes in manufacturing, but now engineers and manufactures are starting to follow the artists lead and use 3D printers for final use products as well.
“It’s the artist who are experimenting, playing, trying things out and discovering new capabilities and uses before everyone else does.”
While SUNY New Paltz is combining it’s art and engineering departments to be as innovative as it can with its 3D printing lab, Freedmen admits they still don’t have the capacity of a research SUNY like Buffalo, Binghamton or Stony Brook. He says the Hudson Valley Advanced Manufacturing Center is encouraging students, teachers and and local businesses to experiment with new uses for the technology.
“We’re trying to carve out our niche with the education end of it and making it available to everybody. And then bringing it to companies in the area for professional use.”