Written by: Steve Melito, Industry Blog Writer for FuzeHub
High Tech Rochester (HTR) is using the power of 3D printing to help promote entrepreneurship and economic growth in the Rochester area and Finger Lakes Region. Clients of the nonprofit economic development organization can produce 3D printed prototypes at the new HTR First Prototype Lab, which features 3D printers and computer workstations along with a 3D scanner and laser cutter.
Unlike a product description or drawing, 3D printing enables manufacturers to share tangible prototypes with potential customers, partners, and investors. “We can’t overstate the importance of this step in the early development of a product or device,” says Lab Director Mike Riedlinger. “The better an entrepreneur can show and explain a product, even in its preliminary stages, the better the feedback.”
Users of the Lab, which is located at HTR’s Lennox Tech Enterprise Center in Henrietta, can also strengthen their initial designs with on-site support. Ben Zombek, HTR’s designer-in-residence, is an experienced industrial designer who is already working with several local companies at the Lab. “The printers,” Zombek explains, “are quite economical to run, are very precise, and print from any number of CAD programs.”
Funded by a grant from the Max and Marion Farash Charitable Foundation, the HTR First Prototype Lab complements other additive manufacturing resources. For example, a manufacturer who uses the Lab for initial product development can later tap into other parts of HTR’s network of connections, which includes the new Makers Lab that’s being developed at RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability.
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