The newest technology in rapid manufacturing and modeling is now at the fingertips of students in York County.
York Technical College and 3D Systems recently opened 3D Systems University to the public at its new campus in Rock Hill. The new facility is located next to 3D Systems headquarters at Waterford Business Park. The company, which develops and make 3-D modeling and prototyping equipment, moved to Rock Hill last year. 3D Systems University is a joint effort with York Tech to train employees and the public.
Students learn how to design and manufacture a myriad of items, from hand tool prototypes to human skeletal replicas, using 3D Systems technology.
That technology enables a design to be transferred to a special printer that uses liquid polymers to "grow" the product in layers. Products develop vertically at a rate of 1 inch per hour.
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"The service we offer is the knowledge of this industry. When a customer buys this technology, they need to learn how to use it," said Bill Beaver, associate dean of the university. He said the Rock Hill campus is one of two community colleges offering the training in the country. The other institution, Saddleback College, is located in Orange County, Calif.
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The technology used in printers at 3D Systems University will soon be offered in 3D Systems products sold at office supply retailers, Beaver said.
A 3/8-inch thick piece of material manufactured in the latest 3D Systems printer can't be penetrated by a small caliber bullet fired at close range, the company says.
3D SYSTEMS UNIVERSITY: FACTS AND FIGURES
• Opened: Spring 2007
• Next public course begins: September
• Student capacity: 36
• Student-faculty ratio: 6:1
• Tuition: Beginning at $799 per course
• Facility: 17,000 square feet
• Location: 333 Three D Systems Circle, Rock Hill
• Phone: (803) 981-7005
• On the Web: www.yorktech.com/ 3Dsystems