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Male and female student pose with 3D printed green dress, and gray shoes

Innovation & 3D Printing

Our center places a premium on innovation and creative problem-solving. This philosophy is infused in everything we do, but is perhaps demonstrated best in our 3D printing initiatives through our MIX Lab.

We knew that combining the power of 3D design with entrepreneurship would substantially enhance our entrepreneurship program. Previously, student teams in our entrepreneurship classes had limited ability to fabricate minimal viable products (MVPs) for iterative testing in the real world. Also, they could not easily manufacture a small production run of their products for testing or sale.

The MIX Lab empowers our students—and the university, as a whole—to innovate faster, and collaborate among students, faculty and the greater community.

But our MIX Lab is so much more than just 3D printing, and has become a maker space. Making is undergoing a fundamental revolution. Digital fabrication is transforming the very way business is done. The MIX Lab is preparing students for these emerging jobs with highly in-demand, cutting-edge digital design skills.

The design and innovation entrepreneurs graduating with our Certificate in Innovation Design and Digitally Mediated Making are poised to become leaders in this transformation by having the joined skills of digital fabrication and innovation. At the core of the contemporary entrepreneurial process is the digital fabrication leveraging MVP’s (minimum viable product) in a fully digital workflow for just-in-time design, testing and production. Today, the key to entrepreneurship is the ability to fabricate independently, and validate prototypes with markets prior to engineering.