By Mark Hallum
Queensborough Community College has announced the addition of a Stratasys J750 3D printer — a rarety in the academic world — to its Engineering Technology 3D Lab.
The state-of-the art printer will help students to learn the latest manufacturing techniques. The printer will teach students to how to manufacture dental molds, anatomically correct models of hearts and arms, architectural models, robotics parts, set designs, props and costumes.
According to a QCC release, it can even print sushi. Whether or not the sushi is edible is another matter entirely.
The addition of the J750 to the engineering lab makes QCC, located at 22-05 56th Ave. in Bayside, one of seven educational institutions in the world to have this piece of equipment, according to QCC. The Stratasys website boasts that the J750 has the ability to automatically map 360,000 colors from design software for photorealistic models, the ability to load six materials into the machine to create any combination of rigidity, flexibility or transparency to objects being built, and produce extremely fine details by layering with a minimum thickness of 0.014 millimeters. The majority of the materials used by the J750 are plastic and rubber.
“We want our students to become ‘Workforce Ready’ graduates. One way to accomplish that is to give our students access to industry-level technology,” said Michael Lawrence, a lecturer in the Engineering Technology Department.
The Engineering Technology 3D Lab is funded by the CUNY2020 grant, whose goal is to assist local businesses by offering training in the manufacturing capabilities available with 3D printing technology. The program arms students with this knowledge to give them an advantage upon entering the workforce.
“The momentum of 3D printing to transform manufacturing means industries will need employees who understand how to use the new technology. The grant will support the students as they train to become highly skilled at using 3D printers and computer drafting software,” said Stuart Asser, professor of engineering technology.
The lab also teaches students on the Fortus 450mc 3D printer, which is designed to print highly durable production parts.
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall