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Keystone College has been chosen as the site for a new regional Additive Manufacturing/3-D Printing Center on its main campus in LaPlume, Pa.

The Regional Center for Excellence in 3-D Design, Innovation, Education, and Manufacturing will be located in Brooks Hall on campus and will be operated by Keystone’s School of Fine Arts.

“Pennsylvania is the keystone of American manufacturing, and to remain competitive we must ensure our innovative policies meet the demands of the 21st century,” Gov. Tom Corbett said. “Addressing one of the 15 key recommendations of the Governor’s Manufacturing Advisory Council and building on investments in similar university-led collaborations, our support of Keystone College’s initiative will strengthen our position as a leader in technology and additive manufacturing.”

The creation of the new center has been made possible by a $290,850 grant awarded by Gov. Corbett’s Discovered in PA—Developed in PA (D2PA) program funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and represents a partnership between Keystone College, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, Skills in Scranton, and the Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center. Discovered in PA – Developed in PA (D2PA) is the Corbett administration’s flagship economic development, technology, and job training initiative.

“Keystone College is immensely honored to be chosen as the site for the new Regional Center for Excellence in 3-D Design, Innovation, Education, and Manufacturing. We offer our most sincere thanks to Gov. Tom Corbett, the Department of Community and Economic Development, and our regional partners with whom we have diligently worked to prepare for this opportunity and move forward into an exciting future for our students and the residents of Northeastern Pennsylvania,” said Keystone College President Dr. David Coppola.

Additive manufacturing is technologically more advanced than traditional manufacturing and offers more efficient methods of forming metal and other materials into highly complex shapes and parts. The process uses materials such as plastics, carbon, fiber, or metal to produce three-dimensional objects. Rather than printing out a document, 3-D printers produce objects such as tools, parts for automobiles and machines, medical devices, art, and other objects. The process is applicable to many industrial sectors including aerospace, automotive, oil and gas equipment, and electronics, among others.

The new regional additive manufacturing/3-D printing center at Keystone will serve as vital regional resource to provide support and training for individuals and companies to take advantage of this new, advanced technology and serve as a catalyst for regional economic development.

For several years, Keystone has owned a Dimension U-Print 3-D Printer and Next Engine Laser 3-D Scanner. This technology has proven exceptionally useful by faculty and students participating in the art, design, forensic science, geology, and psychology programs.

Art department members use the technology to assist with numerous sculpture, glass, and design projects. The forensic science program has found the technology useful in developing a bone inventory and database for classroom and laboratory use. In geology, the technology has been employed in preparing three-dimensional models of topographic studies and three-dimensional models of shockwaves created by earthquakes. Members of the psychology department are creating three-dimensional models of sound waves for research and product development. Students are developing new and valuable skills which will be helpful for future employment opportunities and acceptance to graduate school.

“Keystone College can now offer important technical support to local manufacturers and entrepreneurs, enabling them to come to campus and sample or compare technologies and have their employees trained in a wide range of advanced additive manufacturing/3-D software,” said Ward Roe, art professor and chair of the college’s School of Fine Arts. “The Center will also provide education in additive manufacturing/3-D technology to Keystone students, high school educators and their students, and other industry professionals with the ultimate goal of training a highly skilled and competitive regional workforce. This is the manufacturing platform of the future and Keystone is leading the way so our students, industries, and workforce will benefit from the economic opportunities that will be created.”

Photo Caption: Officials from Keystone College and several economic development organizations celebrate the announcement that Keystone College has been selected as the site for the new regional Additive Manufacturing/3D Printing Center. From left: Austin Burke, retired president, Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce; William Schoen, director of the Chamber of Commerce’s Skills in Scranton program; Professor Ward Roe, chair of Keystone College’s School of Fine Arts; Eric Esoda, executive director/CEO, Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center; Susan Belin, chair of the Keystone College Board of Trustees; Dr. David Coppola, president of Keystone College; Elizabeth Ratchford, director of grants, Keystone College; and Ken Okrepkie, regional manager, Ben Franklin Technology Partners.