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Sears think[box] Brings 3D Printing Innovation to Students and Community

Students collaborating at Sears think[box].
Students collaborating at Sears think[box].
The Sears think[box] at Ohio’s Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) is one of the largest university-based innovation centers in the world. This $35M project is used by about 5,000 visitors per month — including students, alumni, faculty and visitors – many of whom take advantage of the center’s 3D printing capabilities. Stratasys FDM and PolyJet-based 3D printers are available to turn creative designs into practical products – enhancing the educational experience while also satisfying the needs of 21st-century employers.

“The 3D printers have helped us broaden the scope of projects coming through our center and provided much-added value for students as they develop their prototypes,” said Malcolm Cooke, executive director of the think[box] and an associate professor of engineering at CWRU.

A Sears think[box] student uses 3D printing to bring her ideas to life.
A Sears think[box] student uses 3D printing to bring her ideas to life.
Download our free Curriculum Guide to help prepare your students for careers being reshaped by 3D printing technology.

Before think[box] opened, the use of 3D printing on CWRU campus was limited to a small group of engineering students working with professors, who had access to just two printers.

But once the university opened the innovation center up to the community 3D printing on campus changed drastically. Now, design students use the innovation center to build off-road vehicles for the Baja SAE Intercollegiate Design Competition; robotics students produce parts for their NASA Robotics Competition submissions; and medical students use 3D printed brain parts to enhance their neuroanatomy learning.

“They can get prototypes very quickly and early in the design stage, which translates into more design modifications,” Cooke said. “They can then communicate the design to team members. This is much easier than just looking at a CAD screen.”

Sears think[box] at Case Western Reserve University is one of the largest university-based innovation centers in the world, hosting 5,000 monthly visitors.
Sears think[box] at Case Western Reserve University is one of the largest university-based innovation centers in the world, hosting 5,000 monthly visitors.
Cooke sees even more 3D printers in the think[box]’s future and is particularly interested in adding more material choices to the center’s current lineup. “I’d like to provide students with as many different technologies and material choices as possible,” said Cooke.

And to keep up to date about the latest advances in 3D printing for education, please click here to sign up for the Stratasys Education Innovation Series.

The university is equipping students with skills and team-building experience that today’s employers expect. “Most companies want technical skills and multidisciplinary team experience,” said Cooke. “Through Sears think[box], we’re able to promote the use of creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship across campus. This, in turn, supports a wide range of inter-disciplinary exploration and activity.”

Do you have Stratasys 3D printers at your school? Click here to find out how 3D printing can transform learning.

Gina Scala

Gina Scala

Gina Scala is Stratasys’ director of marketing for worldwide education where she works to listen to the voice of the education customer and translate that into meaningful marketing messages and product solutions that meet teaching and learning needs for schools. Prior to this role she served as Vice President of education & professional development at the Direct Marketing Association. Gina has a strong background in both marketing and education. Prior to DMA, she served as Director of Marketing for a global professional development company, Editure, where she was responsible for the marketing strategy and development for six subsidiary companies. She also worked for education publishers: Sadlier, delivering in-service training, and Pearson Education as an educational product manager. Scala holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from the Pennsylvania State University, a MA in special education from The College of New Jersey and she is a credentialed teacher in the state of NJ. She is most proud however of her two amazing children who inspire her each day as they learn about the world around them.

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