GateWay Unveils $1.5 Million 3D Lab

3D Lab

A priority for GateWay Community College is to stay on top of technology trends, especially when it comes to its Professional and Technical Education and Training programs.

Within the last year, the college has established its 3D print, design and processing lab at its Washington Campus in Phoenix.

Fifteen years ago the college’s Production Technology and Industrial Design Technology programs started to use and teach 3D printing, according to Program Director David Zamora.

“During the spring semester, our educational programs and the Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation (CEI) on campus combined our resources to offer one lab that serves both industry and students,” he said.

Located in the South Building, the $1.5 million (equipment and supplies) lab boast full design and development capabilities. “This is important because it means we have high-end computers with multiple types of 3D print data processing and design software,” said Zamora. “Our students benefit from the new learning environment as design using this newer technology is different than how we design in a manufacturing setting.”

Plus, students are able to earn industry SolidWorks 3D CAD certification through their experience in this new space.

The lab includes 14, 3D printers, with a print envelope of 16” x 14” x 14” all the way down to 5” x 5” x 5”.  Applications range from proof of concept to full prototypes for use.

“We partner with CEI because of our post processing capabilities -- once printed the end product has to be cleaned in our multi-axis CNC machining lab,” said Zamora. “We are able to clean up the product, remove support materials and assemble, sometimes with metal parts, too.”

Students are gaining real-life hands-on experience, as industry or individual entrepreneurs work through CEI, too.

“Our students have been providing CEI clientele with assistance on their projects using 3D design and print capabilities. Spring semester we completed our first multi-component 3D printed assembly for CEI along with a fully functional 3D printed wall clock of 75 pieces that had to accurately fit together,” said Zamora.

For students interested in enrolling in our programs, please visit https://www.gatewaycc.edu/industrial-design-technology or call (602) 286-8613.

For industry or individual entrepreneurs, please visit https://www.ceigateway.com/.

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