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As White House honors Maker Movement, UT to hold celebration June 18

The University of Toledo will join the White House and universities across the country to recognize June 18 as a National Day of Making, a celebration of students, researchers, entrepreneurs and amateurs who work to innovate through physical creation.

While the White House will celebrate with its first Maker Faire, at The University of Toledo, faculty and students will demonstrate one of its 3-D printers, a 21st-century tool that is increasingly available to inventors that can be used to quickly create prototypes to test new ideas and speed innovation.

UT faculty and students will offer a 3-D printer demonstration and announce plans to provide increased access to the device for entrepreneurs in Toledo Wednesday, June 18, at 1 p.m. in Nitschke Hall Room 1080.

“The University of Toledo has joined more than 150 colleges and universities across the nation and made a commitment to President Obama that we will work to democratize access to many of the advanced tools needed to create some of tomorrow’s most exciting inventions,” said Dr. Nagi Naganathan, dean of the UT College of Engineering.

Naganathan said 3-D printing is a high-profile example of technology that UT is committed to exposing its students to.

“These tools will be ubiquitous in the years ahead, and it is essential our students get in on the leading edge of this technology now if we want to ensure the United States is leading the Maker Movement worldwide,” Naganathan said.

Dr. Matt Franchetti, UT assistant professor of mechanical, industrial and manufacturing engineering, said the Maker initiative aligns closely with the experiential learning that is a key part of UT’s engineering curriculum.

“We already have some students submitting Maker portfolios as they apply for admission, and the College of Engineering has two entrepreneurial groups students can join to further their skills and find mentor/mentee relationships between students,” Franchetti said, adding that the college is looking to expand access to the technology beyond the college to students across campus.

“While many of them are engineers, no one college or discipline holds the monopoly on the spirit to invent and create, and we’re excited to join with the White House to bring attention to a really positive nationwide initiative,” Franchetti said.