3D Innovation Hub Visited by Maryland Senators
Maryland senators recently visited the college to tour the 3D Innovation Hub, a three-dimensional printing facility in the lobby of Duncan Hall. Led by Senator Joan Carter Conway, the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs committee found out how the hub is enhancing faculty instruction and student learning. Dr. Kate Hetherington, president of Howard Community College, invited the committee members—Committee Chair Joan Carter Conway, Committee Vice Chair Paul Pinsky, Senator Gail Bates, Senator Johnny Ray Salling, and Senator Craig Zucker—to hear from faculty and students who have already benefited from the hub.
For Professor Susan Seibel, the hub provided an opportunity to explain a challenging concept to her students. The dental hygiene program uses textbook photographs to explain various dental implants and bridges, but the hub created a series of dental bridge models that provided students with a hands-on view of what they are learning. Students such as Eddie Lovern are able to see how the bridges fit inside a patient’s mouth and how one bridge differs from another.
Student Kayleigh Harkay used the hub to develop her award-winning entrepreneurial business idea that she first pitched to judges at the college’s Entrepreneurial Celebration. Organized by the college’s Center for Entrepreneurial and Business Excellence (CEBE), the biannual event selects students from the college’s introductory entrepreneurship and creativity course to showcase their concepts. Harkay’s PerdidoFido, a multi-functional GPS and health tracking collar to keep pets safe and healthy, took first place in the college’s competition, and then went on to win the Howard County Chamber of Commerce’s Young Entrepreneur’s award. She used the hub to build a prototype of PerdidoFido.
“The hub has helped me immensely,” said Harkay. “Without the prototype, I would only have wires. The hub has made it possible for a prototype to come to fruition. I don’t know how I would have done it without everyone involved with the hub.”
President Kate Hetherington held a ribbon cutting for the 3D Innovation Hub on May 9 with Maryland Secretary of Commerce Mike Gill, Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman, Maryland Senator Gail Bates, and other elected officials, business leaders, faculty, staff, and students. With support from the Howard County Economic Development Authority (HCEDA), the hub is the next step forward for 3D printing and additive manufacturing in Howard County, building upon the success generated by the HCEDA’s two-year initiative to raise awareness of additive manufacturing technology and its capability for commercial use.
At the college, the hub enables faculty to develop specialized models and students to build objects with real-life applications to their careers. Professors Mark Edelen and Dave Hinton work hand-in-hand with Athar Rafiq, manager of computer and cyber lab services, to operate the hub and assist faculty and students with their projects. With the 3D Innovation Hub, students get much-needed exposure to technology in a rapidly changing field and the college helps build the workforce of the future.
During the initial phase, the hub is focused on projects for faculty and students. Additional services for area businesses will be available in the near future.For more information about the 3D Innovation Hub, visit www.howardcc.edu/3dhub.