UWF to host grand opening for Sea3D Additive Manufacturing Laboratory in downtown Pensacola
The University of West Florida will debut its one-of-a-kind Sea3D Additive Manufacturing Laboratory on Jan. 26 from 4 to 6 p.m. during a grand opening and reception event at the facility’s location inside the Museum of Commerce in Historic Pensacola. Sea3D, which provides valuable 3-D printing resources for both the University and Northwest Florida community, was funded by an appropriation of $351,000 from the Florida Legislature.
“We are very grateful to Governor Scott and the legislature for the funding we received to equip this lab,” said UWF President Martha D. Saunders. “Sea3D represents the first of its kind among our university-community partnerships. It will connect our students, our community and area businesses and industries in ways that will benefit our region.”
The lab’s opening marks the official launch of the UWF Innovation Network, which connects physical campus destinations along the Gulf Coast of Northwest Florida for innovation, collaboration, research and engaged learning to prepare students for the changing world and workforce of tomorrow.
“Sea3D fills a gap for the state,” said Nicole Gislason, director of the Office of Career and Professional Education. “Technical skills in our region, in manufacturing specifically, are in short supply. The state decided that our proposal to fund a lab, student interns and training opportunities would help to meet some of the needs that the region has in manufacturing.”
The facility, which will include an optical scanner and 11 3-D printers, can accommodate UWF students and faculty from academic disciplines including engineering, art, industrial and organizational psychology and business. It will also provide a space for business leaders and community members to collaborate with students on the creation and printing of 3-D products, as well as put real-world science on display for the thousands of local K-12 students who visit the Museum of Commerce each year.
A metal 3-D printer and carbon fiber 3-D printer will later be integrated into Sea3D. Sea3D is located inside the UWF Historic Trust’s Museum of Commerce at 201 E. Zaragoza St. To learn more, visit uwf.edu/sea3d.