Materialise, Saddleback, And NCACT Alliance Promotes Rapid Prototyping

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Materialise, Saddleback College and NCATC alliance to promote the possibilities of RP technologies to the product development community

Materialise, Saddleback College and the National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers (NCATC) announce a strategic alliance aimed at distributing class-leading Rapid Prototyping (RP) know-how and RP data preparation software to NCATC members.

The NCATC is a network of higher education resources providing technological and educational services to business and industry. NCATC strives to increase the national awareness of the most current and emerging technology, processes, and equipment through its strategic alliances.

Today, RP technologies are becoming widely available. Furthermore, with these RP technologies a complete new fashion of manufacturing can be addressed: true digital manufacturing. A striking example is the hearing aid industry, which in two years has made a complete conversion from artisan manufacturing to full digital processing. As such RP technologies are reshaping certain industries as we speak. One can anticipate that the digital manufacturing will continue to change the way we look at product development today.

The growing importance of RP technology and the vast amount of possibilities it offers to a wide variety of users incited the NCATC to establish its Technology Transfer Program. The main objectives of the program are to create RP awareness throughout the NCATC members and to promote the possibilities of RP technologies and infrastructure to its members, by performing training classes and information seminars.

Materialise, one of the drivers in software development for Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing, and Saddleback College are the newest Technology Transfer Partners in this program.
Materialise' cutting-edge Magics software offers fast and easy-to-use solutions for STL handling, STL editing and work preparation for Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing processes. Over the years, the software has grown into a common platform for the RP community.
Saddleback College houses an advanced RP Technology Competence Center and is a certified Materialise training center. The expertise they have developed in the field will assist educational institutions apply the power of Magics software to the product design and RP process.

Through this partnership, the NCATC members will be able to gather RP know-how and to experience how Magics software can assist in benefiting most from RP technology.

The National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers is a network of higher education resources that advocates and promotes the use of technology applications that enhance economic and workforce development programs and services. Specific objectives of NCATC are:
►        To increase the national awareness of technology centers and their positive impact on America's competitive ability and economic growth through education, training, technology transfer and demonstrations of techniques, processes and equipment.
►        To develop and facilitate the exchange of workforce development programs among NCATC members, providing for the efficient and effective use of information, expertise, training materials and equipment.
►        To provide a forum for new and emerging technologies, their applications and ideas on new services that Coalition centers may use to strengthen the workforce development programs and objectives in their respective regions.
►        To make information available to Coalition members on other services, programs and technologies that will enhance their ability to assist the economic and business development of their communities.

About Saddleback College

Saddleback College entered this field as a result of a 3 year National Science Foundation grant to develop curriculum and identify skills necessary to be successful as an RP technician. Saddleback has also been awarded a state economic development grant to assist companies in the area to adopt this technology, and to provide initial assistance "Lean Product Development" and RP. The college has purchased two different RP technologies in 3D printing, and will be adding Sony's SLA technology to the lab this spring. As a result of the agreement with SONY, Saddleback College will become the national training centre and provide assistance to their customers in equipment and software applications.

About Materialise

Materialise started out in 1990 as a Rapid Prototyping Service Bureau and has since grown to become one of the leaders in software development for Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing processes. Materialise software equips customers to accomplish their most challenging tasks with ease. The software can be summed up this way: integrated solutions whose key element is design automation, and whose goal is to offer a competitive advantage by driving efficiency and cutting costs. The company has development, sales and training offices all over the world. Its software development team is the largest in the sector.

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