Introducing: Tech Suite
Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild (MCG) Youth & Arts has redesigned its Digital Arts studio to include the Tech Suite, now equipped to support additive manufacturing (aka 3D printing) and laser engraving/etching.
MCG Youth & Arts has partnered with industry professionals, such as Dr. Jeri Thompson and The Additive Project, to create new curriculum. ExOne, a global leader in additive manufacturing technology from nearby Irwin, PA, has also lent considerable time and resources to the project.
The space is exceptionally modern, yet reflects the timeless visual elements consistent throughout the Manchester Bidwell organization. Astorino, the architect-of-record for PNC Park, designed the Tech Suite; PJ Dick, one of the nation’s top 100 contractors, helped bring Astorino’s vision to life; And the state-of-the art design and construction is met with world-class woodwork created by renowned Pittsburgh artisan, Tadao Arimoto.
“Tech Suite gives me new ways to express myself, I’m able to turn my ideas into real products that can be used in everyday life.”
–Chanel, grade 12
While developing Tech Suite, MCG Youth & Arts staff members conducted considerable research, exploring local resources such as CMU CREATE Lab and Tech Shop, as well as, FABLab Mahtomedi, a highly lauded high-school program in Mahtomedi, MN, and Stratasys, a manufacturer of 3D printers and 3D production systems. These visits not only highlighted the artistic possibilities and showcased the variety of available equipment; they helped solidify the notion that additive manufacturing is an important skill for young people to acquire, with real employment opportunities waiting.
“With the creation of Tech Suite, students are being given access to new media in an exciting era where art meets technology,” said Justin Mazzei, Director of MCG Youth & Arts. “In the coming years 3D printing will be a part of nearly every profession, including medical, engineering, transportation, manufacturing, and the arts. Gaining access to this technology in a world class facility is a game changer for the youth in our region, especially students from urban and economically challenged areas.”
Tech Suite would not be possible without the generous support of the Henry L. Hillman Foundation and the Grable Foundation.