San Diego Continuing Education students interested in starting their own small business have a new resource to help them create prototypes of their products: a MakerBot Replicator 3D printer.
“It provides us with a vital new tool for innovation in our entrepreneurship program,” said Matthew Rivaldi, who runs the Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management Program at Continuing Education’s new César E. Chávez Campus.
The Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management Program includes courses in small businesses planning, in addition to a Small Business Planning Certificate. Rivaldi said the technology can come in handy by quickly creating a pre-production prototype of a product aimed for the market.
The 3D printer, valued at $7,000, was 'purchased thanks to a generous donation from the Christensen Foundation, facilitated by San Diego Community College District trustee Bernie Rhinerson. It is an example of the important role that community contributions make to support student success.
“It’s a great tool for people interested in starting a small business,” said Francisco Valencia, a student in the Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management Program at the César E. Chávez campus and who plans to start producing a line of women’s shoes and children’s furniture. “A 3D printer allows you to get an idea of the functionality of your product and see if there are any problems that might come up before you go into production. Anytime you could create a model of a product at a reduced cost, it’s going to save you money.”