A state-of-the-art technology hub featuring 3D printing equipment and business support will be set up in Lincoln this month.
As part of Onlincolnshire’s technology hubs project, the University of Lincoln’s School of Art and Design will house the new city hub, opening February 27.
The hub will offer free use of 3D equipment such as printers, scanners and laser cutters, expert advice and business support.
It’s one of four hubs by Onlincolnshire around the county, including Mablethorpe, Boston and Louth, all of which launched last year.
The hubs intend to demonstrate to county businesses what digital technology is on offer to them.
A launch party on the day from 4.30pm and 7pm will demonstrate the equipment, tester sessions and explain more about the free training and expert advice available.
The main hub area housing the 3D printing and laser cutting equipment will be based in the workshop of the Architecture Building at the University’s Brayford Pool campus, while the 3D scanners and heritage expertise will be found in the School of Art and Design, which is attached to the Architecture Building.
Mike Poole, Business Development Manager at the University’s College of Arts, said: “We’re delighted that we can host this free facility and offer our own experts as resources for the local business community.
“The hub is aimed at architects, engineers, designers, heritage specialists, and artists, to name a few.
“The idea is to offer the opportunity to try out new equipment before making a purchase and access expert advice and support so businesses can grow. We hope to see as many people as possible take advantage of this new venture.”
All of the equipment can be borrowed or used for free by eligible businesses, with just a charge to cover insurance costs and materials used.
The hub is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Councillor Colin Davie, Executive Member for Economic Development at Lincolnshire County Council, which runs the Onlincolnshire project, said: “This latest Lincolnshire Technology Hub has the chance to transform businesses.
“The possibilities are endless. You could be an architecture firm looking to create a 3D model of your design, an engineer who wants to develop a prototype or a heritage worker from one of our city’s historic sites in need of fabrication machinery to replicate the design of a sculpture long since lost to the elements.
“The university has experts on hand to help guide businesses through using the equipment and offer their advice on other elements such as new product development, packaging design and prototyping.”
Businesses interested in using the hub can book an appointment by calling 01522 835097 or 837494, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.