Indiana-based Vincennes University, in conjunction with Mcor Technologies, has announced the purchase of an Mcor Matrix 3D printer. Mcor is the manufacturer of the only line of desktop paper-based 3D printers in the world.

The staff of Vincennes University originally planned to purchase a 3D printer that works with plastic rather than paper. When they saw the capability of the Mcor Matrix however, they decided it was the better decision. "When we saw that, we said, 'Wow, we have to have it,'" said Tom Danielsen, interim coordinator of the product design and production processes program at Vincennes University. "The affordability drove us right to the Mcor Matrix."

Universities across America are investing in 3D printers, but some of the machines are so expensive that the students never really get access to them. This problem has driven students at both UC Berkeley and Virginia Tech to get busy designing their own 3D printing vending machines so that they wouldn't have to wait in month-long lines just to use their school's printers. The staff of Vincennes University wanted to avoid that situation and the affordability of the Mcor Matrix, as well as the fact that it runs on regular desktop paper to produce full-color 3D models made it a perfect choice for them.

"Some schools buy the most expensive 3D printer on the market, and then don't let their students get their hands on it because it costs too much to print models," explains Danielsen. "Our tradition is hands on. We want students using the machine, learning how it works and what they can do with it. Because the material, paper, is so affordable, the Mcor Matrix is most definitely a hands-on machine."

Danielsen also liked the fact that when the students are done with the models they produce, everything can be recycled. "The Mcor Matrix produces models that, when their useful life is over, are as recyclable as paper," says Danielsen. "That's because they are paper. Since the sheets are bound together, the recyclable models are as tough as wood. Students understand and appreciate the sustainability advantage. It's important to them."

The new Mcor 3D printer is housed in the Vincennes University fabrication lab and they make a point of demonstrating the cutting-edge technology to prospective students. "Students want to know they'll be learning exciting new technology here that will make them more competitive when applying for jobs or additional educational programs after graduation," says Danielsen.

You can take a look at the Mcor Matrix in this short video: