Patrick Henry Community College celebrates the grand opening of the Thomas P. Dalton IDEA Center on Thursday, May 19 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at 26 Fayette Street in Uptown Martinsville. The entire community is invited for the ribbon cutting, facility tours, and equipment demonstrations. The IDEA Center, which stands for Innovate. Design. Engineer. Accelerate., is a hub for community innovation. From hobbyists’ projects to entrepreneurial innovation, at the IDEA Center anyone can discover, design, and bring their dreams to life.
The IDEA center houses the Fab Lab (Fabrication Laboratory) – one of approximately 60 in the nation – and the Tech Accelerator. Stocked with tools such as universal laser cutters and multiple varieties of 3-D printers, the Fab Lab enables users to produce a 3-D model of almost any concept. The Tech Accelerator provides entrepreneurs and inventors with guidance and support services to develop successful business ventures.
During the grand opening event, students will demonstrate the multi-material 3-D printer, the 3-D printing pen, and the shopbot router which is used for cutting intricate designs into wood and other materials. Attendees can leave with a gift that they watched turn from a concept into a 3-D object.
The grand opening includes a tour of the facility which is a newly restored, three-story building in Uptown Martinsville. The facility was purchased through a generous donation from the Thomas P. Dalton family. Mr. Dalton, who was a lifelong resident of Martinsville and Henry County until his death in 2012, was a 1982 graduate of PHCC.