🔬From amoebas to ice buckets

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🔬From amoebas to ice buckets

Some of the instruments that have been 3D printed at the FIU Miami Beach Urban Studios.
(📸: Lance Dixon/The New Tropic)


Innovation is happening all over our city, and one of the main places trying to push that forward is FIU’s Miami Beach Urban Studios. The space works with students and staff from the college’s schools of arts, architecture, and science and houses a variety of uses including  art galleries and experiments to study sea level rise.

So we stopped by their Lincoln Road studios and spent most of our time checking out their 3D printing lab with John Stuart, the executive director of the MBUS. There are 33 printers accessible to students across majors and the studios are open to the public to view the space … but the printing’s for the students and the experts.

You can check out that full video over on our Facebook page, but here are some of the cool things we learned.

NOT JUST FOR SCIENTISTS: Students of all disciplines have come by to experiment with the 3D printers. “We’ve had everyone from hard scientists looking to 3D print amoebas … to artists, architects, designers, musicians,” Stuart said. They’re also open to entrepreneurs looking to prototype products. Those folks are paired with a student who assists with the printing process.

MAKING IT REAL: Several of the items John showed us were 3D printed versions of real items, like a replica of a 1916 sculpture from Vizcaya. The lab printed a replica of the original sculpture and a present-day version to show the effects of water erosion and climate change. “Anybody visiting can have a tactile experience, have an understanding that goes beyond seeing something,” John said.

CAN’T KNOCK THE HUSTLE: John shared a student’s almost accidental success story of 3D printing an ice bucket that he eventually sold to someone who saw it at The Raleigh Hotel. John said that’s one of the benefits of 3D printing, compared to more traditional academic pursuits, like, say writing an essay: “You would not be encouraged to sell a paper on Shakespeare sonnets.”

Learn much more about the Miami Beach Urban Studios by checking out our video or visiting their website.

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Strong mayor vote or bust. City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez is determined to have voters decide in November whether he’ll get additional decision-making power. Commissioners are set to vote Monday on a ballot item asking voters whether Suarez should be granted “strong mayor” powers. If that doesn’t pass, he’s still got enough signatures on a petition to send it to the ballot. If voters approve the idea, Suarez would get a pay raise, be granted power to oversee the city’s employees and the police chief, and the city budget. (Miami Herald)

A diverging what? Miami drivers aren’t exactly known as  the safest or most responsible drivers, so we’re a little nervous about the unveiling of Miami-Dade Expressway’s plan for the 836 — the Diverging Diamond Interchange. The new plan, coming later this month, involves re-directing traffic at 57th and 27th Avenues by having drivers briefly drive on the opposite side of the road when they enter or exit the expressway. Watch the video here and see if you can figure it out. (Miami.com, Twitter)

Makin’ money moves. While David Beckham’s soccer stadium plan, and the process to get it on the ballot, has been controversial, his team’s latest decision probably won’t be as divisive. Miami’s MLS team hired Paul McDonough to be the unnamed team’s sporting director. He’s not a household name, but he was the vice president of Atlanta United, which has become one of the most popular soccer teams in the U.S. in just a few years. We’ll see if he can bring that magic to the 305. (Miami Herald)

Cheers to Caroline. Time Magazine recently profiled 31 people making change in the south and SoFlo’s own Caroline Lewis, head of the CLEO Institute, was one of the people highlighted. The magazine’s staff highlighted her work in educating local leaders about global warming and the potential impacts of climate change, as well as for her organizing work in also helping create the Miami Climate Alliance. Major props. (Time)

A departure. After being named in a Washington Post deep dive into sexual harassment and assault in the classical music world, Bernard Uzan left his role as director of the Florida Grand Opera. Uzan was accused of harassing and assaulting four different women. He denied the claims in the initial story but attempted to defend himself this week, saying, “I come from a very different culture, I am of the sixties generation.” (Miami Herald)

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Things to do


💡Tomorrow: Catch a parade of lights at Vizcaya (Coconut Grove)

😌Monday, Aug. 6: Learn how to master mindfulness at Jackson Hall (Allapattah)

🗣 Friday, Aug. 10: Get an introspective look into Filmmaker Terence Nance at Art Africa (Overtown)

🎉Saturday, Aug. 11: Check out a pop-up day party for artists, social entrepreneurs, and civic engagement (Wynwood)

🍳Wednesday, Aug. 15: Learn how to cook some summer favorites with Julie Frans (Wynwood)


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🙏 Get zen at a beach party with sound bowls, yoga, and crystal healing (Surfside)

🎷 Enjoy some jazz at the Normandy Isle fountain (North Beach)

🏙 Take a walking tour of the Art Deco district (South Beach)

🎥Catch the premiere of “Random Acts of Flyness” (Wynwood)

💪Work out and twerk out with DanceAfrica Miami (Little Haiti)

🎸 Party with Lincoln’s Beard and Patrick and the Swayzees (Westchester)

😂 Celebrate three years of laughs with Villain Theater + get down at the after party (Little Haiti)

🎵Catch Kesha and Macklemore at the AmericanAirlines Arena (Downtown)

👑Gather your house for a Game of Thrones bar crawl (Brickell)

🎉Enjoy all the mangoes at the inaugural South Beach Mango Festival (South Beach)

🎸Catch the finale of the Miami Girls Rock Camp (Downtown)

🗑Join in on a beach cleanup (Key Biscayne)

🏃Sweat it out as the Workout Music Festival takes over Jungle Island (Downtown)

🍷Help crown the best shandy in Miami (Upper East Side)

🎶Catch some live music at Amelia’s 1931 (Kendall)

🌊Attend a town hall on sea level rise (Allapattah)

🏫Get to know the Miami-Dade School Board candidates (Downtown)

Going to one of these? Take us with you! Email a pic to [email protected] or tag @thenewtropic on Instagram. See more upcoming events on our events page, and add your own events with a New Tropic membership.


Have an awesome weekend, Miami ✌

– The New Tropic

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