MakerBot Aims To Bring 3D-Printing Into America’s Classrooms
Obama says 3D printers could spark the next industrial revolution.
Even though the real-world applications of 3D printing are still relatively limited, President Barack Obama pegged the technology as the spark that will ignite the next industrial era with a recent comment positing that “3D printing has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything.” This has inspired a unique partnership between MakerBot, DonorsChoose.org, America Makes, and Autodesk, which aims to put a 3D printer in every school across America.
Individuals and corporations interested in helping get MakerBot Desktop 3D Printers in schools can visit DonorsChoose.org, a crowd funding site just for teachers, and pledge to financially support the program. Teachers then register on DonorsChoose.org to receive a MakerBot Academy bundle.
“As a former teacher, I believe strongly in creating a new model for innovation,” said Bre Pettis, CEO of MakerBot. “Instead of waiting for someone to create a product for you, you can create your own. It can change the whole paradigm of how our children will see innovation and manufacturing in America.”
MakerBot has already contributed its own resources to launch this education initiative, along with key partners. Pettis has personally pledged to put a MakerBot Replicator 2 in public high schools in the company’s hometown of Brooklyn, N.Y. In addition, Ralph Crump, original inventor of FDM 3D printing technology and founder of Stratasys, has pledged his support.
In order to make sure the printers are put to good use, the company is also launching Thingverse, an online 3D digital design community where schoolchildren can design, share, upload, and print designs of their own.
As reported by CNET, Makerbot’s founder seems geninely excited by the parternship and is under no illusions that it will be a significant source of revenue. That being said, he wanted to make it clear that it’s about empowering the next generation: “We want to make sure that what we do is relevant, has a deep impact, and is genuine.”