The future of 3D printing has been the subject of much speculation, and to ensure that students have the opportunity to be on the forefront of whatever will arise from the industry, MakerBot has announced a new initiative to get a 3D printer into every public school in the United States. The mission is called MakerBot Academy, and it has been launched in conjunction with American Makes.
According to MakerBot, the company was inspired by the State of the Union address this year, in which President Obama said, "3D printing has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything. The next industrial revolution in manufacturing will happen in America." By putting a 3D printer in every public school in the US, MakerBot says it can help ensure that the next generation has a way to learn about this technology.
While the entire project is ambitious, it is MakerBot's timeline that particularly catches the eye -- to achieve its mission by December 31, 2013. The schools will receive a MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer, as well as a year of MakerBot MakerCare Protection Plan and the MakerBot PLA Filament. This could add up to 5,000 3D printers being shipped out to schools by the first of 2014.
Rounding it all out, and to help teachers with one of the most requested objects that a 3D printer could make, is a Thingiverse Challenge as part of the initiative. Under the challenge, designers are encouraged to create and submit math manipulatives that teachers could then download and print to help teach their students. Model designs are also being sought in the areas of technology and science, as well.
SOURCE: Fast Company