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3D Printed Education

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The company GADGETS3D is launching its “3D Printer in Every School” initiative next month.  Forbes reports that the Poland and Hong Kong based company “has introduced the small-sized, low-cost RepRap G3D, especially designed for schools, small businesses, and individual customers.”  RepRap is one of the leaders in the Maker community, a completely open source 3D printer.  GADGETS3D’s project will allow any school to “buy a RepRap G3D for $245 as part of an educational kit.  GADGETS3D also plans to supply more than 500 schools around the world with a free printer.”  Students will even be able to access their school’s 3D printer from home using a smart phone. 

Elsewhere, “Gerhard de Clercq and Pieter Sholtz – two 15 year-old South Africans working from a home-built RepRap 3D printer – recently wrote a Windows mobile phone app to let users print from a mobile phone.”  De Clercq and Sholtz used their new app to print a phone case.  However, “the intention of this project wasn’t just to print off a cell phone case and collect a class grade.  Instead, de Clercq and Sholtz hope to bring the app to the consumer market and ultimately make 3D printing more affordable and accessible to South Africans through mobile tech.”  

Meanwhile, in the U.S., NVbots, an MIT startup, plans “to make 3D printing part of shop classes, and part of STEM programs across the U.S., NVbots has created an easy-to-use cloud interface and tiered safety training curricula enabling students to safely 3D print 24-7 on an NVprinter from any device…NVbots’ specialized 3D printing software allows printers to hold a queue of print jobs and then automatically remove parts after they have been printed.  It then begins the next print job without any human interaction required.”  As with many of these educational 3D printing programs, NVbots has a goal to spread this technology into even more classrooms.  They aim to “engage 50,000 schools globally to improve STEM education and to inspire the next generation of inventors.”

Photo Courtesy of RepRap

Quotes Courtesy of Forbes        

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