MakerBot Launches Campaign to Bring 3D Printers to America’s Schools
3D printer maker MakerBot is launching a campaign to bring 3D printers to America’s public schools. Called the American Academy Initiative, the goal is to get thousands of MakerBot Replicator 2 3D printers (pictured above) into K-12 American schools by December 31, 2013.
Under the program, full-time American public-school teachers can register at Donorschoice.org and post a project request for a MakerBot Academy bundle. The MakerBot Academy bundle consists of a MakerBot Replicator 2 3D printer, three spools of MakerBot PLA filament that’s used to print 3D objects, and a year of the MakerBot MakerCare Protection Plan.
Second, MakerBot is launching a Thingiverse Design Challenge where teachers and students can design and share 3D printing designs.
MakerBot founder and Chief Executive Bre Pettis – a former teacher himself – said he was inspired to launch the initiative in part by U.S. President Barack Obama’s mention of 3D printing in an address – “3D printing has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything. The next industrial revolution will happen in America… 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.”
Both MakerBot and Stratasys, which recently purchased MakerBot, are making donations to the program. MakerBot’s Pettis has also pledged to put the MakerBot Replicator 2 in every public high school in MakerBot’s hometown, Brooklyn, New York.