3D Systems continues its journey into personal 3D printing by enabling easy access to 3D printing at 100 public organizations across the United States.
The company is one of the original two that brought 3D printing to the world in the 1980’s. Today they’re a massive operation largely built on their industrial 3D printers, but in recent years they’ve moved towards consumer 3D printing by marketing a variety of consumer-oriented 3D printing products and services.
One key barrier they – and others hoping to address the consumer market – is accessibility to 3D printing. Consumer equipment is still at premium prices for general consumers, as is some of the software required to fully use them. 3D Systems hopes to break through that barrier with a new program they call “MakerLab Club”. Here’s their description:
Formed in association with the Youth Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) and the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC), the MakerLab Club is a community of U.S. libraries and museums dedicated to providing the next generation with the digital literacy needed to harness and benefit from the many opportunities in 3D digital design and fabrication.
They will provide up to four Cube consumer-level 3D printers to 100 carefully selected libraries and museums in the United States from over 1300 applications. And there’s more benefits provided:
- Regular access to workshop curricula and content
- Monthly access to 3DU [3D Systems’ educational clinic]
- Exclusive equipment discounts and opportunities to win free hardware and software
There’s a complete list of recipients here, where you can check to see if there’s a MakerLab Club near you.
If there is – and if you are unable to otherwise gain access to 3D printing tech, this may be a way for you to easily get into this exploding technology.
This is a significant move by 3D Systems, as nearly USD$500K in printers alone are to be donated. We think this is another move by 3D Systems to slowly grow awareness, interest and expertise in 3D printing technology that may not have immediate benefits to the corporate bottom line, but likely will do so in future years.
Via 3D Systems