Google and Reddit have previously turned to DonorsChoose for other educational tech initiatives. In this case, MakerBot is urging teachers to sign up for DonorsChoose and ask for pledges toward a MakerBot Replicator 2 3D printer, last year’s model, along with a supply of the plastic used for printing and an equipment service plan. MakerBot is offering a slight discount for its education bundle: $2,352 dollars for the whole package compared to $2,700 for the general retail price. The $348 discount is equivalent to about the cost of one year of the company’s service plan, according to a MakerBot spokesperson.
But in Brooklyn, where MakerBot is based, founder and former middle school teacher Bre Pettis is discounting the printer package for public schools down to just $98, with much of the money paid by corporate sponsorships. MakerBot is also hosting an online design competition to get 3D modelers to come up with the best designs for printable math supplies, such as counting blocks, and the winner will get to pick a school to receive a Replicator 2 bundle for free. The combined effort is clearly a great way to move more MakerBot 3D printers into the hands of young people and raise awareness of the company, but MakerBot also cites President Obama’s call earlier this year to revitalize American manufacturing as inspiration. Let’s just hope the plan goes better than a recent effort in Los Angeles to give students iPads, which has been curtailed after students bypassed the devices’ security settings.
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!