ITS added a new product to our lineup: MakerBot 3D printers.
Many of our K-12 clients already offer pre-engineering, drafting and design classes that utilize software capable of producing 3D images; a logical next step in providing real-world learning opportunities for students is the ability to print these images and further test design and practicality. 3D printing can also encourage creative problem solving and provide opportunities to solve real-world problems.
Outside of the education sector, 3D printers are currently used to print: medical components and prosthetics, architectural mock-ups, proof-of-concept pieces for manufacturers and entrepreneurs, and even edible sugar creations. What has ITS printed? An Agent of Shields badge, a Go Hawks! sign, a Batman symbol, and an oversized-Lego Darth Vader (view some of these on our facebook page).
Aside from our Go Hawks! sign, all of our productions have been designed by other users and placed in Thingverse, an open-source community for 3D designs. See the originals on Thingverse: Darth Vader, Agents of Shield,and Batman . We are looking forward to working on some original creations soon.
While CES has predicted 2014 as the year 3D printing is poised to explode and we are excited to be part of the MakerBot team, we were moved more by this use of 3D printing (that is a MakerBot tucked into the giant cloud) at a school for students with visual impairments in Japan:
And, also flabbergasted with this prosthetic hand: