If you regularly read this blog, then you know that CAD and 3D printing are becoming more and more prevalent in many industries, and that both tools are being used to create innovative plans that could very well change the world. As such, training the next generation of designers, architects, and engineers requires teaching them the computer aided design and 3D printing skills they will need to succeed. Thanks to the efforts of Polar 3D, an Ohio 3D printer manufacturer, and the Boys and Girls club, some lucky kids are getting the chance to start learning those skills as they go back to school.
According to a recent announcement, Polar 3D will be setting up a series of “3D printing labs” at various Boys and Girls club sites across the country, as well as providing training a training guide for the staff who will help the children operate the machinery. The “hands on” training material will be made available through the Polar Cloud, an online platform used by the 3D printing community to collaborate and share data.
Kimberly Boyd, the national vice president of Program, Training, & Youth Development at the Boys and Girls Club of America, noted that underrepresented teens and children often fall behind in science and other STEM skills due to lack of access to materials and training. According to Boyd, Polar 3D’s initiative will provide many children who would otherwise never have the chance to use breakthrough technology or foster their love of design and machinery a chance to learn relevant skills that they can use in the future.
The first Polar 3D printing labs will be installed at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington (D.C.), Greater Cincinnati, and Greater Portland.
Changing Children’s Lives
Given Polar 3D’s obvious intention to improve the lives of children, choosing the Boys and Girls Club of America is a smart move. According to poll of former members of the organization, 57% said that being a member of the Boys and Girls Club “saved their lives.” There are currently 4 million children who are members of one of the 1,400 Boys and Girls Clubs in the United States.
According to one of the company’s founders, William Steele, Polar 3D created its printers and the Polar Cloud social platform with the express purpose of putting them in front of students so that they would be “inspired to think like entrepreneurs.” Polar 3D was founded in 2013 by a former Microsoft executive and a former software company owner, and unveiled its 3D printer at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2015. Unlike most personal 3D printers, which operate on both the X and Y axes, Polar 3D’s printers incorporate a moving build platform that slides back and forth under a spinning build plate that remains in a fixed location. As the platform moves back and forth, the item being printed is created, layer by layer.
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