Additive Manufacturing Strategies

3Dprintler Talks 3D Printing and Education at Paris Trade Fair

ST Medical Devices

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3dp_3dprintler_logoUntil a few months ago, I had never heard of 3Dprintler. The company started out in 2012 as a regular 3D printing bureau, but it was only when they changed their business plan that they really came into the spotlight. At the end of December they announced that they were launching new services as a 3D printing search engine/price comparison tool that would allow users to browse and choose the best prices from a large number of partner printing services. Since the official launch of the new services in January, 3Dprintler has continued to expand rapidly, adding new file formats, service providers and other features according to feedback from their users.

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An Educatec-Educatice attendee checks out 3Dprintler’s platform. [Image: 3Dprintler via Facebook]

Now, the company is marketing their services to a new specific sector – educators. It’s hardly unusual for 3D printing businesses to reach out to schools with classroom-oriented 3D printers, dedicated educational product bundles, and material donations; if there’s one thing that everyone in the industry agrees on, it’s that teaching kids about 3D printing is vitally important. 3Dprintler isn’t offering any new products or services specifically for students, but instead is making an effort to get education professionals interested in their services as a way to teach students about 3D printing.

home-site-mai-14_05The Canadian company aimed their focus at France last week by attending the Educatec-Educatice trade show in Paris, which took place from March 9-11. Surrounded by teachers, officials and representatives from educational organizations, 3dprintler presented their services as a way for kids to learn about the business side of 3D printing – how things are priced, what different 3D printing bureaus offer, and which businesses are the most popular. In addition, it’s an easy way to show kids how much variety 3D printing offers, in terms of different printing technologies and materials. Over 270 different materials and finishes are available through 3Dprintler, so it’s a great resource for showing students that 3D printing is much more expansive than the plastic printed objects they may be most familiar with.

The educators at the trade show agreed, according to a 3Dprintler blog post:

“Everyone we met thought the same as us: 3Dprintler is a fun and practical way for students to browse their 3D printing options and help them safely learn about manufacturing.”

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3Dprintler with French Minister of Education Najat Vallaud-Belkacem [Image: 3Dprintler]

3Dprintler also spoke with French Minister of Education Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, who was “blown away by what 3D printing could offer to STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and manufacturing) education.” This is great news for more than 3Dprintler. I love hearing about those revelations among education professionals. While 3D printing is becoming a staple in many schools, many others are just starting to realize its potential and necessity in the classroom, and sometimes it’s companies like 3Dprintler that offer an extra spark to spread the technology through the education industry. Overall, it looks like France is fully on board; there was a strong 3D printing presence at the trade fair according to 3Dprintler’s blog.

“Connecting with inspiring educators in France was wonderful,” the company states. “They really give us hope for the future of STEM education. 3D printing manufacturing will transform the way these students live in the 21st century and into the 22nd century.”

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