3D printing in the classroom is nothing new. We hear about it all the time, about the importance of teaching kids about 3D printing as early as possible to begin preparing them for the rapidly changing industries they’ll face when they reach adulthood. Collaboration with educators has become a priority for many 3D printer manufacturers, many of whom seem to be trying to outdo each other with their outreach initiatives, their self-designed curriculum programs, and their supply donations.
What we haven’t seen too much yet are efforts to get 3D scanning into classrooms. Until very recently, 3D scanners were the province of museums, archaeologists, medical professionals and other industries. Affordable, personal scanners are only beginning to arrive in the market. One of the pioneers of the affordable personal scanner is Fuel3D, whose runaway Kickstarter campaign introduced the SCANIFY handheld scanner to the world a couple of years ago. At the time, a full-color 3D scanner for under $1,000 was unheard of, and its popularity quickly soared.
It’s no surprise, then, that Fuel 3D should be turning their focus towards education. The point and shoot SCANIFY is easy enough for even the youngest students to use, and its low cost makes it affordable for educators. Thanks to a new agreement with distributor the Douglas Stewart Company, SCANIFY will soon be showing up in classrooms all over the United States, Canada and Europe.
The Wisconsin-based Douglas Stewart Company and their European subsidiary, Douglas Stewart EDU, are leading distributors of educational products. With over 4,500 resellers in North America and a distribution network spanning more than 37 countries in Europe, Douglas Stewart has already played a large role in getting 3D printers into classrooms through partnerships with companies like 3D Systems.
“Over the past five years, 3D printer usage has seen explosive growth in education as schools and universities around the world adopt the technology,” said Lori Mercier, Douglas Stewart’s Managing Director for Europe. “Fuel3D’s SCANIFY provides teachers and students with a high-end, easy-to-use 3D scanner and Douglas Stewart is uniquely positioned and qualified to help reach the education markets through our broad range of EDU specialist resellers.”
The lightweight, portable and easy-to-use SCANIFY should introduce students to a new facet of 3D printing, plus content generation for video game design, animation and even virtual reality – all which are expected to play major roles in the industries of the future.
“We are excited to partner with an established company like Douglas Stewart in the education sector,” said Stuart Mead, CEO of Fuel3D. “We believe that SCANIFY has outstanding potential to help schools bring cutting edge 3D technologies and skills into the educational environment.”
The deal is big for both Fuel3D and those involved in Douglas Stewart, bringing the two together to encourage growth.
“Partnering with Fuel3D enables us to provide our customers a leading 3D capture and imaging solution,” added Chuck Hulan, CEO of The Douglas Stewart Company. “3D scanning is an emerging technology that can help encourage creativity and innovation in the classroom. We’re excited to be able to provide students the tools they need to translate their creative vision into 3D objects, and help bring the benefits of SCANIFY to classrooms across North America and Europe.”
Discuss in the Fuel 3D Education forum over at 3DPB.com.