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The office supply chain store Staples is no stranger to the world of 3D printing. They’re currently selling 34 different 3D printers from a dozen different companies, including MakerBot, 3D Systems, and XYZprinting, just to name a few. This year, Staples will be celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week in an extremely special way. From May 2-7, Staples will be providing one million free thank you cards to Staples stores around the United States and at Staples.com/giftcards, giving customers the opportunity to express their gratitude for teachers in schools and universities around the country.

3dp_staples3dp_logoTo show their own token of appreciation, the business-to-business division of Staples, called Staples Business Advantage, will be providing select schools and universities nationwide with a donation of over $425,000 in 3D printers and 3D printing supplies. The package is comprised of two types of MakerBot 3D printers, the Replicator and Replicator Mini 3D printers, as well as various colors of filament and 3D digital scanners. The Staples division will help these schools and universities integrate these 3D printers and 3D scanners into their STEM curriculum, giving the students easier access to 3D printing technology.

“These printers offer students and teachers an opportunity to turn their creative ideas into a reality by applying thought design and engineering skills to a hands-on learning experience,” said Marty Robertson, the VP of Technology Solutions for Staples Business Advantage. “This donation seeks to foster knowledge of 3D printing, which is a rapidly developing segment of design and manufacturing.”

MakerBot will take part in the Teacher Appreciation Week celebration as well, helping educators to integrate their 3D printers into the classroom with a number of different resources, including the MakerBot in the Classroom handbook, which offers teachers a number of ideas and activities to get students started with 3D printing. The $425,000 donation will gift a handful of school and universities with 3D printing technology, some of which include Alliance College-Ready Public Schools in Los Angeles, California, Wayne County Schools in Goldsboro, North Carolina, and Dallas Independent School District in Dallas, Texas.

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MakerBot in the Classroom handbook and Replicator Mini 3D printer

In addition to the 3D printer donation and one million free thank you cards, Staples is offering a Teachers Rewards program to teachers as well, which will offer a number of deals and rewards to educators around the world, including 5% back on all Staples purchases plus 10% back on all teaching and art supplies. Staples has continued to express growing interest in 3D printing technology, constantly expanding their roster of available 3D printers and expanding upon their 3D printing services. Last month, we discovered that—starting in May—Staples would begin carrying the Robo 3D R1+ 3D printer in a number of stores around the country. The office supply chain store has also transformed into 3D printing service provider themselves. Back in September 2015, Staples launched their Sculpteo-powered 3D printing web portal, a user-friendly interface that allows designers and consumers to easily upload and purchase 3D models for printing in over 40 materials.

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Building up a strong presence on the 3D printing front, Staples is now focused on bringing this technology it’s the most needed and most deserved, the classroom. You can express your gratitude to hard-working educators around the country by stopping into your local Staples—or going to Staples.com/giftcard—and filling out one of their one million free thank you cards. We’ve all had that one vital teacher who helped steer the younger us in the right direction, now Staples is helping to steer the educational system down the expansive path of 3D printing technology. What a great program! Discuss in the Staples 3D Printer Packages Donated forum over at 3DPB.com.

[Images: Staples and MakerBot]





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