Professional 3D printing company Ultimaker, which recently welcomed a new CEO and Chief Technology Officer, announced that, over the next year, it will be donating more than twenty of its 3D printers to high schools across the country that actively recruit female students into 3D printing courses. The donation is happening through the company’s new partnership with Ohio-based America Makes, the nation’s leading public-private partnership for AM technology and education, and was on International Women’s Day (IWD). This illustrates Ultimaker’s commitment to increase the representation of women in engineering, and to make helpful resources available to young women interested in STEM careers.
“We are delighted that Ultimaker has provided its 3D printing technology – a critical resource we need to grow the representation of women in both technical fields and engineering – particularly additive manufacturing. We believe increasing the number of women pursuing these types of careers will not only benefit the additive industry but all of manufacturing,” said Josh Cramer, Education and Workforce director at America Makes.
This donation is right in line with how IWD suggests we can all help create a more gender-equal world:
- Seek out and celebrate women’s achievements
- Raise awareness against and call out bias
- Take action for equality
According to a 2019 survey conducted by Alexander Daniels Global, less than 15% of engineers in the AM industry industry at the time were women, and there’s very little chance of this statistic changing by the end of the decade if civic organizations, companies, and educational institutions don’t band together and make a concerted effort to support women who are looking to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. Ultimaker wants to help change this.
“We’re passionate about making professional 3D printers, software, materials, and services that are versatile and easy to use for everyone. But more importantly, we want to add sustainable value as a company and foster an environment of equity that enables the next generation of female engineers to leverage 3D printing and solve the world’s challenges with additive manufacturing. Together we can make it happen,” stated Greg Elfering, the President of Ultimaker Americas.
In order to increase awareness of and availability to 3D printing entrepreneurship opportunities for young women, the donated Ultimaker 3D printers will be distributed to American high schools as part of a new, national outreach program called Additive Edge, which inspires US high school students to explore entrepreneurship and 3D printing. Secondary schools that successfully recruit female students into their AM courses will receive the printers, which are assembled in Tennessee, and every student who passes an engineering course at the participating schools will be able to add “experience with additive manufacturing” to their college applications and professional resumes.
Ultimaker’s 3D printer donation to new partner America Makes is just the most recent example of the company working to boost female representation in STEM careers and in the AM industry as a whole. In fact, a few years ago, Ultimaker donated more than a dozen of its 3D printers to support the national #MakerGirlGoesMobile campaign by MakerGirl, which offers 3D printing sessions and engineering courses to young girls in underserved, rural communities.
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