The 3D Printer, a provider of 3D print equipment and supplies out of Maddingley Australia has introduced a school fundraiser program (3D PFP) designed to help more schools have access to 3D print technologies. Without an initiative like the one put in place in South Korea, not every school has equal access to the money required to integrate 3D printing into their curriculum. In that case, ‘3D Printer’ will send you a pack of materials designed to promote and assist in a school fundraising campaign.
3D Printer is reaching out to schools because they understand that by investing in education, they are serving not only their communities but also are helping to support the growth of their future customers. After all, the more students that experience 3D printing, the more who will find it an interesting pursuit as they start to think about their future careers. The need for more young people to become interested in engineering and design careers has been well documented, as have both the current and projected shortfalls of qualified people to fill positions in the creative industries. The 3D Printer’s dedication to education has a history outside of the 3D PFP as the company regularly does onsite demonstration and even leaves 3D printers on loan to schools they visit so they can try them out before making purchasing decisions.
Dion Parsons, Director of The 3D Printer, explained the importance of this type of program in an interview with 3Dprint.com:
“There are so many governments all over the world investing in 3D printing for schools; the UK with 500,000 Euro, Japan with 200 million Yen, the US with 200 million dollars, and Korea with 2.3 million, it’s about time Australia followed! However, until Australia makes comparable investments, schools are on their own to fund and embrace 3D printers and that’s why we have developed the 3D PFP. With the help of The 3D Printer, we think that schools can source funds from their parents, friends, and local community. This gives the schools the chance that so many others around the world are experiencing.”
Once a school has decided that they want to participate in the fundraiser, 3D Printer sends and informational packet designed to gather information about goals and strategies. In addition, the school fills out forms that allow 3D Printer to create customized fundraising materials such as posters and a school link on their website for contributors. Finally, the school receives a free 3D printed object that they can use to show people the tangible products of 3D printing.
Once a school is participating in the 3D PFP, a link is placed on The 3D Printer’s website that includes the school’s logo and a bar measuring the growth of the fund donation towards the final amount. This page also provides a personalized way for people to connect with the particular school by including things such as their aims, the careers they hope this will prepare their students for, and any other ways in which having access to this technology will enhance the overall education experience.
The two products featured on the 3D Printer site for the fundraiser are the FlashForge Dreamer 3D Printer and 1kg 1.755 mm PLA filaments in a variety of colors but the school can also raise money for 3D scanners or software. The idea being, not that people are purchasing the spools or the printer directly, but rather to indicate what the school’s needs are so that people get a sense of where their money is going.
The 3D Printer offers suggestions to schools participating in the fundraiser about how they can thank their various donors. Clearly, simply knowing a good deed has been done through a donation is rewarding, but it’s always nice to offer something that indicates a personal attention to a contribution.
It’s a win-win situation for both students and company, both in the short and long term, and we can expect to see a lot more programs like this come about. Let us know what you think about this initiative at the 3D PFP Forum thread on 3DPB.com.
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