Consumer 3D printer company Solidoodle is celebrating its third year in business by making big plans for the future. This doesn’t mean they’ve been taking it easy for the past year, however. In 2013, the company launched in the Solidoodle 4th Generation 3D printer, the file-sharing website solidoodle.com, and a program to support 3D printing in education.
Solidoodle has garnered attention from Fast Company, ABC, USA Today, and Wired, among other news and tech outlets for its dedication to desktop, consumer 3D printing. For under $1,000 the latest 3D printer can be on your desk in less than a week. Older and/or refurbished models are available from as low as $299. This pricing puts it within the same range as a consumer DSLR camera and even some color printers, for example. A partnership with the distributor Wynit, in April 2014, has given them an expanded retail presence and their printers pop up as the first option in a search for “3D printer” on sites like bestbuy.com.
“Our primary aim has always been to take 3D printing mainstream to the consumer by making this technology accessible for the average person. To increase accessibility, we’ve focused our resources on product innovations for a more seamless printing experience as well as new features our customers are requesting. We’re also working on new software to streamline the 3D printing process for our customers, and continued development of our Solidoodles platform to provide the community with more ways to share and collaborate on 3D printing”
Solidoodle has also created a 3D file-sharing website at solidoodles.com which is now running its first set of betas to showcase the basic file-sharing and 3D rendering functionality. They are working to add social media and other advanced features in the near future. You can upload your own doodles or download others for printing, from toys to guitar picks to wizards (real magic not included).
The Solidoodle U initiative that was launched in April 2014 is a discounted package designed to help place 3D printing technologies in classrooms. Rather than just providing the technology by way of their 3D printers, and hoping that the school has access to the curriculum to support it, Solidoodle has gone the extra mile by investing the time necessary to create a downloadable curriculum that is freely available, whether you purchase the equipment or not.
The company has also set several goals that they wish to accomplish over the next six months, which include the following:
- Auto-calibration features
- New hardware features
- New 3D printing software
- New material filament capabilities
- New features and capabilities for the Solidoodles design community
As they state on their website, “At Solidoodle, we recognize that changing technologies are their most powerful when put in front of the right audience – and students are one of the most powerful communities we can collaborate with. Our mission is to put a 3D printer in every classroom.” As an added bonus, when a school buys a printer package, Solidoodle throws in a couple of 2lb filament spools so that people can get printing right away – whetting their taste to keep going.
Here at 3Dprint.com, we wish Solidoodle a happy birthday and many happy returns! Discuss this story, and Solidoodle in general, in the Solidoodle forum at 3DPB.com
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