Jan 5, 2016 | By Kira
In a move to help prepare the next generation of researchers, engineers and innovators, Pasadena, CA-based New Matter, maker of the $399 MOD-t desktop 3D printer, has today announced that it will be donating more than $200,000 in 3D printers and 3D printing supplies to teachers and educators across America via its Educate and Inspire Grant.
Each grant, of which 100 will be awarded in the first quarter of 2016, will include three MOD-t 3D printers, 15 spools of filament, and 15 additional build plate surfaces—an excellent startup package for a classroom-based 3D printing ecosystem that will ignite students’ interest in the possibilities of 3D printing technology and related STEM areas.
Launched in 2014, New Matter set out to “bring 3D printing to every home, school, and office” and to create “the first truly easy-to-use at-home 3D printing experience at an affordable price.” That vision led the young company to develop the MOD-t, a WiFi-connected consumer 3D printer available for the almost unbelievably low price of $399 (during its initial and successful crowndfunding campaign, it was priced even lower, at $249). In addition to the MOD-t 3D printer, the company introduced the New Matter Online Store, which offers a variety of free 3D printable designs, optimized to get MOD-t users started with 3D printing as quickly and easily as possible. New Matter raised more than $6.5 million in Series A funding to officially launch its 3D printing ecosystem in 2015.
Designed to be as easy on the eyes as it is easy-to-use, the MOD-t is WiFi-enabled, quiet and safe to use, and works with classroom-safe, off-the-shelf PLA filament. It’s marketed as an ideal entry-level desktop 3D printer, and of course, ideal for educators and classroom settings.
"Since our launch, we have been eager and excited to launch meaningful education programs and partnerships to give students access to 3D printing at school," said Steve Schell, CEO and Co-Founder of New Matter. "New Matter's ecosystem was designed to be simple and efficient. We are working with educators to ensure that the MOD-t is the easiest and most intuitive 3D printer for the classroom."
Despite some unflattering initial reviews, including one by Mashable writer Lance Ulanoff that described the MOD-t as “the best-looking and least useful 3D printer on the market,” the MOD-t was awarded the Best In Show Award in 3D Printing by CE Week in New York, and generally fits in with the growing trend of ultra-affordable and accessible 3D printers designed specifically for educators—Taiwan’s XYZPrinting and MakerBot have made similar commitments to promoting 3D printing education from K-12 right through to college and university levels, and Chinese QingDao Unique has also unveiled its MagiCube 3D printer for use in classrooms.
“Our 3D printing ecosystem gives educators a unique opportunity to integrate science, technology, art and engineering in the classroom," said Schell. "Many teachers who use 3D printers in their classrooms say they often run into a bottleneck from having too many student projects to print, but not enough printers to print them all. Because of the affordability of the MOD-t, it is now possible for schools to have multiple printers in their classroom to print more student work, faster."
Alongside introducing its Educate and Inspire Grant, New Matter also announced that, following its successful crowdfunding campaign (which saw the fulfillment of over 2,600 3D printer units) and its $6.5 million capital increase, the New Matter plug-and-play 3D printing ecosystem, including the New Matter Online Store and MOD-t 3D printer is now available to the general public.
Given that the sales of low-cost desktop 3D printers—and in particular, B2B sales in the educational, engineering, and small business sectors— are currently driving the entire global 3D printer market, New Matter’s decision to provide its 3D printers to as many classrooms as possible seems like a definite step in the right direction, and a surefire way to tap into the hottest and most sought-after 3D printing consumer market: teachers, their students, and the future generation of 3D innovators.
Posted in 3D Printer Company
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