May 31, 2017 | By Tess

Last year, American multinational corporation GE announced it would invest $10 million over a period of five years to subsidize 3D printers and printing equipment for select educational institutions around the globe. Now, it seems the company is making good on its promise, as it says that more than 400 schools will receive 3D printers later this year as part of the GE Additive Education Program.

The educational investment in 3D printing, which is expected to reach over 180,000 students around the world, is aimed at “developing pipelines of future talent in additive manufacturing.” According to GE, it will soon be dispatching desktop polymer 3D printer packages to about 400 primary and secondary schools, while eight colleges and universities will be receiving state-of-the art metal 3D printers.

If you happen to be from one of the selected primary or secondary schools (which can be found in the U.S., United Kingdom, Canada, China, Germany, India, and Spain), you can expect to receive a 3D printer package consisting of two Polar Cloud-enabled desktop 3D printers (one Polar 3D printer and one XYZprinting machine), a two-year licensed Polar 3D STEAMtrax curriculum, a total of twelve spools of filament, and a “Tinkering with Turbines” STEAMtrax module kit.

Expecting to deliver the 3D printer kits later this year, GE is hopeful that its 3D printing investment in the education sector will pay off through getting students involved in the technology at a young age, better preparing them for jobs while also providing them with the skills to innovate within the field.

GE will also be giving metal 3D printers to eight colleges and universities, including Auburn University, Boston University, Iowa State University, North Carolina State University, Ohio State University, University of Cincinnati, University of New South Wales, and the U.S. Naval Academy. The 3D printers, worth $250,000 each, will be Concept Laser MLAB cusing 100R AM systems. (Readers will remember that GE recently acquired German metal 3D printing company Concept Laser.)

Concept Laser MLAB cusing metal 3D printer

“Additive manufacturing and 3D printing is revolutionizing the way we think about designing and manufacturing products,” commented Mohammad Ehteshami, vice president of GE Additive. “We want a pipeline of engineering talent that have additive in their DNA. This education program is our way of supporting that goal.”

On the whole, GE’s Additive Education Program is committed to providing $10 million over the next five years in order to provide educational institutions and centers with 3D printing equipment and the means to teach it. Of the $10 million, $8 million has been designated for providing higher education institutions with metal 3D printers, while the remaining $2 million will go towards providing desktop 3D printers to a number of primary and secondary schools across the globe.

The first primary and secondary schools to receive 3D printers from GE were selected from a pool of over 500, while more than 250 colleges and universities applied for a metal 3D printing system (understandably!). Schools that weren’t selected (or that didn’t get an application in on time) will still have another chance in the future, as GE says it plans to deliver more 3D printing equipment over the next four years.

The next chance to apply for GE’s Additive Education Program will be during the first quarter of 2018.



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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