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Winners of the Future Engineers’ Star Trek™ Replicator Challenge Visit MakerBot

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Pictured left to right: Johan Till-Broer, Deanne Bell, Sreyash Sreyash and Kyle Corrette. Photo credit: Harry Sreyash

Back in April, we announced MakerBot’s participation in the Star Trek Replicator Challenge, a 3D printing challenge developed by Future Engineers that was calling upon the STEM skills of K-12 students. Cosponsored by NASA, Star Trek, and the ASME Foundation, the challenge required students to design a 3D model to assist astronauts with growing, storing, eating, or disposing of food.

Among the 400 entries that spanned over 30 states, the two winning designs, the Melanized Fungarium and Astro Martian Mini Farm, were picked from expert judges and could one day end up in space. The two students that designed them received a trip to New York City to tour the Space Shuttle Enterprise at the Intrepid Space and Air Museum. They finished their day with a VIP tour of MakerBot headquarters and met with senior engineers and key leadership.

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Leading 3D Printing Adoption in Higher Ed: Takeaways from the 1st Annual MakerBot Innovation Center Summit

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This summer, leaders from 11 MakerBot Innovation Centers gathered at our Brooklyn headquarters for what proved to be a momentous founder’s summit. For two days—June 23rd and June 24th—attendees exchanged best practices, worked through collective challenges, and presented uses cases from their MakerBot Innovation Center.

As leading universities around the world continue to implement MakerBot Innovation Centers, these large-scale 3D printing installations will further elevate access, entrepreneurship, and multi-disciplinary collaboration on campus.

Through this first summit, we are addressing the wider needs of our customers by expanding the community around our products. As the first of many to come, the summit gives MakerBot Innovation Center leaders a platform where exchanging best practices is about more than a smoother experience or just ironing-out kinks. Together, we are creating a community that is striving for a more ideal model of integrated desktop 3D printing in Higher Education so that tomorrow’s leaders and graduates can gain real world experience iterating, win jobs, and make a real economic impact for their universities, cities, and regions.

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MakerBot Learning’s Top Five Educational 3D Design Apps

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Every school deserves access to quality resources for its students. Every student should have the chance to learn, explore, and grow with the best resources available. After frequent talks with educators and other customers, we’ve learned that 3D design apps are extremely valuable for the learning process. These 3D design apps, best explored on laptops, desktops, or iPads, help students conceptualize, shape, and model designs for new projects. Read on to check out MakerBot’s top five free 3D design apps that will help elevate learning in your classroom.

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MakerBot Looks West to Connect with Local Schools and Businesses

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Schools currently using MakerBot 3D Printers

Founded and headquartered in Brooklyn, MakerBot has always had a strong foothold in East Coast markets. When it comes to the countless businesses and schools throughout the United States that use MakerBot Desktop 3D Printers, many are on the East Coast.

Today MakerBot is proud to announce that we’ve expanded our level of sales support and training on the West Coast with a West Territory Manager and a MakerBot Demo Center at the Stratasys office in Valencia, California. MakerBot believes that this presence will further drive adoption of MakerBot 3D Printers among businesses and schools in the region.

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Improve Retention: 8 Lesson Plans That Reinforce STEAM Learning for Students

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Enhance STEAM learning in your classroom with engaging challenges like building racecars, creating 3D puzzles, designing airboats, and more! MakerBot Learning has brought together advanced 3D printing lessons that are as rewarding as they are challenging. Through lessons that involve 3D design and iteration, educators can improve learning retention and reinforce tough concepts. Peruse this fun collection of Thingiverse lesson plans and pick a project that’ll inspire big STEAM exploration in your classroom.

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MakerBot Learning Tips: What is MakerBot Desktop?

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Accessible, reliable desktop 3D printing is about more than having the right piece of equipment. It’s about having a full set of reliable, easy-to-use solutions that streamline your 3D printing experience from start to finish. At MakerBot, that’s why your experience is so important to us. 

It all starts with a 3D printable file. Within Thingiverse, there’s more than 1.6 million 3D designs, most of which are free. There, you can also alter or enhance designs with any one of our community’s new apps. Let’s say you’ve found a file there, created a 3D file in a CAD program, or generated one from a 3D scanner, like the MakerBot Digitizer.

From there, MakerBot Desktop software allows you to manage, prepare, print, and share your 3D creations. You can also fine tune layout and print settings for the best results. Since our reliable, accessible 3D printers are Wi-Fi enabled, you can print seamlessly and remotely manage or monitor your progress on the MakerBot Mobile app. All along the way, our online support site and expert support team are there for you, whether you have questions or need to minimize downtime.

Even with these solutions, we want to ensure that you can get the most from your 3D printing experience. In this series of MakerBot Learning Tips, we offer four video tutorials and blog posts with essential info and best practices for MakerBot Desktop. We cover: What is MakerBot Desktop?, How to Lay Out Files, Print Settings, and Exporting Files.

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MakerBot Learning Tips: How to Lay Out Files in MakerBot Desktop

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You’ve downloaded, designed, or scanned a 3D file. You’ve imported it into MakerBot Desktop and are staring hard at that Print button. We know you’re itchin’ to print; but before you do, you always want to find the best layout for your file in MakerBot Desktop. Doing so will ensure greater overall success and a better foundation once you start printing.

3D printing is like building a house; if the foundation isn’t solid, the house probably won’t be stable. To set you up for success, this MakerBot Learning Tips video offers general guidelines for laying out your design file in MakerBot Desktop. We also provide more info and tips later in this post.

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MakerBot Learning Tips: Print Settings in MakerBot Desktop

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The more you know about MakerBot Desktop, the more powerful it becomes. One of the most important features in MakerBot Desktop, if not the most, are the Print Settings. These settings dictate how your print will be made. With these settings, you can optimize your 3D print for the best results, no matter what you’re printing —be it a prosthetic, a prototype, a jig, or a coaster.

To help you achieve more with MakerBot Desktop, this MakerBot Learning Tips video defines key settings and offers general best practices. Below, we also break down how different settings can affect your print time as well as the strength, surface quality, and weight of your 3D print. Ultimately, what’s a priority for your 3D print is entirely up to you, so we encourage you to experiment with these settings.

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MakerBot Learning Tips: Exporting Files from MakerBot Desktop

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You’re almost there. You’ve imported your print file, you’ve laid it out, and you’ve tweaked your print settings. All you need to do now is export and print. In this short MakerBot Learning Tips video and post, we’ll go over best practices for exporting your file from MakerBot Desktop.

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MakerBot Grant Guide Helps Schools Get Funding for Desktop 3D Printers

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From kindergarten classrooms to college makerspaces, educators across the nation are incorporating desktop 3D printing into their educational plans with great success. In PS 121 in New York, educators are peppering their architectural lessons with real-world examples that include the MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printer. All 11 schools in Montclair, NJ, received MakerBot Replicators so K-12 students will have the opportunity to learn 3D design and printing through their educational journey, which will better prepare them for future college-level coursework.

Desktop 3D printers offer greater educational opportunities for students and educators alike, but allocating funds for one or more can be a challenge within some school budgets. Educational grants are an excellent resource for the funds needed to purchase a MakerBot 3D Printer. However, the process of finding and applying for these awards isn’t easy. MakerBot has compiled applicable grants into a list to assist schools and educators.

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