Winners of the #MakerMilestones Contest Showcase the Positive Impact of Desktop 3D Printing


A non-profit that’s teaching girls in Africa to use 3D printing, a kindergarten teacher who sparks young children’s interest in STEM topics, and a university student who developed a pet wheelchair as her master’s thesis: These are the inspiring winners of MakerBot’s #MakerMilestones contest. They show the positive impact of desktop 3D printing, especially in education.

This past April, MakerBot celebrated a major milestone: shipping more than 100,000 3D printers worldwide. To thank our customers and community, we asked makers to share their most important 3D design or 3D printing milestones on social media with a chance at winning a MakerBot Replicator® Desktop 3D Printer. And boy did they share—in one inspiring post after another!

From all the entries across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, our panel of judges selected the winners based on ingenuity, creativity, real-world impact, design, and the role of 3D printing. We present to you the three winners, their #MakerMilestones, and what each will do with their brand new MakerBot 3D Printer.


Youth for Technology and 3D Africa

3D Africa is a program started by the non-profit Youth for Technology that’s teaching girls to use 3D printing technology. By having girls design and 3D print jewelry, art, phone cases, and more, 3D Africa’s goal is to close the huge gender gap in STEM learning. Because 3D printing can also teach entrepreneurial skills and manufacturing, 3D Africa is also bridging education and employment.


“YTF’s 3D Africa is creating prototype hubs in Africa for innovation, leadership, and entrepreneurship through ‘making’, connecting technology and engineering careers to positive impact. We are grateful to MakerBot for supporting this work. The donation will help us reach more students, especially girls, who will be inspired to pursue STEM fields through hands-on maker activities.”—Njideka Harry, Youth for Technology President and CEO



August Deshais, Teacher at Ridgewood Elementary

As a teacher at Ridgewood Elementary in Eureka, California, August Deshasis, aka Mr. Kindergarten, has big plans for both his students and school. This Humboldt County Teacher of the Year is integrating MakerBot’s 3D Printers into STEM learning challenges.

“My goal as a kindergarten teacher is not only to introduce my students to a technology likely to be commonplace in their future, but to show them how we can use that technology today to solve real world problems. A new classroom MakerBot will allow me to expand that learning to our entire school by moving our current Replicator 2 to the school library for use by the entire staff and student body.”—August Deshais



Erica Charbonneau, Masters of Design at OCAD University

For recent graduate Erica Charbonneau, the FiGO Rear Support Pet Wheelchair is more than a master’s thesis. Modelled in OpenSCAD and 3D printed on her university’s MakerBot Replicator 2X, the FiGO just may be a viable product for disabled pets in the future. It can be customized for each pet and created anywhere there’s a 3D printer.

“Owning a Makerbot of my own means that I can not only keep working on FiGO, but I can work on it conveniently in my own workspace at any hour of the day! It also means that I can fabricate FiGO wheelchairs more quickly for local pet owners that need a low cost solution.”—Erica Charbonneau



Credit: Pete Thorne Photo


The benefits of desktop 3D printing go far beyond your last iteration or 3D print. It’s the experience from start to finish, the milestones that you achieve, and what you learn along the way. By providing the most accessible, easy-to-use 3D printing experience, we are proud to empower professionals, educators, and students everywhere and celebrate your milestones. Congratulations again to the winners and thanks to everyone who participated.

Special thanks to our panel of judges:

Jonathan Jaglom, MakerBot CEO
Deanne Bell, Co-Host of CNBC’s Make Me A Millionaire Inventor and Founder & CEO of Future Engineers
Jason Frasca, Entrepreneurship Instructor at Montclair State University
Tracy Hazzard, CEO Hazz Design, Inc. Columnist, WTFFF?! Podcast Co-Host
Tom Hazzard, COO Hazz Design, WTFFF?! Podcast Co-Host