3D Printing Initiatives we Support

3D printing and the maker movement have grown largely through collaborative innovation, and shared understanding of emerging technology.  Almost every day, new initiatives are being launched to advance the current 3D printing technology & community.

When we see 3D printing projects that both align with our vision for 3D printing and appear to have the right team in place to achieve success, we’re happy to offer our support in various ways.  Below are some of the projects that caught our interest – we recommend checking them out!

Overview: DesktopHero – Free 3D-Printable Character Maker

Desktop Hero is a web app that lets you easily design your own characters for 3D printing. Requiring no modeling experience or skill, the app lets you choose from a variety of preset parameters (armor, clothes, hair, pose, weapons) to develop unique characters of your own design.  The characters files are yours to download, 3D print, and enjoy – free of charge.

Why we Support this Project
Just as it’s critical to have the right 3D printing equipment for a successful print, it’s important to have a model you’re excited to print.  STL sharing sites like Thingiverse are great for makers of all experience levels; while more experienced individuals might prefer to create their own 3D models via a variety of modeling applications.  Desktop Hero offers an interesting middle ground – combining the immediacy of downloading “ready to print” files with the creativity of a custom design.

Overview: OLO – The First Ever Smartphone 3D Printer

OLO is a unique resin based 3D printer. In contrast to standalone printer units, OLO has a minimal design that leverages the power of your smartphone to create 3D prints. Through the use of light-sensitive resin & their custom designed / motorized housing, OLO uses the light from your phone’s screen to create small 3D prints.

Why we Support this Project
With the rapid expansion of 3D printing in the consumer market, many companies have jumped in & developed a variation on the standard 3D printer. While some have had very distinct & worthwhile benefits driving their design, many haven’t been able to differentiate themselves in a meaningful way.

OLO’s approach is indeed unique, with a price point that makes small-scale 3D printing very accessible. As a result of the OLO team’s dedication to quality & the opportunity to access resin 3D printing with minimal new hardware, this project was easy to support.

Overview: MakerGirl Goes Mobile – Introducing STEM through 3-D Printing

MakerGirl is an organization that introduces girls in elementary school to STEM. In an 8-10 week trip across the country, MakerGirl is hosting 70 Hands-on 3D printing sessions across the country. They’ll introduce girls to the possibilities available to them in STEM fields, with a particular focus on reaching underprivileged communities that may not otherwise have access to STEM-related opportunities.

Why we Support this Project
We’re supportive of initiatives that introduce children to 3D printing in a fun & educational manner that fosters interest and a sense of creative possibility – particularly as it relates to future STEM / STEAM opportunities. It’s clear that MakerGirl is a well structured organization, capable of & actively succeeding in achieving its ambitious goals.