The company launched the initiative in 2016 with the scheme getting underway the following year, and through two subdivisions has delivered thousands of desktop machines to primary and secondary schools, and a handful of larger format systems to colleges and universities.
For 2019, however, GE has decided to maintain the relationships it has with the universities and colleges it already works with, and focus on bringing more primary and secondary schools into the fold.
“This year’s education programme will focus only on primary and secondary schools,” commented Jason Oliver, President & CEO, GE Additive. “The original purpose of our programme is to accelerate awareness and education of 3D printing among students, building a pipeline of talent that understands 3D design and printing when they enter the workplace. We already enjoy some wonderful working relationships with universities and colleges, so this year we have decided to focus our efforts on younger students.
“The sooner we put additive technology in the hands of the next generation of engineers, materials scientists and chemists, the sooner we can realise its potential.”
The Additive Education Program was an announced as an almost immediate commitment of GE Additive’s as the GE division was established. It pledged to invest $10m over a five year period, which would see the delivery of 3D printing machines to educational institutes around the world. So far, more than 1,400 polymer desktop machines have been installed at 1,000 schools in 30 countries, providing more than 500,000 K-12 level students with access to the technology.
This access comes in the form of a package which includes a 3D printer from Dremel, Flashforge, or Monoprice, software, rolls of filament, a premium Polar Cloud account, and a range of learning and Tinkercad software resources from Autodesk.
The deadline for applications is Monday 1st April, 2019.