America does and Ultimaker announced partnership to donate over 20 3D printers to communities across the United States, with a particular focus on encouraging diversity in the industry. The partnership is particularly focused on creating opportunities in 3D printing for young women.
To accomplish this, America Makes will donate Ultimaker printers to middle and high schools, community organizations, and nonprofits. In addition to equipment donations, America Makes will conduct outreach to recipients to provide information on how their organizations can receive in-person and virtual additive manufacturing (AM) training.
Additionally, the press release states that Ultimaker will also provide a software program and training information to those who receive the printers. Finally, it should be noted that to be eligible, organizations wishing to receive a printer must complete a partnership agreement with America Makes.
As technology increasingly speaks for itself and AM supply chains form, it becomes increasingly clear that the final piece of the puzzle is a significant increase in the number of individuals with technical know-how. Additionally, the industry would of course welcome an influx of labor from any demographic group. At the same time, there’s the most justification for cutting back on the way American Makes and Ultimaker are, here. In the long run, the industry cannot grow without reaching as many school-aged people as possible, and no one will take seriously an industry run by a group of middle-aged white people.
And, more importantly, efforts like this reinforce exactly what people love about 3D printing: the potential to maximize the possibilities of what humans can do. Young people seem to naturally appreciate this potential more than any other group and ultimately have the most to offer the industry in terms of imagination.
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