BotObjects, an intriguing 3D printing outfit that builds real, full-color additive prints out of multiple colored plastic filaments, has announced that it will offer free printers to select high schools in the United States and the U.K.
High Schools can register at the BotObjects website in late August. Between 150 and 200 classrooms will receive a suggested curriculum, a ProDesk3D printer, and a 3D design package designed specifically for students.
“After we’re done giving away the freebies, we’ll reduce the price of the ProDesk3D by 65 percent only for high schools,” said Martin Warner, co-founder of the company. “We envision schools having up to seven of these in a lab that will create what hopefully is a computer room for the future.”
The education initiative will begin on August 23 and then be available in the U.K. in November. They will ship the ProDesk3D in October, in time for back-to-school season. Schools will get a continuously updated curriculum for the machines as well as yearly updates for the study guides and software.
“It’s a way to really get fast penetration,” said Martin. “I think it’s going to really accelerate things in the 3D printing space.”
The printer itself is quite unique in that it uses a cartridge of multiple colored filaments, as well as a standard “base” color. It is best at producing color gradients and can create 25 micron prints using a mix of five separate colors to create separate bands of color. Theoretically it could also print full-color objects with a bit of design trickery. You can see it at work here.
Inexpensive color printing has always been a dream in the 3D printing world and it seems like Martin and his partner Mike Duma may have it licked. It will be particularly interesting once kids get their hands on these things and start creating — and learning — in ways deemed impossible only a few years ago.