How many times have we said that those who stand to truly benefit from an early adoption and learning of 3D printing technologies are today’s children, tomorrow’s professionals? And how many times have we had the chance to see first hand a child’s enthusiastic reaction to using a 3D printer for the first time? The Mission Street Manufacturing team wants to meet children’s appetite for creativity with its Printeer K-12 targeted 3D printer and is turning to Kickstarter to reach as many children as possible.
Printeer is a 16 inch wide (406 mm), 9 inch tall (229 mm), 12 inch deep (305 mm) transparent box, so that anyone can see and learn from all the moving parts within it. It only prints with non-toxic PLA filament and has an easy to remove print plate in a 6x4x5 inch (150x100x125 mm) print volume. It has auto bed levelling and wireless access.
The 3D printer can be easily controlled with that other child-friendly device — the iPad — which can also be used to make objects and send them directly to print. In fact, Printeer is meant to be a way to bridge the gap between the digital and physical worlds, perfect for times when digital skills are among the most important to learn, leveraging a child’s desire to have physical objects to play with.
Kickstarter funders can get a Printeer for as low as $549 (the 10 $499 early birds are already gone as we write) if the Mission Street Manufacturing team is able to reach its $50,000 funding goal and step up production. In any case the “garage-based” local factory is already working actively to build the machines, with its 4 co-founding team members and lots of enthusiastic interns (all positions for summer 2014 have already been filled – and this is almost an article in and of itself) rotating to work on software and hardware.
Desktop FDM 3D printers belong in classrooms. Every classroom of every school in the world should have one (and probably soon enough they will). Mission Street Manufacturing’s mission is to make sure K-12 classrooms get one too. Seems like a goal worth supporting.