GE is investing $10 million over five years in educational programs to deliver polymer 3D printers to primary and secondary schools and metal 3D printers to colleges and universities around the world.
The 2017 inaugural year of the Program was a great success. Eight colleges and universities received direct metal laser melting (DMLM) machines. More than 400 K-12 schools each received two Polar Cloud-enabled 3D printers and STEM curriculum, incorporating design with additive manufacturing and professional development.
“It is estimated that 180,000 students worldwide now have access to 3D printers as a result of the Education Program,” says Jason Oliver, VP & CEO of GE Additive. “We are excited to continue the program in 2018 and give students across all grades exposure to additive manufacturing. This will help promote interest in STEM and create a pipeline of qualified engineers and technicians to accelerate the adoption of additive manufacturing.”
“GE’s AEP is already having a huge impact on student outcomes,” adds Greg LaLonde, CEO of Polar3D, which partners with GE Additive on the Program. “Eighty percent of the primary and secondary students in this inaugural class had never 3D printed before, and two-thirds had never used CAD. Now those same students are designing, programming and bringing their own digital models to life as printed objects.”
This year, the Program includes a new subsidy program that allows any organization or individual to apply for a subsidy to purchase Polar Cloud-enabled 3D printers and curricula on behalf of educational institutions.