3D printer manufacturer MakerBot has announced the launch of MakerBot SKETCH Classroom, a new 3D printing solution designed to facilitate 3D printing in schools. SKETCH Classroom comprises 3D printing hardware and licenses, as well as MakerBot’s extensive education ecosystem.
Bringing 3D printing into the classroom is not quite as simple as installing a desktop 3D printer. First, teachers need to understand the technology enough to demonstrate it to students, and students must learn skills associated with design, machine operation and more. In many cases, 3D printing can also be used as part of an existing curriculum, providing a new way to engage with existing topics like math, art and history.
To help teachers become acquainted with 3D printing and to facilitate the technology’s integration into the classroom, MakerBot has come up with SKETCH Classroom, a comprehensive solution that addresses the challenges of 3D printing in a school setting through interactive certification courses for students and teachers, curriculum suggestions and more.
“With SKETCH, we are changing the way 3D printing is used in schools and advancing the possibilities of learning to boost student innovation,” said Nadav Goshen, CEO of MakerBot. “We believe that SKETCH Classroom is the best 3D printing setup for the classroom, with an ideal student-to-printer ratio, making 3D printing more accessible to students, and setting educators up for 3D printing success.”
The SKETCH Classroom bundle comes with two MakerBot Sketch 3D printers, with enclosed build chambers, touchscreen controls and more; two teacher and ten student licenses for MakerBot Certification programs; MakerBot Cloud, a connected platform that enables seamless 3D printing file management and CAD design integration; access to Thingiverse Education’s extensive 3D printing lesson plans; support from MakerBot’s team; and extra accessories, including an extra build plate, snips and spatula.
Using the SKETCH Classroom solution, students can easily submit designs through the MakerBot Cloud, while teachers can manage printing projects and queues. The system is also designed for ease-of-use to allow teachers to focus on using 3D printing as part of the curriculum. In terms of safety, the desktop SKETCH 3D printers are equipped with a particulate filter and enclosed chamber—they also have UL certification.
The SKETCH Classroom solution is expected to begin shipping on February 17 for schools in North America.