Anybody hear of this - 3D printers for every FIRST team

Aviation Week Article.

The challenge is to think beyond current materials and designs. To that end, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee is placing thousands of 3-D printers in U.S. schools to give future designers and engineers experience with the technology. Already the lab has helped local high schools in the First Robotics competition—including building the first all-additive robot. Beginning this year with 250 machines, the lab plans to place 3,000 printers next year, then 4,000 and finally 28,000 so every high school in First Robotics has one.

Seems like the work of team 4265. I’ll have to ask them and find out more details!

If they gave away $500 printers to 28,000 schools that would be a very generous $14,000,000 donation. I wonder which printer they have in mind, how many extruders the printer has and what material it extrudes?

Plus with each year FIRST grows. So in 2 years will they be giving away 30,000 or more printers to emcompass the whole competition?

I looked around briefly and found not much as far as this goes stated elsewhere.
Hope it is accurate.

It’s good to know that the rumor I heard last month was more than just a rumor.

Very exciting!

Though, as a team that is not associated with a particular high school, I wonder how that works out for us, and other teams in the same situation.

And I just bought a 3D printer. My luck :yikes:

Which one?

That definitely sounds like them, We had the good fortune to work with them last year and it’s obvious that they really care about what they’re doing and put a lot of thought into it.

Thank-you to all thouse who are apart of this 3D printers for EVERY team. This is just spectacular. It really means alot to all the teams for someone to give 3d printers to all of us espically some of the smaller teams who barely have the money to pay registration. So thank you!
My second comment is where can I sign up for one!

I came across this earlier today about Makerbot trying to make this happen!

Would teams still get one even if they just bought one?

Thanks for the link to the Makerbot Academy!!! I just applied, says 5 days for the application to get reviewed. I’m crossing my fingers because if I read it right, you only need approximately $100 for a Replicator 2, that isn’t going to be a problem at all to find from local businesses!

Has anyone tried to get a hold of ORNL to find out more about the 3-D printing technology they are speaking of? I absolutely love this quote from the original article posted “Now the lab has developed a way to infuse reinforcing carbon fibers into the raw material to print parts that can carry loads.” It reminds me of steel fiber reinforced concrete.

It looks like right now only schools in Brooklyn, NY qualify for the “almost home” funding. Are you reading something I’m missing?

Right, it looks like anybody can apply for the project, but only the Brooklyn schools qualify for the extra moolah.

A few issues I should bring up:

MakerBot recommends the Replicator 2 for PLA and the Replicator 2X for ABS.

MakerBot takes their MakerCare requirements quite seriously. If you manage to acquire a MakerBot printer make sure to follow all their directions for any issue precisely. Do not get clever and use the printer outside of the recommendations or you may find yourself unsupported under MakerCare. A Replicator 2X printer dual extruder head assembly (steppers, fans, ceramics, hot end) costs $500 and the MakerCare costs $500. The hot end assembly alone is $250. Always consider the long term costs of anything that you have to think carefully before you buy and make sure you can afford to keep it working.

Also they offer classes for the Replicator 2 not the 2X. So I can go about 10 minutes away in Manhattan, NYC and take a class for $35 but not for the 2X and they really won’t cover the 2X during that class. I can also not buy printer parts in the Manhattan store though I can buy printers and materials (if only everything was always on schedule and I would never need to acquire anything on short notice :))

I just bring this up because not all 3D printers are equal. There are very real differences between the products, the capabilities, the software, the wearability of the prints and your experience with the company(s) providing the printer or the parts. I strongly recommend doing sufficient research before you build or buy. One size does not fit all.

We are NOT a Brooklyn team (by about 300 miles), and MakerBot just covered all but $100, and our project was fully funded in about 20 minutes…we’re getting a MakerBot 2 for Christmas! :smiley:

So, were I you, I’d get on this right away!

We’re also getting a 3d printer for christmas!!! Everyone should apply

Ditto. My team is 4-H based. Any ideas for non-school based teams?

Well, our school is not a public school, so, sadly, we don’t qualify.

Incredible opportunity. Thank you so much for sharing!