MakerBot has just launched a new initiative called Starter Lab, which makes 3D printing more accessible to more people, particularly students and employees. It's a bundle of MakerBot products, including several printers and other hardware, plastic filaments and training guides to help organizations get started. Acting CEO Frank Alfano says it can "help educational institutions prepare students to be more college and career ready." As for companies, he believes it can provide "a competitive advantage as an investment in future technology that fuels new ideas and growth." Chances are, this is part of the New York company's efforts to introduce both 3D printing and its brand to people who don't regularly read tech news.
You might be familiar with MakerBot, but that young gradeschooler or that middle-aged clerk might not even know it exists. Whether this move can help 3D printing reach mainstream status, though, remains to be seen. Thus far, two schools have already availed the package: the State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill and Union College in Schenectady, New York. Unfortunately, the package doesn't come with MakerBot's impressive composite materials that can be used to print out pseudo-wood, iron, bronze and limestone objects. But there are a good number of items included, as you can see below: it's up to you to convince your bosses and teachers to at least reach out for a price quote.
- 4 MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printers
- 1 MakerBot Replicator Z18 3D Printer
- 1 MakerBot Replicator Mini Compact 3D Printer
- 1 MakerBot Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner
- 10 swappable MakerBot Replicator Smart Extruders
Training, Support & Software
- Expert hardware installation
- On-site MakerBot Learning workshop (includes Q&A session)**
- MakerCare Protection Plans for all hardware and six-month hardware warranty
- Free downloads of MakerBot Desktop, MakerBot Printshop, and MakerBot Mobile
Materials & Accessories
- 80 spools of the most popular MakerBot PLA Filament True, Translucent, and specialty colors (include Small, Large and XXL)
- Cart, Spool Holder, and grease packet for MakerBot Replicator Z18
- Racking and build plate tape