GE Additive announced in an official release that it has started accepting applications from schools and colleges for 2018 cycle of its Additive Education Programme (AEM) – a programme launched by the company in 2017 to help increase access to 3D printers to students worldwide.
Under the programme, GE is investing $10 million over five years in various educational programmes and delivers polymer 3D printers to primary and secondary schools and metal 3D printers to colleges and universities across the world.
Inaugurated in 2017, the Programme has been a great success thus far as eight colleges and universities from around the world have received direct metal laser melting (DMLM) machines. In addition, under the programme, as many as 400 K-12 schools received two Polar Cloud-enabled 3D printers and STEM curriculum. This has largely helped in incorporating design with additive manufacturing as well as professional development.
Providing information about how the programme has helped increased access to 3D printers to students worldwide, Jason Oliver, VP & CEO of GE Additive said in a statement, “It is estimated that 180,000 students worldwide now have access to 3D printers as a result of the Education Program.” “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,” Oliver added.
Giving more details about the impact that the programme has had on student outcomes, Greg LaLonde, CEO of Polar3D, which partners with GE Additive on the Programme, said, ““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 company has included a new subsidy programme that allows organisations or individuals to apply for a subsidy to purchase Polar Cloud-enabled 3D printers and curricula on behalf of educational institutions. The company has already made the process of accepting applications live on its website. Applicants can send in their applications to the company by end of February.