Wednesday, December 4, 2013

3D Systems is going to FIRST Robotics!

For the first time ever, the FIRST Robotics competition sponsored by America Makes, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the U.S. Department of Education is providing 3D printers to its contestants - approximately 450 3D printers in total.  There are several companies on the FIRST Robotics Competition 2014 Printer, Software and Services Donors List, including both 3D Systems and Stratasys!  You can read 3D System's blog post on the "winning" the bid here.
"We see a great potential to expand the use of 3D printing in FRC," FRC Director Frank Merrick said. "From the new options in prototyping to on-demand parts, 3D printing opens up a whole new world of possibilities in engineering, and we're very excited to introduce this capability to our young competitors and see what our participating teams come up with."
3D Systems, in return for the big order, is donating its entire Cubify software design suite, including Cubify Invent, Cubify Design and Cubify Sculpt, to every team participating in the competition, along with some cloud printing coupons. (psst - you can get a copy of this design suite, too, by entering the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards’ Future New Challenge, boosted by 3D System's offer of free software!  Deadline is soon!!)

I learned that FIRST stands for "For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology" and is billed as "the varsity sport for the mind."  If you want to see an interesting documentary on FIRST Robotics, I recommend this 43 minute show - " Science is Rock and Roll" - self-produced by from the Black Eyed Peas.  My favorite quote is when says "If the Black Eyed Peas can play at the halftime at the Super Bowl, we can play at the FIRST Robotics competition"!  (To learn more about this project, check out this news clip.)

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