The trend to put Additive Manufacturing (AM) technology into schools continues. Stratasys (NASDAQ: SSYS) announced that it has been chosen by the Georgia Institute of Technology to provide its Dimension 3D Printers to select high schools across the U.S. as part of The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Manufacturing Experimentation and Outreach (MENTOR) program.
The DARPA MENTOR program should boost engineering skills for high school students, as well as spark an interest in engineering, design, manufacturing, math and science-related university programs. The four-year program is focused on engaging high school-age students in a series of collaborative design and distributed manufacturing experiments, including using additive manufacturing machines (or 3D printers).
“This program will provide students with skills they need to solve future design and engineering challenges, which will aid U.S. industry,” says Dr. David Rosen, Professor in Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology. “3D printers play an important role in the hands-on and “minds-on” learning, which the MENTOR program facilitates. Stratasys FDM technology is instrumental to this program.”
Starting in 2012, Stratasys Dimension and other brand 3D printers will be installed in more than 20 high schools selected by the DARPA program as part of the first phase roll-out. Currently, one system is already in place for a pilot institution so that educators can start to develop curriculum for the program. Additional 3D printers will be placed in subsequent phases over a four year period. “We estimate this program will generate orders for about 50 Dimension 3D printers over the course of the four year term,” says Stratasys Vice President of Direct Digital Manufacturing, Jeff DeGrange. “And we think that serious interest in 3D printing from an organization like DARPA is evidence of a solid future for additive manufacturing.”