MakerBot has just announced Starter Lab, the company's initiative to get people, particularly those coming from schools and businesses, to gain more access to 3D printing technology. The full bundle includes everything schools need to get started. The program is designed to accommodate all schools and education levels, from kindergarten to college.

Starter Lab has the goal of providing early education in the field of 3D printing. The company believes that even children can start creating at an early age. Schools are given necessary tools and they can customize the bundle to fit their budget. Currently, there are two colleges that have already purchased MakerBot's Starter Lab. These are as Union College in Schenectady, New York and the State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill.

As per MakerBot's official site, each Starter Lab bundle includes:

  • Hardware (four Replicator Desktop 3D Printers/one Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner/one Replicator Z18 3D Printer/one Replicator Mini Compact 3D Printer/10 swappable Replicator Smart Extruders)
  • Training, Support and Software (On-site MakerBot Learning workshop/Expert hardware installation/MakerCare Protection Plans for all hardware with six-month warranty/Free downloads of MakerBot Desktop, Mobile and Printshop)
  • Materials and Accessories (80 spools of the most popular MakerBot PLA Filament True, Translucent, and specialty colors in sizes of S, L and XXL/Racking and build plate tape/Cart, Spool Holder, and grease packet for MakerBot Replicator Z18).

Although Starter Lab generally targets schools, they are also open to businesses.

"A MakerBot Starter Lab can provide a competitive advantage as an investment in future technology that fuels new ideas and growth. 3D printing can speed up innovation and iteration, help facilitate Real-Time Prototyping and shorten product design cycles," said MakerBot.

Along with the equipment, MakerBot will also send a trainer to the school's or business' location. The company is also providing expert installation.

"Customer pays actual travel expenses for one trainer and must provide one able-bodied person capable of lifting 50 pounds to assist with installation," said MakerBot on its site.

Acting CEO Frank Alfano said that the Starter Lab can "help educational institutions prepare students to more college and career ready." For companies, Alfano believes that it can give them "a competitive advantage as an investment in future technology that fuels new ideas and growth."

Lastly, MakerBot believes that the Starter Lab is "an exciting way for educators and small businesses to enter the world of #3Dprinting." 

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