Meetup recap: “The role of additive manufacturing/professional 3D printing in education.”

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Last week we hosted September’s Community meetup and, as usual, it was both both fun (there’s free pizza – it’s hard to be sad around free pizza) and informative. Our theme was “The role of additive manufacturing/professional 3D printing in education.” We were fortunate to have three speakers who knew their stuff – Elaine Kristant from Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Tasker Smith technical instructor at MIT’s Pappalardo Undergraduate Laboratory, and one of our own product managers, Blake Reeves. If you couldn’t attend or didn’t have time to check out the live feed, here’s a quick recap.


Elaine Kristant explains a particularly tricky print

The night started off with Elaine’s super thorough and lively presentation on what it’s like to run a shop in an academic environment where one has to the differences between the way faculty uses 3D printers and the way students use 3D printers. As one might expect, students ask for a bit more hand holding at first and maybe aren’t as likely to pick up after themselves as their teachers.

Elaine was eager to point out that her policy is in fact not to offer a lot of hand-holding. She believes it’s better for the students to be “hands-on” as quickly as possible, figuring things out for themselves along the way. This is especially true when using Makerbots. If students break something, replacement parts are relatively easy to fix or replace.


Tasker showing off a few teaching aids

Tasker’s presentation, Digital Fabrication and the quest for Maker Mystery, included a really awesome overview of the lab, his philosophy on concept development and iteration, some very cool teaching aids, and some tips on where to find useful CAD data (unsurprisingly, GrabCAD was at the top of the list).

Finally, Blake gave a quick GrabCAD Print demo and answered questions about new features that have been added since the Beta officially launched.


GrabCAD Print seems to always go over well when demoed in public and this time was no different. If you’re not already using GrabCAD Print, you can still get the Beta at

Thanks to our fantastic presenters and, of course, to all of you for either showing up or tuning in. See you on Wednesday, Oct 26th (in person or via a live feed) for our next Community meetup where our focus will be on aerospace!


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Source: grabcad Meetup recap: “The role of additive manufacturing/professional 3D printing in education.”

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