Pasadena-based New Matter hopes to bring down the price and increase the accessibility of 3D printing through the production of their low-cost, MOD-t 3D printer. After a successful Indiegogo and $6.5 million in private investment, the company is in production and sales mode and, to bring its elegant looking machine to the public quickly and affordably, the New Matter team has announced its Educate and Inspire Grant, with which the startup will donate more than $200,000 in 3D printers and supplies to teachers and administrators to get 3D printing into the classroom.
Steve Schell, CEO and co-founder of New Matter, said of the grant, “Our 3D printing ecosystem gives educators a unique opportunity to integrate science, technology, art and engineering in the classroom. Many teachers who use 3D printers in their classrooms say they often run into a bottleneck from having too many student projects to print, but not enough printers to print them all. Because of the affordability of the MOD-t, it is now possible for schools to have multiple printers in their classroom to print more student work, faster.”
New Matter says that they have decided to target the education market since the MOD-t’s inception. For that reason, the $399 3D printer does not use a heated bed, but does automatically calibrate and prints quietly, so as not to disturb studying in a classroom or library setting. Integrated Wi-Fi allows users to access the New Matter Store to download free or purchased 3D models for direct 3D printing on the MOD-t. Schell adds, “Since our launch, we have been eager and excited to launch meaningful education programs and partnerships to give students access to 3D printing at school. New Matter’s ecosystem was designed to be simple and efficient. We are working with educators to ensure that the MOD-t is the easiest and most intuitive 3D printer for the classroom.”
To fulfill its goals of getting 3D printing into the classroom, New Matter will award 100 3D printing grants in the first quarter of this year. Each grant includes three MOD-t 3D printers, 15 spools of filament, and 15 extra build plate surfaces. Schools and districts in the US can apply for the Educate and Inspire Grant until Friday, February 5, 2016.
Unlike other low-cost printer campaigns, which have been unable to produce their machines as cheaply as promised, New Matter has already delivered the 2,000 systems to its Indiegogo backers. And, now, the printer is available for consumer purchase. The MOD-t is a beautiful looking printer and we’ll just have to wait to see if it prints as well as it looks.