MakerBot, the Brooklyn-based company that makes a variety of desktop 3D printers, accessories and associated software, announced a new plan today designed to put one of its signature devices into every school in America. Called the “MakerBot Academy,” the new effort relies on DonorsChoose, a crowdfunding website designed specifically for budget-strapped teachers, which lets them post requests for specific supplies online and solicit donations to help pay for the costs.
Google and Reddit have previously turned to DonorsChoose for other educational tech initiatives. In this case, MakerBot is urging teachers to sign up for DonorsChoose and ask for pledges toward a MakerBot Replicator 2 3D printer, last year’s model, along with a supply of the plastic used for printing and an equipment service plan. MakerBot is offering a slight discount for its education bundle: $2,352 dollars for the whole package compared to $2,700 for the the general retail price. The $348 discount is equivalent to about the cost of one year of the company’s service plan, according to a MakerBot spokesperson.
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