Thoughts & News From The Polar 3D Team

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3D Polar Cloud Making Waves


3D Polar Cloud Making Waves


The Polar Cloud is making waves in 3D printing industry reviews. Two excerpts of recent reviews are below. Want to check it out for yourself? Just go to the Polar Cloud (, sign up for free and get access to the on-going projects, Polar Cloud collection of objects and monthly 3D printing challenges.

MAKE Magazine

"Smooth Software: Polar 3D is targeting the education market with the clever and easy to use Polar Cloud. More than just a cloud slicer, this website is intended to serve as a web community where technical support, design challenges, 3D model libraries, and group projects can be shared."

"The company imagined a complete workflow to make students’ lives easier. To send a file to print, you upload the 3D model in your object collection and send it to the connected 3D printer. Once the file is ready, Polar Cloud opens to a beautiful live camera showing the mirror platform from the extruder point of view — the printer has a wide angle camera placed right behind the nozzle, which gives a great monitoring experience of the print at all times. Polar Cloud also enables the user to monitor several machines at the same time, perfect for a digital manufacturing lab."

Maker Club

"The Polar 3D is more than just a printer. It is a set of very powerful software products and services which have actually made the experience of using the printer an absolute delight. With the Polar3D, I do everything through the web - sending my models for printing directly to the printer.

The Printer Control Panel

"Polar 3D provides a cloud service where you can connect, and control, your printer and even multiple printers. I saw the founders control their 15 running printers from their Polar3D cloud interface at the ISTE conference where I met them - and it was incredible and useful.

"Since each printer also has a camera onboard, you can see the progress of every print live from anywhere you can gain web connectivity. To go one step further, every print job run is saved in the printer's history - so you can see information about all the prior print jobs, and - wait for it - you can watch a time lapse" video of any prior print which is automatically saved!

Go to the Polar Cloud and check out on-going projects, the Polar Cloud collection of objects and monthly 3D printing challenges. 


3D Difference Makers 2016


3D Difference Makers 2016


The Children's Museum's Difference Makers Celebration honors youth, adults, businesses, and agencies that share the focus to better the lives of children in their community. Difference Makers go out of their way to enact significant change in the community. They distinguish themselves from others by their dedication and impact. Polar 3D was honored to be named as one of two business winners of the "Difference Makers 2016 Award."

2016 Difference Maker: Business Honorees - VIDEO DifferenCe Makers 2016 AWARD - POLAR 3D

Difference Makers 2016 Business Honoree Video

Difference Makers 2016 Award Winner - Polar 3D Polar 3D is an early stage technology company that brought its novel 3D printer design to market in early 2015. With a focus is on the education market, Polar 3D hopes to bring 3D printing technology learning opportunities to all students. As part of its community outreach, Polar3D started working with the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Cincinnati through the donation of printers and collaboration with after school programming directors. Since that initial effort, Polar3D has coordinated its efforts with the national umbrella organization, Boys and Girls Club of America, and has launched a program to place its printers in Boys and Girls Clubs across the country. The effort is to bring hands-on STEM learning opportunities to kids and teens who are underserved in those areas of learning.




Inspiring Students to Think Like Entrepreneurs with 3D Printing  Radio Interview


Inspiring Students to Think Like Entrepreneurs with 3D Printing Radio Interview


Polar 3D's Co-Founder William "Bill" Steele talks with long-time radio host Greg Thomas of the syndicated public affairs show, "Conversations" in Seattle.  Bill and Greg discuss 3D printing, inspiring students to think like entrepreneurs by introducing them to 3D printing, and the Polar 3D Ambassador program.

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Professor Garfield Gets A Little Messy: New 3D Design Competition


Professor Garfield Gets A Little Messy: New 3D Design Competition


Makers Empire, a new Australian 3D printing start-up, has just released a 3D printing competition for elementary and middle school students. Makers Empire has recently been expanding it's influence on the maker-side of the education sector, and their new "Professor Garfield", as in Garfield, your favorite childhood cartoon, . The Competition

Wait, so where does my favorite fumbling feline come into the picture? Similar to a Polar Challenge, this competition asks students to help the perpetually hungry housecat eat to his fill without making a mess of things. Although you would think with his new title, Professor Garfield would have come up with a cleaner way to eat spaghetti , he still relies on his paws to get the job done. Students are asked to design their own "spaghetti and meatball eating tool" to help the cat out.

"Garfield LOVES spaghetti-and-meatballs! But the cat always makes a mess when he eats it. 
What Garfield needs is a utensil -- something with a clever design -- to help him enjoy his pasta in a cleaner and neater way. Garfield's that someone, somewhere could design something to solve his problem. He's also aware that some kids need assistance because they might not have full dexterity in their hands. Not to worry! The famous feline wants to help them as well!

Students are invited to design their own spaghetti-and-meatball eating tool in 3D (for 3D printing). They'll also be asked to describe the tool's special features and explain why they think it's a creative design."

The competition started earlier this week and set to end on December 9th. As if you weren't sold on the the competition already, prizes include signed artwork from Garfield creator Jim Davis, a year-long membership to the Makers Empire 3D printing learning program, and a Polar 3D printer.

More details can be found at


Reported by Robby Wellington, Polar 3D’s Cub Reporter and hungry intern from the University of Cincinnati.


Polar Bill & 3D Printing in Circles! - WTFFF? (Get your mind out of the gutter, it's not what you think!)


Polar Bill & 3D Printing in Circles! - WTFFF? (Get your mind out of the gutter, it's not what you think!)


WTFFF, a popular 3D printing podcast, focuses on interviewing the "whose-who" in 3D printing. The podcast has been rolling for several months now, and already has over 110 installments.


Naturally, the first question that came to mind when I checked out the podcast was: what's with the three "F's" in WTFFF? According to Tom and Tracy Hazzard, the dynamic duo that hosts the podcast, the "FFF" represents their mantra of learning about the best of "Fused Filament Fabrication." Works for me.

For their 103rd entry in WTFFF, Tom and Tracy sat down with Polar 3D's cheif engineer and co-founder Bill Steele, to learn a little bit more about the 3D printing scene, and Polar's niche in the industry. They put together this interview as in tandem with their review on the Polar 3D printer which can be found here.

Tracy Hazzard: We couldn't wait to get our hands on this (Polar 3D) printer to be honest with you. We've been dying since January to try it out. We saw it at CES and it’s a cool printer. I mean it looks cool because the build plate is circular and it's a mirror. It just looks so cool while it's printing and you're just excited! It's so simple and beautiful when it prints because it kind of it moves in a polar axis. 

After explaining the genesis of the Polar idea, Bill expands on what sets Polar apart from the other printers in the game.

Tracy Hazzard: Can you talk to us a little bit about that flash of genius you had and why it's so special? What has made your Polar 3D so unique? 

Bill Steele: The interesting thing about that is I was working on previous 3D printer projects just as a hobby, when somebody brought up a question to me. That got me kind of curious. I was designing a standard Cartesian three axis XYZ printer and somebody asked: "can you make prints bigger, but not make the size of it any bigger?". At the time I was already maximizing the space pretty effectively for a Cartesian printer. And then I realized that if I simply swung one of the – I call it the gantry – if I just swung that around the 180 degrees I could double the path that that traveled and make the printer bigger. And then in the middle of the night one night I got to thinking about that and I realized that it was silly to swing the gantry around, why don’t I just swing the part around underneath of it.

And as soon as I started looking at that aspect of it, I realized that I should just rotate the part on the build plate and immediately realized that Polar coordinates were the way to go. My initial versions of it were complex and hard to build. The simplicity of this current generation device, the Polar 3D printers as you see it today: that's the idea that I had in the middle of the night.  I realized that it was so simple because it eliminated so many components that standard printers have.

Bill talks about Minecraft and some of the other cool applications for Polar 3D printers.


Bill Steele: One other fantastic resource that most of us adults don't use, but kids use it all the time, is something as simple as Minecraft. Microsoft bought Minecraft recently and we've seen a huge explosion of tools built around this concept of using blocks to build objects. Now we did it as kids using Lego's, but the benefit that the kids have today with these tools is that they can size the Lego's differently, digitally, and they can zoom into a small spot and put tiny Lego’s to make it fine detail, and then when we zoom back out, you just see a smooth surface, and then the neat thing about that is the printer or these tools that work like this will generate the appropriate files for 3D printing.

Tracy Hazzard: I didn’t know that. So Minecraft has some kind of function for that? Oh,we're going to have to check that out.

Bill Steele: Yes. There's a service called Printcraft where you can develop something in Minecraft, and then send it to the Printcraft server, and it will email you your SDL file which you send to the printer.

Tom Hazzard: I have to tell my nephews about this.

After the interview Tom and Tracy talk Polar between themselves and give feedback on the Polar 3D printer.

Tom Hazzard: I'll tell you after not only experiencing and using the printer for the last couple of weeks, but also after that interview with Bill, I'm thoroughly impressed.

Tracy Hazzard: I want one. I think it looks just so cool while it's printing, and it has something that – it's beautiful while it’s printing. There's something beautiful in the polar coordinates, it just is and the simplicity of the overall machine and less parts and less maintenance and it just seems robust for such a low price.

Tom Hazzard:  It makes a lot of sense when you think about it. And we've been working a lot with it and now especially because you can not only use their software, but you can use something like Simplify3D or Cura, Repetier, you can use anything with it. I'm  encouraged to continue working with it and experiencing it.

Tracy Hazzard: I have to say the parts, I mean check out the blogpost because you'll get to see photos of the parts, but the parts look as good as some that we printed on $4,000 printers.

Tom Hazzard:  And this is an $799 printer. I mean that's what's so shocking, but it's because they did it smartly.

Tracy Hazzard: Yeah, it’s smartly simple.


Reported by Robby Wellington, Polar 3D's Cub Reporter and hungry intern from the University of Cincinnati.

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