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Thoughts & News From The Polar 3D Team

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Thank You Teachers and Students! Polar 3D Printers Now in 36 States, 300 Schools

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Thank You Teachers and Students! Polar 3D Printers Now in 36 States, 300 Schools

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Since the official 2015 launch at CES of the revolutionary Polar 3D printer, the customer base has grown at a rapid rate thanks to teachers and students. Now officially in 36 states and over 300 schools, the Polar 3D team is working hard to fulfill its mission of "Inspiring Students to Think Like Entrepreneurs" through 3D printing and design thinking. The Polar 3D printer is the first desktop 3D printer specifically designed for home, school and college use. It's also the first personal 3D printer based on polar coordinates. This design innovation enables it to print four times the build volume of competitors at half the price. And it's lightweight enough, with a built-in handle, that it can be carried friend's house or from classroom to classroom.

The Reason for the Rapid Growth?

Affordability, easy to install, use and maintain

The educational discount price of $599 for a 3D printer makes it more affordable and accessible to schools. Installation in most cases takes between 10-20 minutes.

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It's incredibly important for teachers not to be bogged down in endless troubleshooting tasks or cumbersome maintenance routines. Polar 3D's open view, light chassis and small number of moving parts make it extremely reliable and easy to maintain.

Size:

The Polar 3D is compact and simple to carry with its incorporated handle and folding filament holder. Despite its small size, the printer manages to offer a surprisingly big build volume and has other hidden bonuses, such as maintenance tools stored under the frame and a logo that changes color depending on the network’s status. - Make Magazine Review

Large build volume:

Even though the Polar 3D printer looks like it could only print a small golf ball, its radical poalr-coordinate design enables large print volumes. Four times as large as equivalent competitors.

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Open-View:

The Polar 3D is designed differently than any other 3D printer. It allows students and teacher to gather around and see the 3D print creation being built.

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The Polar Cloud: (From the 2015 Make Magazine Review)

"The Polar Cloud is clever and easy to use. More than just a cloud slicer, it serves 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.”

From the Maker Club Review:

“Polar 3D provides a cloud service where you can connect, and control, your printer and even multiple printers. “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 that is automatically saved!

From Tom's Guide Review:

Polar 3D — 3D Printer Review

In addition to its rotating print bed, the Polar 3D is different from other 3D printers in how you control it. Rather than controlling the printer directly or through a program running on a PC, you run the Polar 3D via the Web, with a cloud interface that puts all of the features of the printer online. This ties in with the educational approach of the Polar 3D, as it allows a teacher to set up and control the printer, deciding which models are printed and in which order. These users (called managers) can also add, remove or alter models and printers, so a group of students can upload models and schedule prints, with the administrator overseeing the process and intervening as required.

Additional Polar 3D Printer Resources

The Polar Ambassador Program:

Gifted educators and students who support the Polar 3D mission, provide support to their peers, and represent Polar to their local communities get discounted rates on the Polar3D printer and supplies. Plus, they have lots of fun, meet and collaborate with like-minded peers.

Polar Challenges:

Polar Design Challenges are contests for participants to win scholarships, Polar 3D Printers, or internships at exciting companies.

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Shop now (shop.polar3d.com) or go to the Polar Cloud (cloud.polar3d.com), sign up for free and get access to the on-going projects, the Polar Cloud collection of objects and monthly 3D printing challenges.

 

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Can You 3D Print Yourself a New Heart?

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Can You 3D Print Yourself a New Heart?

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Is it possible to 3D print your own heart? And later, use it for your own heart transplant? Polar 3D’s Co-Founder William “Bill” Steele discusses innovative 3D printing medical possibilities and the Polar Ambassador program with Greg Thomas, the host of “Conversations,” a syndicated public affairs show in Seattle. Greg is also the morning show host at 1077 The End KNDD in Seattle Greg Thomas: Now, do you have your eye on anyone that's using 3D printing technology or perhaps yourself using this technology in an organic way where they're trying to print human tissue or new organs? Is that in our future or is it already in our present?

3D Heart of the Matter

Bill Steele: We're right at the cusp of that. Some people are doing some incredible work in the medical field with the bio-engineered products where you might use a 3D printer like we have to build a sugar or glucose based scaffold. And then you infuse that with live cells that then take over the shape of that.

There are even more complicated versions of that where they're using multiple materials from some base cells or stem cells that can grow into whatever the target organ happened to be or what it needs. These are the kinds of things that are being worked on using 3D printing.

There are already tissues, Kidney and smaller, very simple organs that have been printed, but now they're trying to move into complex biomedical development by supplying vascular systems and things like that. It's just going to get better from there.

I need a heart

Think about this in the future. You know I need a heart transplant. Well, what they'll do is they'll draw some blood, and use that as the culture cells to grow me a new heart, that is my heart, not somebody else’s.

3D Heart

So I won't have to take rejection medication or anything like that. Doctors will build me a new heart and transplant it. And it's my heart still. Just a new and improved version.

Greg Thomas: Wow, that's incredible. I grew up playing boys called basketball, so immediately it transported me back in time to read your plans to work with the Boys and Girls Club of America? What are you shooting for when partnering with a group like this?

Bill Steele: Our primary customer is schools. And there are quite a number of schools in the country that have money. They have no problem buying the Polar 3D printer.

The real issue is how do we get to those schools that don't have the money or worse, how do we get to the neighborhoods, how do we inspire the kids that aren't as privileged? The Boys and Girls Club is a fantastic avenue for that. These are kids that might be in an inner city, and their schools aren't as resourced. But how do we get them that knowledge when there's not anybody in the community or school system that's capable of helping them? We want to help them.

Our Polar 3D team, working with the Boys and Girls Club can expose these kids to 3D print technology that they might not ever get a chance to see otherwise. And if we can just open up one of these kids minds, that’s a huge win for us. But by supporting them across the country like we're doing, we plan on opening up thousands and thousands of minds.

Polar 3D's Nick Jones teaches a Mariemont High School class how to use 3D printing.

The Polar Ambassador Program

Greg Thomas: What's the Polar Ambassador project and how does someone get involved with it?

Bill Steele: Because we're a small company we just don't have all the human resources on the ground that we need yet. To help fill that need we found that in every school we go into, every Boys and Girls Clubs or wherever, somebody steps up and really learns the Polar 3D printer. They understand it, they absorb it. They work with it day and night. We decided to encourage and foster that effort with one caveat, and that is that they help give back to the community by helping others with the printer.

The ambassadors are kind of like our front line of support. When somebody says, 'I'm printing something, and I'm having an issue with it.' Well, we can have that Ambassador in the area work with them and help them understand why the object that they're trying to print needs to be changed in a particular way. Which is great because they have a lot more skills and are local, which means they can be right there on the spot with them. They can also help us diagnose if there's something mechanically wrong or electrically wrong with the printer. We get thousands of printers out there and every once in awhile one goes bad. The Polar Ambassadors can step in and say, 'This isn't a user error, this is something wrong with the machine. Then what we do is work with them and get it taken care of.

The Polar Ambassador is a really cool program that:

  • Helps grow a collaborative 3D print community around where the printers are deployed
  • Helps the Polar Ambassador by giving them incentives and discounts on the printer and supplies
  • Helps our Polar 3D team focus on further development of our technology and scale our operation locally in hotspots around the country without having to have too many boots on the ground.

Greg Thomas: Bill Steele, where can we found out more about your 3D printers, printing and work please.

Bill Steele: Polar3d.com. Very simple.

Greg Thomas: Straightforward. Thank you, Bill, for joining us today. This is fascinating. I want my own Darth Vader keychain. Maybe Bill will send me one. Thanks for listening. Conversations is a Public Affairs Progam.

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