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Polar Cloud Hits 100,000 3D Prints, Company Closes $2 Million Financing & Expands Team

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Polar Cloud Hits 100,000 3D Prints, Company Closes $2 Million Financing & Expands Team

CINCINNATI, Ohio, October 4, 2016 -  Polar 3D, the Company that provides the most comprehensive, end-to-end solution for 3D printing in the classroom, is pleased to announce its Polar Cloud has reached 100,000 3D print jobs — making it the fastest growing online platform for 3D printing in education.  In addition to this milestone, the Company also announces that it has closed a $2 million financing round and expanded its executive team with two industry luminaries, Dan Newman and David Thornburg.

 

“As this school year got underway, we saw a major ramp-up of 3D print jobs on our Polar Cloud,” noted Greg LaLonde, Polar 3D’s CEO.   “We are thrilled the experience is moving past the 3D printer itself to a truly collaborative environment where student-led learning, discovery and “making” are exploding.  There is simply no limit to how much these kids want to show off their work. It’s intoxicating, contagious, and is why the Polar Cloud affords an unusually large-scale opportunity.”

 

To help fund and accelerate the growth of the Polar Cloud, the Company closed out a $2 million convertible note financing on September 30, 2016.  The Company previously raised $1.5 million and plans a $6.5 million Series A round in 2017.  It also hired Dan Newman as Chief Technology Officer and David Thornburg as Director of Education.

 

“After seeing the Polar Cloud and hearing plans for Polar Cloud 2.0, I couldn’t say yes fast enough… they had me at print,” says Dan Newman.  Bill Steele, Co-founder of Polar 3D put it this way: “Everyone knows of Dan.  He wrote the firmware used by our competitors’ printers (e.g., Makerbot, Dremel, etc.) and helped Apple design their solution to scale iCloud. Dan is going to make a massive impact on our cloud and hardware products, we are very lucky to have him.”

 

The Polar Cloud 2.0 will go live January 1, 2017 and aims to greatly expand and enrich the user experience.  “We are all about education and inspiring students to innovate and think like entrepreneurs,” said Ed Estes, Co-founder of Polar 3D.  “Naturally, when the opportunity arose to grab David Thornburg we took it and didn’t let go.  David literally wrote the book on 3D printing in the classroom and is globally recognized as a pioneer in the field of 3D printing in education.”

 

“I met Polar at ISTE in 2015 and have watched their passion and momentum build,” says David Thornburg.  “After they acquired STEAMtrax from 3D Systems and asked me to run it, I thought wow this is the perfect opportunity for me to take my work and network of the past 40 years to drive content and creation on the Polar Cloud to benefit classrooms around the globe.”

 

For More Information

For scheduling interviews, contact Brandon Leedy, Marketing Manager via email or phone.

For sales or product information, contact Jon Hauer, VP of Sales via email or phone.

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Apple Wants Everyone To Code

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Apple Wants Everyone To Code

At Apple's iPhone 7 Keynote Event earlier this week, CEO Tim Cook spent a sizable amount of time promoting Apple's commitment to education. Amidst the shiny new phones and watches, Apple dropped a number of new educational gems that you should know about as an educator.

ConnectED

First, Apple has made a large financial contribution to the ConnectED initiative, of over 100 million dollars in resources to teachers and students.  Those resources entail donating an iPad to every student, a Mac and iPad to every teacher, and an Apple TV to every classroom in 114 underserved schools that are apart of the program. The amount of sheer technology is impressive alone, but we think what's truly interesting is their approach to integrating iPads into the student's workflow. The generation of current students are not only digital natives, but largely Apple natives —with a bias towards iOS (thanks to the iPhone), but even more preferential to touch app interfaces. This is an important trend to recognize, as the current learners and future professionals will identify "computer" as a very different thing than previous generations identify it. To the newest digital natives, a computer is not a box you sit in front of, but rather a just a device of varying size that roughly looks like a screen. We should be as willing to adapt as they are — whether we call it a phone or tablet — to them it's the same means to an end: knowledge and connection. Not only is Apple aware of this foundational shift, but have created a way to stay ahead of the curve with their Apple Teacher Program. There you can sign up, receive the latest news, and receive Apple Teacher Certification after a series of quizzes. 

"Everyone Can Code" Initiative

Apple believes everyone can code and wants to teach their recently developed language, Swift, to children everywhere. In support of their "Everyone Can Code" initiative, they've provided a wealth of tools for educators to do just that. You can currently download "Teacher Guide" previews of Swift Playgrounds and App Development with Swift. And before you doubt a students' ability to go from no-code to app in a year, check out Apple's Student Design Award winners for 2016: the challenging puzzle app Linum, and the addictive force-touch game Divdr. Both were coded entirely by students in Swift, implementing brand new iPhone features, and netting the students some decent money via in-app purchases as well. On top of that, the youngest developer at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference this year was 9 years old! Her name is Anvitha Vijay, and this Australian app developer is apparently pretty excited about Apple's other teaching development — Swift Playgrounds.

Swift Playgrounds

Swift Playgrounds really represents something truly innovative in code education: an interactive and engaging app that teaches students code from absolute zero. Debuting in the fall, the app is free and exclusively for iPad. It focuses on understanding the fundamental building blocks of coding before surmounting other challenges. It's entirely student-led learning, chock full of our favorite word: experimentation. To top it off, anything a student creates in Swift Playgrounds can be directly transferred to Xcode (the app development tool the pros use) and built on from there. After that, Apple has provided a wealth of developer resources to learn Swift in its full breadth. We're excited to see all the great app experiments that will spring forth from classrooms this school year. 

 

For more information on these topics, head to Apple's Education hub. We're so excited by these developments and are even more re-assured in our pursuance of the idea that technology can empower students to learn and think like the entrepreneurs of the future that we need. That's why we've built-in iPad friendly features to the Polar Printer and Polar Cloud — allowing .STL upload from any storage app on iOS, as well as a mobile-friendly design that works from any browser, and printer sharing so students can manage printing in the classroom themselves. Like Apple, we have many more developments coming later this year and we can't wait to show you!

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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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