By Anthony J. Lockwood
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
Sometimes in the bustle and hustle to make money to support our lives we forget what it’s all about. And, let’s face it, work can be a surly dominatrix. It’s no wonder that so many of us are so cranky: Too much to do all at once, time to market, ROIs, P&Ls, whack-job sales people, memos from faceless masters at corporate, and competitors who have no better marketing program than ralphing on you. So, I was pleasantly surprised when I was tasked to say a few words about today’s Check It Out from the Dimension 3D printing people at Stratasys.
For as long as I can remember, Stratasys has its eye on the future. Not just the survival of the business, mind you. But our future – you know, like kids? They have their annual design competition in which a couple of winners get some dough for college. And then I read about their participation in a program called Starbase Minnesota.
Starbase Minnesota is a program that tries to get kids into math, engineering, and science by making it fun. A few years back, Starbase got a hold of a Dimension 3D printer. Now, instead of creating an on-screen model, the kids are printing out a physical object. They’re making the flight from concept to reality, so to speak.
The basic story line today is that the kids are planning a trip to Mars. They are using the Dimension 3D printer to produce rocket fins they’ve designed in CAD. At the end of the lesson, the fins will be attached to a rocket and the whole thing will blast off. It sounds like fun and, of course, all of the components of engineering, math, and science come together in this one project.
Yes, this is a feel-good story. No, it isn’t a beat you on the head “and Dimension 3D printers from Stratasys are the best thing since sliced bread; right kids?” story. It’s a short and sweet piece about how a program for inner city kids was taken to the next level when some of your tax dollars got the instructors a Dimension 3D printer or two.
So, hit the link over there, download it, then take two minutes to read this PDF. Maybe it will inspire you to get involved with something in your neighborhood. Maybe it’ll jog a memory of what got you into engineering. Or maybe it’ll just remind you that we work for the future, and that the future is every minute we work.
Thanks, pal. — Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering