IMADE3D: Hands-on 3D Printers Specifically Designed for Education
Exploring one’s curiosity is often considered as the best way to learn. More than theory, it is the practical aspect of studies that attracts us towards learning. Learning-by-doing is a concept that has been advocated and practised by many educational institutes worldwide with help of Edupreneurs.
IMADE3D is one organization that was founded in 2016 by several folks who wanted to introduce and boost the concept that ‘girls and boys should be able to work with their hands to build and operate a sophisticated machine.’ The company believes that the 3D printer has all the components of today’s manufacturing machines, and that the kids’ experiences of building and using a 3D printer will lead to good jobs.
The company’s journey involved development of a number of prototypes until it found one that could be built in about 5 hours by 6th graders and up. The printer should be ‘un-built’ and ‘rebuilt’ with the next set of students, so the building process can be a part of a repeatable curriculum. This unit, the JellyBOX 3D printer kit, became its flagship product.
IMADE3D has participated in many expositions around the world and found enthusiastic acceptance of its concept and the JellyBOX itself. JellyBOX was tested by the annual Make Magazine “shootout” and won “Best for Schools” in 2017 and 2019 and received 5 Editor’s Choice Awards.
JellyBOX kits are produced in the USA and are sold to schools, libraries, maker spaces, summer camps and families. The company also provides Team Building and Professional Development events that help our customers go deeper into the exciting world of 3D manufacturing.
Here’s how the Founder, Ladi Goc and team IMADE3D have been making learning fun:
Brief us about the services and products that IMADE3D offers.
We offer our main product the JellyBOX 3D printer kit, which consists of all the parts and instructions that allows one to build a working printer. Some of the parts are already assembled by the team which keeps the build time to about 5 hours for our “Easy” kit. We also offer a “Makers” kit which does not have these pre-assembled parts. This kit is for those who want to build every detail and it usually takes 10–12 hours to finish. We recommend the Easy kit for most education and library situations. The Makers kit is better for the senior high school and university level students. We also offer a full set of spare parts.
We offer services in Professional Development for teachers and Team Building events for both school and corporate settings. These services include the building of the JellyBOX printer and instruction on operations and maintenance. Topics also include: “How to Design Your Own 3D Objects” and “How to Print 3D Designs”.
We are also proud to provide a wide range of the best filaments for any 3D printing solution. The filaments have been tested in both classroom and industrial settings with great results.
What are the unique propositions that the company offers giving it an edge over competitors?
Our JellyBOX is designed primarily for education. Its “see everything” container is the only one like it in the world. It has doors that protect it from wandering hands and has etched build tips and wiring diagrams.
There are other 3D printer kits, but JellyBOX is the only one that is designed to be built and re-built many times. This ability makes JellyBOX the most affordable teaching tool in the market. JellyBOX is the only printer suitable for a repeatable course curriculum.
3D printing being a niche area, what are the challenges that this sector poses?
3D printing may seem like a niche, but it is not. This technology is being used today to build working hearts, houses and is a key to the plan for the habitat on the moon. This technology will reduce current shipping and warehouse costs significantly providing for a greener planet. Our economy is beginning to shift. Providing students now with understanding of this technology and its future is very important.
3D printing is utilised by various industries. Are there any specific sectors that the company focuses on? Please share.
A 3D printer is a manufacturing machine which can be small enough for a classroom or large enough to build a house. The actual components and operations are the same for all 3D printers. Our sector is education. Schools from 6th grade to college should use our product to teach the electronics, mechanics and programming that is used in industry.
What would be your advice for the budding start-ups and entrepreneurs in the 3D Printing industry?
Many folks are making 3D printers today. We are using our 3D printer as a model for teaching the technology to our kids. Perhaps the best advice for the 3D printer makers is to know the value of your printer in the market and provide low cost support. Our customers are focused on these.
According to you what is that one recent development in 3D printing that could possibly be the next big trend.
The trend that we see is spare parts. Let’s say you need a plastic water connector for your washing machine. Suppose the vendor allows you to download a 3D design for the part. You can print on your own 3D printer or send it to a printing service. In this case the vendor does not have to make the part, ship it or warehouse it. This is a big savings.
Brief us about IMADE3D’s future perspectives.
We will continue to serve school systems with our JellyBOX 3D printer. We are planing to provide upgrades to our competitors’ 3D printers to solve a common problem that keeps them from working and return them to service in the schools. We will also continue to develop other manufacturing machines that will be used in schools to promote the understanding of how things work in industry.
About the Leader
As the Founder, Ladi Goc, has used his experiences as the leader of several world-wide enterprises to educate and guide his team from concept through production and into sales. He is guided by the prediction: “3D printing technology will become a new ‘industrial revolution’ where 30% of jobs all over the world will be related to 3D printing.”
He recognizes that the current generation of youngsters is not getting enough education to be ready for this major shift. Ladi wants to educate — students, teachers, administrators and supporting CEOs to understand this prediction and how to get education to focus on 3D printing, so kids are ready for the new opportunities.
He loves conducting classes in schools and libraries and at team building events for corporate team exercises. With a grin he often says “Someone has to pay for our Medicare, when we get older”.