Ultimaker, a global leader in professional 3D printing, today on International Women’s Day announced a donation of more than twenty of its 3D printers through its newly created partnership with America Makes, the country’s leading organization for additive manufacturing and 3D printing technology research, discovery, creation and innovation. The printers will be used in high schools across the country to grow awareness and entrepreneurship opportunities for 3D printing technology among young women through a new program called Additive Edge.
Additive Edge is a national outreach program that inspires high school students in the U.S. to explore additive manufacturing (3D printing) and entrepreneurship. The program will distribute the Ultimaker printers to secondary schools that successfully recruit female students into additive manufacturing courses. Each student who passes the engineering course can include additive manufacturing experience on their professional resume or college application.
As the world celebrates International Women’s Day 2021, only 13 percent of engineers in the additive manufacturing industry are women – a scenario unlikely to change in the next decade without a coordinated effort from companies, educational institutions and civic organizations to support young women pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
The accessible and reliable Ultimaker printers, assembled in Memphis, Tennessee, will enable young women across the United States to expand the potential for innovations with additive manufacturing as they learn, experiment and innovate with 3D printing.
“We’re passionate about making professional 3D printers, software, materials, and services that are versatile and easy to use for everyone,” said Greg Elfering, president of Ultimaker Americas, “But more importantly, we want to add sustainable value as a company and foster an environment of equity that enables the next generation of female engineers to leverage 3D printing and solve the world’s challenges with additive manufacturing. Together we can make it happen.”
“We are delighted that Ultimaker has provided its 3D printing technology – a critical resource we need to grow the representation of women in both technical fields and engineering – particularly additive manufacturing,” said Josh Cramer, Education and Workforce director at America Makes. “We believe increasing the number of women pursuing these types of careers will not only benefit the additive industry but all of manufacturing.”
Ultimaker’s donation to America Makes is only the latest commitment the company has made to increase female representation in engineering careers and the additive manufacturing industry. In the past, the company donated more than a dozen 3D printers to support MakerGirl’s national #MakerGirlGoesMobile campaign that performs 3D printing sessions for young girls in rural, underserved communities.