In this WTFFF Ask Us Anything Segment, Tom and Tracy Hazzard wrap up Education Week by answering an important question—should you donate a 3D Printer to a school? The answer, a big Y-E-S! Just imagine the benefits it can hold for you and your business. Not only that, but you’d also be helping many young minds develop their 3D Printing skills, elevating the entire industry as a whole.
Listen to the podcast here:
Donating A 3D Printing – Should Or Should Not?
This is the Ask Us Anything segment.
This is our last Education Week Ask Us question which is, “Should I donate a 3D printer to my local school?”
This was asked by the manufacturer and I think it’s a great idea. You should definitely consider it because the more exposure you have at that student level, the more the word spreads. These kids are socially-connected. They are doing some of the more advanced, interesting, and fun things that are going on in 3D printing. It depends on your focus, of course. If you’re focused only on aerospace and enterprise, maybe not, but there may be a school you want to donate to something more technical.
There are a lot of manufacturers that probably can afford to donate printers for free to a lot of schools. They are worried that every school is going to want them for free and some of them were in the business to selling printers to schools. Also, if this question would be something as a parent, I would have considered more if I want to push my school and for my kid into getting more into 3D printing and they’re slow to integrate it into their program. I think that if you’re willing to and even as a parent or a group of parents, get together and donate one or buy one and donate it to a school, our school is going to accept that donation no matter what.
There are a lot of people out there who we find have machines that are gathering dust.
There are a lot of first machines. Somebody bought a second machine that maybe had more capability, but that first machine is perfectly good. Maybe it’s perfect as a starter machine for a school.
If you consider donating that, it’s always tax-deductible so that’s a good idea. I also think you have to think about it in terms of your marketing plan. If you’re out there coming up with a 3D printing company, a 3D printer company or something like that. You ought to consider either a donation or a loan program as a part of schools. It should be a part of your marketing plan.
Try to make it easy for the schools to put the printer in.
We were talking about the problem of teaching the teachers. You could plan a loaner program where you give a teacher a loaner for three months or something before the full install of all the printers happens in the fall. That would be a great way to do it. You’re donating one machine but you’re selling maybe ten.
Maybe some companies can afford some of it as a marketing expense. Certainly, educational discounts they all should be doing and they probably all can afford to do that. Maybe for certain schools or school systems, getting your foot in the door by putting one in there.
If you can’t make a donation, then that’s why a loan or a rental in a sense is a great idea. We’ve been having that problem already where a lot of companies, we want to review their printers and when we do a concerted review of it and yet they don’t have one available for us to use and that’s problematic.
It has happened but it’s not as common as we thought it would.
We thought they should have a review unit. How else are you going to get the word about that? If it works, you’re going to expect somebody to buy it and there’s no online critical review of it. You should think of that and put that in your marketing plan for sure as well as consider buying one and donating it.
I think it is apparent and not everybody can afford to do that and that’s perfectly understandable, but if you can, it’s tax-deductible and you’re pushing that education envelope further.
Make sure you have a teacher on board or a principal on board already because they have to have the support system in place to use it. Otherwise, it just gathers dust in their lab as well.
It’s the type of thing that if it’s my kid’s school and I’d be willing to even go in on a periodic basis one afternoon a month, and help go over it with the students and encourage them and try to help them get involved in it. It depends on how much you’re willing to get involved, I guess.
Spreading that word in education is critical in any way, shape, or form. Being able to give everyone access to that experience is as important to it as possible. This wraps up our Education Week and if you have education issues around 3D printing or any issues around 3D printing, Ask Us Anything is a free service.
Issues, success stories, opportunities, there’s no question too big or too small or insignificant. Go ahead and serve it up and we’d be happy to address it for you.
We do. It’s not like we’re out or have a staff of people that you can’t get to us.
We do it that way because it’s a learning experience. Educating us as to what you guys, our readers, want to know about.
You’re going to want to come to check us. We’re going to be talking about all of the different events, the big ones, the national events and then some of the even more local events. Those have been some of our most popular shows we’ve found.
Surprisingly, but I think it’s great because that’s the best way to experience it is to go out and see it in person.
You’ve got to get exposure. Check that out on our next episode. Thanks for reading.
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