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P4S Project

P4S Project

We're Raising Money to Donate 3D Printers to Texas' Schools and Makerspaces!

About the Printers for Schools Project:

Who we are:  The Abilene Area Technologists Group

We're a group of programmers, makers, tinkerers, webmasters, engineers, geeks, nerds, and brainiacs from the Abilene, Texas, area that loves to get together and figure out ways to make our community a better place.  We teach, make, and learn with anyone that wants to participate.  Occasionally we blow stuff up, but rarely by accident. :-)

Why we developed this project:

To provide students in our rural area the opportunity to explore Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM); and to inspire others in the community to support STEM educational opportunities and programs.  This is just the first step.  We hope to eventually open a makerspace that provides an environment for learning, creativity, and community for everyone in the Big Country Area - students, teachers, veterans, retirees, small business owners, and entrepeneurs of all ages.  The makerspace has been in development for almost two years; we've secured much of the equipment, gotten buy-in from small businesses and large corporations in the area, and developed business and financial plans and training and safety courses.  The P4S project gives us the opportunity to share a small piece of what the makerspace will provide and inspire Big Country residents to help us make it a reality.  


The initial fundraising campaign, the RigidBot Group Buy, ran through the month of October.  The markup on the filament (the most popular product) was only $1 - $2, so we only raised about $150 and we still have a long way to go.  Currently, the proceeds from the sales of RigidBot T-Shirts and Affiliate Sales are the funding sources, and you can also contribute directly.

Once we manage to get enough money to purchase at least two printers (but hopefully five), we're going to start running the contest for the schools to submit videos telling us why they should win.  The videos will be posted on social media (probably Facebook, maybe Google+ too) for people to vote on.  Once the winners are chosen we'll take the printers to class and build them together.  If we manage enough money to buy an extra printer, we plan to donate it to the ATX Hackerspace in Austin, Texas.  The folks there have been instrumental in assisting us with our plans for our own makerspace, and the two 3D printers they currently have are on loan from members.

Next Steps: 

Hopefully finding a good printer deal.  Right now we're leaning toward Prusa i3 kits, just because they're inexpensive, open source, and we know Prusas.  Although, we've asked 3D Systems if they want to donate some last generation Cubes (the ones that you can still "improve" upon the filament delivery system.)  We're not holding our breath waiting for their response though.  We'd really like to go with Printrbot Metal Simples or RigidBot Regulars if we could afford it.

What you can do to help: 

  • Share this link with other 3D printer owners,
  • If you need to buy something on Amazon, check out our featured Amazon 3D Printing Products or go directly to Amazon or Amazon Supply through those links.
  • Help us write rules for the contest (it's hard to anticipate all the challenges in maintaining a level playing field when you're dealing with highly competitive groups),
  • Give us your suggestions for easy to maintain, inexpensive 3D printers,
  • We are looking for some theme suggestions for the videos,
  • Come to Texas and help pack boxes.
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Printers 4 Schools Contribution
Many of you have asked if you can contribute directly to the printer fund for the schools, so here y..

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