World’s First Automated 3D Printer for Schools

(Make) The New Valence Robotics group is showing their 3D printer which they claim is the world’s first fully automated 3D printer designed for schools.

Mateo Pena Doll, a mechanical engineer who worked on the project said his group has talked to many schools that have 3D printers and the problem they hear over and over is that teachers very often need to print many copies of the same part. With most traditional 3D printers this means loading up a part in the software, starting the print, coming back in a few hours to remove the part, then starting the next print.

New Valence’s printer solves this problem by adding specialized software and hardware to the printer. The printer can hold a queue of print jobs and then automatically remove parts after they have been printed. It then begins the next print job without any human interaction required.

They’ve also developed web-based management software that makes it possible to completely monitor and control the printer remotely via the web. This could be very useful for schools that may have many teachers sharing a single printer that stays at a remote location.

The New Valence group is composed MIT students graduating this year. They hope to start a beta program in Q1 of 2014 at select schools.