• MakerBot was a main sponsor of Full Steam Ahead

MakerBot was a main sponsor of Full Steam Ahead

World Report on Disability estimated that 1 in 5 people globally have a disability, which in Australia is around 4.27 million people. Many of these people experience social exclusion, discrimination and lack of access to fully participate in society due to the barriers such as built environment and negative attitudes.

Responding to this challenge, MakerBot supported the Full Steam Ahead program which encourages students to collaborate and generate ideas on how to develop assistive or enabling technologies to help them will overcome these barriers. During the Full Steam Ahead Program, students learnt about 3D printers and the unlimited possibilities 3D printers like MakerBot have to design and create products that improve the lifestyle of people with disabilities.

Students worked in small groups brainstorming and researching the types of devices that might be helpful for someone with a special need. An example of the great work the students did, was that one of the groups found that a typical park was usually not functional for young children in wheelchairs, so they decided to create one. They designed a wheelchair accessible playground for children, building a prototype with a MakerBot 3D printer taking into consideration key factors such as safety, comfort and of course, for it to be fun and enjoyable for the children. The model created in the MakerBot 3D printer turned out better than they expected.

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