In 2012 I was attending the Business Innovation Factory conference in Providence, Rhode Island. Attending the conference was a last minute thing that a good friend encouraged me to do and, frankly, I had no idea what to expect. It was during this conference that I began to sketch out my idea for what would become The Additive Project. I have always carried small notebooks with me and as I sat through some of the presentations I began to detail what I thought would be a good concept. And then came the talk by Simon Majumdar.
Mr. Majumdar was speaking about his life path to becoming a judge on the television show The Iron Chef. I don’t recall all of the exact details of his talk, but there was one moment that stood out. During his discussion of the five points of running a business he brought up the concepts of luck and serendipity. That idea struck a nerve with me and, at that moment, the concept for The Additive Project moved from idea to reality.
Two years later and luck and serendipity have become my mantra for how The Additive Project has developed. We’ve evolved into a project that offers open-sourced curriculums and projects that use 3D printing to encourage Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) principles and entrepreneurship. I’ve been fortunate enough to have Eric Brown and Colin de Paor working with me to push ahead on this project providing the sustained momentum it needs to flourish. At the time we began to formalize our group we were introduced to the Manchester Craftsman’s Guild. MCG is a well respected non-profit here in Pittsburgh that focuses on helping youth in underserved neighborhoods who was just beginning to explore the idea of 3D printing in their program and needed a partner to help them define it. My work with ExOne, a manufacturer of industrial-level 3D printers that print metal, has led me to speak with major players in the 3D printing world who all expressed interest and a desire to help us see this program through.
Luck and serendipity.
Our goal is to ensure that anyone interested in using 3D printing in the classroom or just learn about the process can use this information to help them along. We hope to build a community that will help our kids understand that “they can” in a world where they are so often told “they can’t”. We want to provide lessons and curricula that is community driven and built to address education in a wide variety of scenarios. If you’re reading this, we hope that you will join us in these goals as we move forward.
This is just our beginning. In order for this to truly work we need participation. So please, take a look at the content, use it, comment, revise it and let us know. We are looking forward to your feedback and participation. Welcome to the Additive Project. Help us “Make it Real”.