Thursday, March 21, 2019

From 1st Gen Cube to ProJet3500 HDMax, 3D Systems Made it all Possible!

Yesterday, The YouthQuest Foundation received a vital piece of equipment.  It was a 3000VA UPS that will help us power up our latest acquisition.  And, that acquisition is a donated ProJet 3500 HDMax multi-jet printer that we plan to be used to support our mission of changing the trajectory of the lives of at-risk young people.

A piece of equipment that requires such a massive UPS is a far cry from the 1st Gen Cubes with which we started.  While it did not come directly from 3D Systems, it found its way to us through their support network.  And, it would not have happened had 3D Systems not generously donated the very first printers with which we began our work with young students who had dropped out of school and had entered the Youth Challenge program in an effort to turn their lives around.

The steps 3D Systems took, over 4 years ago, made it possible for us to expand our 3D design and printing educational program across four states touching many lives in the process. 

One of our students, Dalonta Crudup, a cadet in the DC Youth ChalleNGe Academy, had been shot shortly before entering the program and his cousin had been killed.  He went on to go back to school and was recruited with a basketball scholarship to the University of Kentucky.  He credits the 3D design class for teaching him important life lessons.  As he puts it, “And I tell them taking that class has helped me a lot because it showed me how get through obstacles in life.”

While the Cube line of printers has come to an end, we know from our own experience, and the experience of other educational organizations and charitable programs, that STEM and STEAM initiatives begun with the help of 3D Systems continue to benefit students in profound ways.

I won't bore you with the steps that took us from our first gift of a consumer 1st Gen Cube to the remarkable gift of a professional ProJet3500 HDMax.  But, to us, it is a remarkable series of events that began with Cathy Lewis of 3D Systems agreeing with our vision of helping turn around lives through experiencing 3D design and printing.

Now we step up to the next level in our ability to serve at-risk young people by offering experience with actual additive manufacturing equipment and processes.  We believe this is going to be particularly beneficial to our graduating students on the autistic spectrum that have shown extraordinary potential for careers in 3D.

We are really excited about this new chapter.  But, we cannot and will not forget those who helped us get here.

Thank you 3D Systems!