Young Makers: Community 3D Printer for Pop-up Demonstrations

Our goal is to raise sufficient funds to buy a desktop 3D printer and accessories that would be used exclusively for community benefit.  More specifically, we plan on showcasing this 21st century tool as a means of empowering youth (especially in disadvantaged communities) so that they can:

  • help discover their inner talents that can open new pathways to education and employment
  • develop self-confidence in their ability to learn-by-doing and learn-by-sharing
  • activate their potential to be creative and transform ideas into reality
  • become part of a supportive and welcoming community of ‘makers’ in Ottawa and around the world

The 3D printer will be hosted at OAK Computing offices in the ByWard Market and available for onsite demos to community organizations. The project team will manage all aspects of community engagement, planning and delivery of pop-ups and ongoing equipment maintenance.

Why 3D Printing?
3D printing has emerged as a game-changing technology available to the masses much like when the first PCs came to the public’s attention in the early 80’s.  Like the early PCs, 3D printers today have limited output capabilities but offer unbounded potential to stimulate curiousity, imagination and learning.  In contrast to PCs, however, the Internet gives new users of 3D printing a platform to quickly learn from a wide array of online tutorials, web video resources and communities of practice.

The Impact of Your Support
We believe there are very limited (or non-existent) opportunities for Ottawa youth in most disadvantaged communities to see or use  whether at school, home or neighborhood community centre.  Our hope for this project is two-fold.  First, by bringing the 3D printer directly into communities we hope to introduce local youth to the incredible potential of this technology and the global community that supports it.  Second, we hope to be able to create more permanent community spaces equipped with 21st century tools of innovation and creativity such as 3D printing.

If you prefer to make your donation directly to the project team, please contact us atluc@trueinnovators.com

What your donation will contribute to:

  • a Makerbot Replicator 2
  • some initial supplies of 3D printing material
  • basic low-cost accessories such as caliper gauge, tweezers, etc.
  • a notebook computer dedicated for 3D printing
  • funding to pay honoraria (small fees for workshop leaders)
  • recruit and train a small corps of youth mentors who can then deliver 3D printing demos

The Plan
If successful, we will initiate and organize a number of site visits or “pop-ups” to:

  • Libraries
  • Community Centres
  • Schools (middle and high school)
  • not-for-profit organizations that offer social services to disadvantaged communities
  • community events, festivals and other neighborhood-supported events
  • service clubs and other organizations that support community interests and needs

We plan on organizing a minimum of 6 pop-up demonstrations targeting 10 or more youth per pop-up visit.

Who Is Involved?

Luc Lalande, Founding Partner, True Innovators

Luc is an enthusiastic champion of innovation and believes that by giving youth access to 21st century tools of fabrication we can empower them to realize their potential to create and innovate.  He has recently helped Ottawa-based The Door Youth Community Centre acquire a 3D printer and is currently supporting the establishment of the iHub makerspace – the first such makerspace in an Ottawa school.

Manu Sharma, Founder and Managing Partner, OAK Computing

Manu has spent the last 15 years of his life building unique technology solutions, encouraging young entrepreneurs, supporting community betterment initiatives, facilitating innovation relationships and developing niche talent advancement programs. He has a strong strategic interest in creating opportunities to empower individuals, organizations and communities to connect, communicate, collaborate and co-create.

Obaid Ahmed, Managing Partner and Co-founder, OAK Computing

Obaid has spent the last decade engaging working with some of the sharpest technology minds in Canada. A recognized technology architect/developer in web and mobile development, Obaid has led and managed the development and deployment of over 100 web/mobile applications and platforms. He has a personal interest in exploring and developing technology solutions to address societal challenges around youth disfranchisement and community building.

Photo Credits: Photos courtesy of The Door Community Centre

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