GLAS Education will receive a free 3-D printer valued at $1,000 as one of 10 winners in Prusa Research’s 10th-anniversary contest. The winners were announced on July 8th.

Prusa Research of the Czech Republic, founded by Josef Prusa, is a well-known brand of 3D printers. The machines are regarded as highly reliable and can produce complicated parts with no modifications or add-ons.

GLAS’s (Geneva Lake Astrophysics and STEAM) contest entry included items created at its 3D “printing farm” that help explain astronomy to blind and visually impaired students. The objects include a set of galactic dominoes and scale models of different telescopes which can be experienced by touch. Kate Meredith, director and president of GLAS, said she was pleased and excited about GLAS winning recognition for its work and receiving another Prusa 3D printer. GLAS currently has six 3D Prusa printers. Five are used for general printing and the sixth is being set up as a “test kitchen,” where blind and visually impaired students will learn how to use a 3D printer.

Tia Bertz, who consults with GLAS on 3D printing projects and who is visually impaired, alerted GLAS to the Prusa contest. The new printer will stand out, with a golden frame autographed by company founder Josef Prusa.

Prusa lists the 10 contest winners on its website, GLAS Education is listed as the third contest winner on the Prusa website GLAS is in good company with people and organizations that use 3D printers to advance science, education, and understanding.

  • Nick Hardman of Leeds, England, creates special teddy bears at 3-D Toy Shop that normalizes medical conditions for children, The teddies are plush, but Hardman 3D prints teddy-bear-sized shunt valves, crutches, oxygen tanks, and operation scars to help young patients cope with their medical conditions. 
  • Jaime De Miguel Criado, a radiologist at Henares Hospital, Madrid, Spain, creates personalized anatomical models of patients’ lung or chest wall cancer to help physicians operate more precisely.
  • At Marymount University, Arlington, Virginia, Prusa 3D printers create low-cost prosthetics, particularly hands, as well as assistive and physical rehabilitation devices. Dorota Budzyn of Glasgow, Scotland, created prototypes of devices astronauts might use to take soil samples on other worlds. The prototypes are being tested by the European Space Agency.
  • Peter Šofranko of Poland creates three-dimensional relief maps of parks and historic areas of Europe.
  • Jan Tobolík and Ondřej Kratochvíl of The Czech Republic created a custom electric cello with a 3D printer. From a prototype made for a friend, they created an online company called MyCello. 
  • Michel Bonne, a designer and plastic sculptor in France, uses a 3D printer to create shapes that are almost impossible to make by hand or with standard sculpting tools. 
  • Steven Presser, a researcher at the HLRS, high-performance computing center, Stuttgart, Germany, is working with a team of researchers to create tactile maps for the blind and visually impaired that talk so users get more information about the features they touch. 
  • A nonprofit group called KSat Stuttgart in Germany created a demonstration model of its experiment which was selected to go to the International Space Station this year.

Prusa's special edition gold, autographed 3D printer

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