Thanks to a donation from local e-commerce entrepreneur Josh Ray, hundreds of Florida Polytechnic University students now have access to 3D pens.
The pens, which have been allocated to several labs on campus including the physics lab, circuits lab, and 3D printing lab allow users to create three-dimensional shapes from the thin trail of molten plastic that oozes from the tip of the pen and hardens instantly. By drawing lines in the air, users can build up physical 3D sketches that resemble wireframe models. 3D pens allow them to prototype their ideas instantly as physical objects, without using the computer as an intermediary.
“They allow you to freehand ideas and freehand creativity,” he said. “Students working with 3D printers now have something in their hand they can play with and be creative first before they try to 3D print.”
135 pens were donated to the university by Ray, a Tampa, Florida, native who says has always been drawn to innovation and disruptive technology. Ray is the founder of Imagine 3D, a company that sells 3D printing pens in Tampa.
Now, he says he’s grateful to have the opportunity to have an impact on Florida Poly students.
“I was once a university student and understand the need for things such as these for students,” said Ray. “I’ve always wanted to give back and believe in giving to others.”