AJ Perez ’13 co-invented a fully automated 3-D printer in the basement of an MIT fraternity house during his senior year. Now, his company New Valence Robotics rents out 3D printers to elementary and high schools, hoping to encourage younger students to become creative inventors themselves.
These 3D printers were designed with ease-of-use in mind, Perez told Boston Business Journal. “For those kids in the world that aren’t computer junkies, but real-world junkies that want to create physical things, this is the pinnacle of bringing their ideas to life,” Perez says.
With other printers, users have to keep an eye on the print job to make sure no complications arise. The NV printers automate the whole process and even make it possible to print objects from afar, via an internet connection. Perez elaborates: “you can access your printer through the cloud. Instead of having to physically be there, you can access a live video feed. A robotic arm scrapes off the part and automatically starts the next job.”
Perez’s co-founders—Forrest Pieper, Mateo Peña Doll and Chris Haid—all currently study engineering at MIT, but still have made time to promote their company’s work. Mateo Peña Doll displayed one of the NV printer prototypes at the Nashville Mini Maker Faire last September; watch the printer in action on this video captured at the event.
The printers cost schools between $3,000 and $5,000 per year to lease. New Valence Robotics offers both educational and commercial leasing packages at their website, nvbots.com.