3D Systems and SME Announce M.Lab21 to Transform Career and Technical Education

  • M.Lab21 Initiative seeks to bring shop class into the 21st century with new technologies including 3D equipment and curriculum
  • Pilot intends to reach 200 schools in the SME network
Release Date: 
Wednesday, June 11, 2014 - 09:05

ROCK HILL, South Carolina – June 11, 2014 –3D Systems  (NYSE:DDD) and SME announced a collaborative initiative to enhance high school industrial arts and vocational education classes through the new M.Lab21 initiative. This program will offer starter kits to transform shop classes and incorporate additive manufacturing into curriculums.

”This new initiative is exactly the type of program that will help prepare students to compete in the 21st century,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. “Too many young people still do not understand that a career in manufacturing can be challenging, rewarding, and noble way to earn a good living. By connecting manufacturers directly with schools, we can work to change these perceptions, and get students excited about the manufacturing jobs of the future.” The full keynote introducing M.LAB21 is available here.

3DS will provide starter kits with the latest 3D design and printing technology, including the Touch haptic, Sense 3D scanner, advanced prosumer desktop printers, and a suite of Cubify design software. SME will work with industry experts to identify the knowledge and skills necessary for the next generation workforce and develop the curriculum based on those needs.

“This partnership will provide a comprehensive approach that combines the hands-on tools and equipment with the equally important curriculum that addresses competencies required by the industry in the area of 3D printing,” said Dennis Bray, chief executive officer of SME.

M.Lab21 will provide access to an online network for students, educators and prospective employers to connect directly on skills requirements and lesson plans. This effort will enable schools, administrators and education officials across the country to stay competitive, and transform U.S. industrial arts and vocational education.

By mid-summer, the ​M.Lab21 will solicit and secure eight industry advisers to provide leadership and guidance for moving forward.  Together, SME and 3DS seek to garner support and participation from industry partners in order to build and deliver the 21st century shop floor equipment, software and curriculum to high schools across America.

“M.Lab 21 goes beyond solely putting a 3D printer in a classroom. Our initiative is about revolutionizing tech and vocational education by giving students access to an innovative and integrated set of 21st century tools and technology,” said Avi Reichental, president and CEO, 3DS. “M.Lab21 aims to support what the manufacturing industry has been calling for - to ‘rebrand’ manufacturing, connect industry and academia, narrow the skills gap and accelerate innovation.”

M.Lab21 is the latest commitment 3DS and SME are making to deliver 21st century technology skills to students. Collaboratively, these two organizations invite teachers, educators, nonprofits and companies passionate about education to join the M.Lab21 initiative and help drive innovation and technology learning today. Education inquiries can be made directly to either SME or 3DS.

Learn more about 3DS commitment to manufacturing the future today at www.3dsystems.com.


About 3D Systems

3D Systems is a leading provider of 3D printing centric design-to-manufacturing solutions including 3D printers, print materials and cloud sourced on-demand custom parts for professionals and consumers alike in materials including plastics, metals, ceramics and edibles. The company also provides integrated 3D scan-based design, freeform modeling and inspection tools and an integrated 3D planning and printing digital thread for personalized surgery and patient specific medical devices. Its products and services replace and complement traditional methods and reduce the time and cost of designing new products by printing real parts directly from digital input. These solutions are used to rapidly design, create, communicate, prototype or produce functional parts and assemblies, empowering customers to manufacture the future.

Leadership Through Innovation and Technology

•3DS invented 3D printing with its Stereolithography (SLA) printer and was the first to commercialize it in 1989.

•3DS invented Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) printing and was the first to commercialize it in 1992.

•3DS invented the Color-Jet-Printing (CJP) class of 3D printers and was the first to commercialize 3D powder-based systems in 1994.

•3DS invented Multi-Jet-Printing (MJP) printers and was the first to commercialize it in 1996.

Today its comprehensive range of 3D printers is the industry’s benchmark for production-grade manufacturing in aerospace, automotive, patient specific medical device and a variety of consumer, electronic and fashion accessories.



  • June 11, 2014
  • Ryan Meekins