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Learn more on how to secure grant funding for 3D printing at your institution

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12 Tactics to Secure (and Grow) Funding for your 3D Printing

Those who have successfully integrated 3D printing into their programs have learned to tap into the power of grant funding. Help ensure your own grant grab for 3D printing with these steps:

  • Define your purpose for bringing 3D printing into your school. The closer your mission aligns with the grant, the greater your chance of success.
  • Plan for the future, not just today’s projects.
  • Make 3D printing a cross-curricular tool that can reach across grades, departments and even buildings.
  • Tie 3D printing to a STEAM curriculum.
  • Develop a public/private partnership that incorporates a school system, a college or university, a local workforce investment system and an employer.
  • Sign up for active funding opportunities emails, like the National Science Foundation, to alert you of new grants.
  • Tell a good story: Show how this grant will create pathways students will follow from grades 11-14, (via postsecondary credits earned during high school).
  • Team up with a college or university; often, their grants require them to team up with local districts or schools.
  • Cultivate an advisory board: Partnering with local industry not only provides career-ready workers but is also great publicity for the company.
  • Contracts beget contracts: Getting your foot in the door with your first sponsor is the hardest sell. After that, by tracking evidence of outcomes, including assessment scores or graduation rates, as well as incalculable results such as number of students vying to get into programs, helps.
  • Ultimately, while grants put 3D printers in the classroom, their reach hits a new level as students begin to see themselves in the driver’s seat for their own learning.
  • Get students involved. Student users of 3D printing technology are its best spokespeople.

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