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MakerBot Donates MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printers to Yahoo! Japan for “Hands On Search” Program for the Visually

  MakerBot Donates MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printers to Yahoo! Japan
  for “Hands On Search” Program for the Visually Impaired

      Students Benefit from Learning Through Touching 3D Printed Objects

Business Wire

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- November 12, 2013

MakerBot is donating several of its popular 3D printers, the MakerBot®
Replicator® 2 Desktop 3D Printer, to seven schools for the blind in Japan in
conjunction with Yahoo Japan Corporation, the operator of Yahoo! Japan. The
donated MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printers will be part of Yahoo!
Japan’s innovative new program, “Hands on Search,” that allows visually
impaired and disabled children in select schools throughout Japan to have the
ability to touch and feel 3D printed objects made on a MakerBot Replicator 2
Desktop 3D Printer.

Announced in Japan on November 1, which is known as the Day for Braille, the
“Hands on Search” project is a new program that evolved from finding items on
the Internet and taking those items and converting them into real, physical
objects. The concept takes “seeing, hearing, visual and audio inputs and puts
them into an innovative format for the children to touch and feel by 3D
printing models of items they would find in their school, home and in the
environment. The items being printed are some of the downloadable digital
designs available on the MakerBot® Thingiverse® website, the world’s largest
3D Design Community with more than 100,000 downloadable digital designs for
discovering, printing and sharing 3D models.

The program was first conducted as a pilot program from September 20 through
October 31, 2013, at the Special Needs Education School for the Visually
Impaired, affiliated with the University of Tsukuba (School for the Blind),
where visually impaired children had the “Hands on Search” experience, which
allows them to touch more than 90 solid objects printed out on a MakerBot
Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer. Children enjoyed learning on their own by
confirming the output of shapes and objects to items they already knew or by
learning new ones.

The “Hands on Search” program is now being expanded and Yahoo! Japan will
bring the program to the public and will be donating the “Hands on Search”
machine to the University of Tsukuba, which will be responsible for managing
the machine to provide opportunities for more people to experience “Hands on
Search.” Any new 3D design files that are created for the program will be
uploaded onto the MakerBot Thingiverse 3D Design Community website, where the
files can be downloaded by anyone for free. Source code for the program will
also be shared to Github. The “Hands on Search” machine will be donated to the
University of Tsukuba and will be lent out to two public schools for the
blind, the Hanawa Hokiichi School and the Yokohama City Special Support

“MakerBot is proud to be able to support the ‘Hands on Search’ program being
pioneered by Yahoo! Japan,” noted Bre Pettis, CEO of MakerBot. “We’ve seen
some pretty exciting and innovative uses of 3D printing over the years, and
those that impact children and help them see, or in this case feel, the world
differently, are important to us. This program showcases how beneficial the
sharing of information is and how it can transform someone’s perception about
the world around them.”

By expanding the “Hands on Search” program and opening it up to the public,
Yahoo! Japan has committed to providing opportunities for more people to
experience the wonders of the Internet and technology.

During the pilot program, the “Hands on Search” machine was placed in the vice
schoolmaster’s office, which was visited by so many school children, they had
to form a line to wait their turn to participate in the experience. Children
enjoyed learning on their own by confirming the output shapes of objects they
already knew or by completing their recognition of objects, which they only
knew by name, but which their shapes were unclear to them.

One of the items the children touched was a model of a scorpion. A real
scorpion would be dangerous for a child to touch, but a 3D printed model could
be held, felt, and understood. Same with the shape of a jellyfish and even the
Statue of Liberty. The children had heard about all of these things, but never
experienced them with all of their senses before. 3D printing the items and
allowing the children to touch them brought on a whole new sense of

To learn more about the “Hands on Search” program, visit The
project’s website will report on how children of the Special Needs Education
School for the Visually Impaired, affiliated with the Tsukuba University, have
benefited from the touching experiences with the help of the “Hands on Search”
machine. Those interested in contributing to the program may also visit “Links
for Good” at

About MakerBot

MakerBot, a subsidiary of Stratasys, Ltd., is leading the Next Industrial
Revolution by setting the standards in reliable and affordable desktop 3D
printing. Founded in 2009, MakerBot has built the largest installed base of
desktop 3D printers sold to innovative and industry-leading customers
worldwide, including engineers, architects, designers, educators and
consumers. The MakerBot 3D Ecosystem drives accessibility and rapid adoption
of 3D printing and includes:, the MakerBot Digitizer Desktop
3D Scanner, the MakerBot Replicator line of Desktop 3D Printers, MakerWare
software, MakerCare, the MakerBot retail store, and strategic partnerships
with top-tier brands. MakerBot has been honored with many accolades, including
Popular Mechanics’ “Overall Winner” for best 3D printer, Time Magazine’s “Best
Inventions of 2012,” Popular Mechanics’ “Editor’s Choice Award,” Popular
Science’s “Product of the Year,” Fast Company’s “One of the World’s Top 10
Most Innovative Companies in Consumer Electronics,” and many more. Join the
Next Industrial Revolution by following MakerBot at

About Stratasys

Stratasys Ltd. (Nasdaq: SSYS), headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn. and
Rehovot, Israel, manufactures 3D printers and materials for prototyping and
production. The company’s patented FDM^® and PolyJet^® processes produce
prototypes and manufactured goods directly from 3D CAD files or other 3D
content. Systems include 3D printers for idea development, prototyping and
direct digital manufacturing. Stratasys subsidiaries include MakerBot and
Solidscape and the company operates the RedEye On Demand digital-manufacturing
service. Stratasys has more than 1500 employees, holds over 500 granted or
pending additive manufacturing patents globally, and has received more than 20
awards for its technology and leadership. Online at: or


Jenifer Howard
+1-347-676-3932 (o) | +1-203-273-4246 (m)
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