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Monday, Apr 13, 2009 5:00 AM

BURLINGTON, Mass., USA - Z Corporation today unveiled a "3D Printer Stimulus Package" for schools in the United States and Canada, including grants of up to $10,000 for devices that have proven to engage students, enhance learning and foster career opportunities.

The Z Corporation 3D Printer Stimulus Package makes qualified K-12, vocational technical schools and two-year colleges eligible to receive:

- A $4,000 grant for the ZPrinter® 310 Plus monochrome 3D printer;
- A $10,000 grant for the ZPrinter 450 multicolor 3D printer;
- A free consumables starter kit; and
- An extended one-year warranty

The $4,000 grant effectively lowers the price of the ZPrinter 310 Plus to $15,900. The package includes enough supplies for 70 students to build a baseball-size 3D model (other similarly priced 3D printers include only enough supplies for two students). The $10,000 grant effectively lowers the ZPrinter 450 multicolor 3D printer price to $29,900.

ZPrinters' documented industry-low operation costs ensure that schools on tight budgets can afford to use the printer consistently throughout the year, unlike printers with twice the operating costs.

"With funds tight, taxpayers strapped, and students needing more advanced skills than ever, the 3D Printer Stimulus Package is right for school districts, students, and our business as well," said Z Corporation CEO John Kawola. "We've seen how students are inspired by 3D printing, and how motivated students can reach new heights. Every student deserves this chance, even in a down economy."

With their low-cost and high-speed operation, ZPrinters give students ample opportunity to experience the design process from idea to finished product, putting more finished models in the hands of more students faster. Printing speed is critical for large classes, cross-discipline printer sharing, and meeting project deadlines, such as the end of term. Because of the large build size, ZPrinters are capable of printing multiple parts in a single session, further improving output speed.

The ZPrinter 450's ability to simultaneously print objects in multiple colors enhances student engagement with their work and extends the value of their 3D printing by making it useful across disciplines, including industrial design, engineering, architecture chemistry, geography, medical modeling and fine arts. In addition to representing objects in their proper colors, multicolor capabilities enable labeling, texture mapping and color coding. ZPrinters are the only 3D printers capable of simultaneously printing in multiple colors.

The increased affordability of 3D printers translates into new educational and career opportunities for students, say educators. "Colleges and universities who visit us are learning a little about the possibilities of college prep in public education," said Bruce Weirich, computer drafting instructor at Ontario High School in Mansfield, Ohio. "And when students show up at interviews with colorful models to pass around the table, that makes a big impact on whether they're admitted or hired."