Donating our office 3D printer to help out a local charity Empowered People

As IT professionals, we have an interest in all things technical at Zen Software so we are always working on fun side projects.

Over the last few years one toy/tool that has seen plenty of use is our Lulzbot Mini 3D printer. Whether its for parts for the now infamous ‘RaffleTron 5000’ or one of the many other smaller office gadgets we have designed and printed, the 3D printer has been kept busy. However in recent months as our interest in 3D printing  grew, we have acquired our own personal printers for home and have found the office Lulzbox was less and less needed.

Rather than leave it to collect dust and take up space, we therefore decided we would donate the printer to a local charity that we have a personal connection with Empowered People.

Neil at Zen Software is a trustee of the charity and is therefore well aware of the work Empowered People do for local and UK based people. They work with people who have a wide range of disabilities and mobility issues who would like to participate in cycling activities but need specialist adaptations and custom built cycles to enable them to Empowered People also organise many social as well as multi-day challenge rides  every year and fully support riders of all levels to promote exercise and social well-being.

Over the last year or so, several of the adapted e-bike projects that empowered people have taken on have required 3D printing work to create specialist components like brackets and chain guards. Neil was very involved in this process and  having designed the parts, the Lulzbot was the perfect tool to get the job done. However, this process was a little slow and it would often take a few days if any changes were needed. Having the printer located on site will help speed up this process significantly as well as help involve more people in the engineering process.

Empowered People have recently moved into a new workshop space in Todmorden West Yorkshire, so we took the printer down and handed it over to its chairman Simon Lord. Here is a quick thank you message from Simon:

We are very glad that the 3D printer will get more use and benefit many people in the process!


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