Latest News

50% Off Roland Project Based Learning!

50% Discount Off Project Based Learning

with the Purchase of a Machine!

Offer Ends September 30, 2017!

Keep students from all education levels engaged in projects throughout the school year with their easy-to-follow PBL tutorials!

Fully Developed and Ready-to-Teach

Project Based Learning covers a wide variety of engineering, design, and art projects. These include tutorials that give students a better understanding of technology and software, plus instruction on how to cut decals, how to customize smartphone covers, milling Yo-yos, and many more unique and fun lessons.

Special Offer Details

Receive a 50 percent discount off a PBL tutorial with the purchase a corresponding machine on the same purchase order!

Eligible products:

  • GS-24
  • SRM-20
  • MDX-50
  • MDX-540
  • SG-300
  • SG-540
  • LEF-12i
  • LEF-200
  • LEF-300

That’s a savings of up to $1,195!

Email for a proposal (New England Customers) or give us a call at 1-800-338-2238!

School purchase orders must be received by 9/30/17 to receive this amazing discount!

– Purchase order must include a qualifying Roland device together with the PBL
– Offer cannot be combined with any other promotion
– Valid in USA only

Envisioneer Virtual Reality is Going to the County Fair!

Some people head to the State Agricultural Fair with their animals or veggies in tow, but not Corey Menning.  He has his computer.  And a virtual reality headset.

Corey Menning, an Instructor at Iowa Lakes Community College, is excited to let people know about their Construction Program and give them an opportunity to try the leading edge technology they are using.  His program uses Envisioneer™ software for building and design and has recently upgraded the software to include Envisioneer’s virtual reality feature to his program.  Using an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, students can view their Envisioneer home designs in virtual reality!

“I am so excited to be using the Oculus Rift with the Envisioneer software to include virtual reality in my Construction Technology Program at Iowa Lakes Community College!  It will be a great tool for students to use when designing homes, giving virtual tours to clients that we build homes for, bringing with us on a variety of home and trade shows as well as high school visits to demonstrate the amazing technology that is available in the construction industry.  I am also thinking of other ways that this will enhance my program, for instance, I’d like to design a virtual worksite with several safety hazards that students will have to tour and record what OSHA violations they see and what they need to do to correct them.”


“They (students) were absolutely blown away by the experience and perspective that the virtual reality was able to provide for them!”

Corey Menning

Construction Technology Instructor, Iowa Lakes Community College, IA

“I have so many ideas that I am excited to incorporate in my Construction Technology program this year using Envisioneer teamed up with the Oculus Rift.  Today for example I had students use Envisioneer to design homes that fit a list of parameters that a client gave us they wanted their home to include.  The list included things like number and location of bedrooms, number of baths, style of direction they wanted the kitchen to face, square footage of the home, etc.  After students came up with a floor plan they thought fit all the criteria I had them load it onto the computer I have the Rift hooked up to so that they could take a virtual tour of it.  They were absolutely blown away by the experience and perspective that the virtual reality was able to provide for them!  Several students realized minor things that they needed to address noting that they didn’t realize any issues by simply looking at the 2D drawing.  I had several students that went back to their plans after touring them once to spice them up with elaborate layouts of furniture, decorations, vehicles, and other objects to give it an even more realistic feel!  They couldn’t wait to get back in line to “tour” their home using virtual reality!”

Mr. Menning has been using Envisioneer in his program at Iowa Lakes Community College since 2009.

Here are some photos from Mr. Menning’s students experiencing VR!
(Photos courtesy of Corey Menning, Iowa Lakes Community College)

New Ultimaker Card Game Sparks Design Creativity! And it’s FREE!

Introducing the Ultimaker Design Engine Start Pack Card Game!  

This a game created to provoke, inspire, and entertain students and educators of all experience levels!

The Starter Pack can be used to generate scores of new projects, fueling a deeper exploration into the use of desktop 3D printers. For educators, students, and 3D designers of all backgrounds, the Starter Pack is both a handy icebreaker and a challenging activity that sparks creativity.

TEC will be shipping the card game FREE with new Ultimaker 3D Printers sold to schools, libraries and makerspaces until 12/31/17!

KeyCreator 2017 V15 Released!

Kubotek USA announced a new version of KeyCreator Direct CAD Modeling software!  KeyCreator Direct CAD is the choice for designers, manufacturers, and analysts that want a flexible fast way to create, change, analyze or communicate a mechanical part or design.  The latest version, KeyCreator 2017 V15,  contains new and updated translators as well as numerous customer-driven improvements.  Be sure to check out the “What’s New” doc to see all of the new features in this latest release!

KeyCreator 2017 What’s New Doc

Learn more about KeyCreator >

FREE Student Seats
Students can request a FREE seat of KeyCreator software!  Click here to request yours!

Save $3,000 on Roland TrueVIS VG-Series Inkjet Print-Cut Machines!

Take advantage of this limited-time offer. Save $3000 on the TrueVIS VG series!

Available in 64-inch and 54-inch models, TrueVIS VG printer/cutters offer unparalleled color output and integrated print and cut versatility to graphics professionals who demand quality. Get a massive $3,000 instant rebate on the TrueVIS VG printer/cutter that offers you everything you need to take on large format graphics and take on the world.  Offer ends September 22, 2017!

Email for a proposal (New England Customers) or give us a call at 1-800-338-2238!

School purchase orders must be received by 9/22/17 to receive this amazing discount!

Save Over $3,870 on Roland Milling Machine Bundle for Schools!

Educational Productivity Bundle

Only $9,995!

Offer ends August 31, 2017!
Extended to September 30, 2017!

Includes all this!

  • Roland MDX-40A Desktop Milling Machine
  • 4th Axis Rotary Attachment
  • Dust Drawer
  • Long-Reach Tool Kit
  • 12 Urethane Foam Blanks
  • AND the MDX-40A Project Based Learning Tutorial!

That’s a savings of over $3,870!

Email for a proposal (New England Customers) or give us a call at 1-800-338-2238!

School purchase orders must be received by 9/30/17 to receive this amazing discount!

So Many New Ultimaker Items!

NEW Ultimaker Brand PP Material!

NEW Ultimaker Brand PP Material! Fatigue and Chemical-Resistant…

Wow, Ultimaker has released a bunch of new items this week!



Protect Your Filament and Extend the Shelf Life with TEC “Store N Save” Material Bags!

TEC “Store N’ Save” Material Bags are made of Mylar, are waterproof, and close tightly with a Zip-lock seal.  These heavy duty bags include extra protection with a Desiccant Pouch to absorb moisture.  Quickly identify the material inside without having to open the bag with the clear viewing panel.  Packaged as a 3-Pack.

*Highly recommended* for moisture sensitive materials including PVA, PLA, and nylon.

570-0067 TEC “Store N’ Save” Mylar Heavy Duty Waterproof Zip-lock Material Storage Bag with Desiccant Pouch – 3 pack




NH Students Win Again Using Envisioneer!

Hat’s off to Monadnock Regional High School students who placed First and Second in this year’s High School Design Competition sponsored by the American Institute of Architects-New Hampshire!

Lead Teacher Jerry Kuhn, explains, “We had two designs submitted. One was by a team of three seniors who brought an award home last year, Jarod Redfield, Philip Martino and James Cloutier. Their design took second place in the category of Best Overall Project with Superior Design, Model, and Graphic Presentation.

Shaylie Alfonso, a first year Architecture student, and she took first place in the category of Best Graphic Presentation Describing the Design Solution. Both teams used Envisioneer as their primary design software.”

Shaylie, Jarod, Philip, James, Mr. Kuhn and Monadnock Regional High School!


(Click to enlarge)

TN Student Maintains State Champ Status using Envisioneer!

A Note from the Desk of Daniel Arnett, Teacher at Hampton High School, TN:

I wanted to let you in on some more good news. Last week our TSA (Technology Student Association) and SkillsUSA competitions took place in Chattanooga.  Ian Kelly maintained his champion status again this year, winning the State Championship in CAD Architecture (TSA) and Architectural Drafting (SkillsUSA).


Thanks to using Envisioneer, Ian has now won FOUR State titles.  Last year he won CAD Architecture (TSA) and Job Skills Demonstration A (SkillsUSA).  He won Job Skills Demo by demonstrating how to develop intimate details on a house during a 5-7 minute presentation.


This is a remarkable achievement and I believe if he was closer to your area, you would hire him to teach individuals how to use this software.  Thanks for introducing this program to us …

Congratulations, Ian, we’re proud of you!!  Best wishes as you pursue your future, hopefully in Architectural Design!  And thank YOU, Mr. Arnett, for choosing to use Envisioneer with your “winning” students!

TEC Summer Institute for Professional Development – Save the Dates!

Course descriptions and registration info available soon!
Sign up here to have info sent to you!

Course offerings:

Laser Technologies for the Classroom
July 11-13
Hands-on teacher training, make-and-take your own projects, learn lots while having tons of fun!  Graduate Credits available!
Space is limited to 12 seats.

Learn about 3D Printing (for the Classroom) with Education Community Strategist, Liz Arum of Ultimaker!
Week of July 17
We are thrilled to have Liz join us to teach this course – don’t miss this special opportunity to learn from an industry expert who is also an educator!  Graduate Credits available!
Space is limited to 12 seats.

(Click to enlarge)
[envira-gallery id=”6143″]

Kacie’s Top Ten Tips for Designing Models for 3D Printing



Kacie Hultgren, aka PrettySmallThings, is a Broadway scenic designer who uses her 3D printer to build scale models for set designs, among other amazing things, like her 3D printed “Clutch Purse” and “Zip Top Bag.” She has some great advice for designing models for 3D printing.

45 Degree Rule

Remember 45 degree rule, overhangs that are greater than 45 degrees will need support material or you need to use clever modeling tricks to get the model to print. Create your own support / bridging objects (cones and other supports) by designing them into your model.

Design To Avoid Using Support Material

Although support algorithms are improving all the time, support material can leave ugly marks on the outside of your prints. Support material can also be time consuming to remove. Design your models so that they are 3D printable without support.


Windsor Chairs by SmallPrettyThings

Add Custom Supports

Use “mouse ears”, helper disks and cones designed into your model to help it print without the use of computer generated supports.  Tony Buser’s “Mouse Eared Rocket Fincan” and PrettySmallThings “Windsor Chairs” are excellent example of this design technique. Ditch the raft, it really slows down your prints. Depending on your software / printer configuration rafts can be difficult to remove and also mar the bottom of your prints.


WHPThomas’ PLA Pin Connectors, derived from Tony Buser’s original ABS set.

Know Your Printer’s Limitations

Know your model details. Are there tiny towers and small features that are too small to be printed in plastic on a desktop 3D printer? An important, but often overlooked, variable in what your printer can achieve is thread width.

Thread width is determined by the diameter of your printer’s nozzle. Most printers have a 0.4mm or 0.5mm nozzle. Practically, this means that a circle drawn by a 3D printer is always two thread widths deep: 0.8mm thick with a 0.4mm nozzle to 1mm thick for a 0.5mm nozzle. As Kacie states in the video, the rule of thumb is “The smallest feature you can create is double the thread width.”

Fit Tolerances for Interlocking Parts

For objects with multiple interlocking parts, design in your fit tolerance. Getting tolerances correct can be difficult. Kacie’s tips for creating correct tolerances:  use a 0.2mm offset for tight fit (press fit parts, connectors) and use a 0.4mm offset for loose fit (hinges, box lids). You will have to test it yourself with your particular model to determine what is the right tolerance for the thing you are creating.


Stretchlet by Emmett

Use Shells Properly

Don’t use additional shells on fine featured models, like small text. It will obscure the detail.

Optimize for Thread Width

Use thread width to your advantage. If you are making flexible models or need very thin features, design the walls of your model to be one thread width thick. Check out Hultgren’s collection of “Flexible Inspiration” model collection on Thingiverse for more examples on utilizing this technique.

Orient for the Best Resolution

Always orient your model for the best resolution possible for that particular model.  Models can be sliced into pieces if necessary and then re-assembled. On Fused-Filament Fabrication printers, you can only control the Z resolution. The X and Y resolutions are determined by thread width. If your model has fine features, make sure the model orientation is cable of printing those features.


SmallPrettyThings sliced Plated Okapi derived from Okapi by Masayuki

Orient for Stress

To keep prints from breaking when force is applied; make sure to orient your model to minimize stress on the part by orienting the model so that the print lines are perpendicular to point of the pressure being applied.

The same principle applies to ABS, which when used to print large models, can split along the Z-axis as they cool on the build platform during printing.


Clutch Purse by SmallPrettyThings

The “Holy Grail”: Print and Place Designs

Print in place designs that contain multiple integrated parts, are the “Holy Grail” of FFF desktop machines. Here are Hultgren’s tips on how to tackle “print in place designs”: pull design elements to platform, use bridges for captive parts and gap print carefully.

Do you have tips on designing for 3D printing? Share them with us!

The GCC Hybrid CO2+Fiber Laser is HERE!

Announcing the Two-in-One new Spirit GLS Hybrid model that allows powerful laser engraving for organic materials AND metallic with CO2 and Fiber dual lasers in one system!  Reliable CO2 lasers combined with powerful fiber lasers provide a wide range of versatility making it an excellent choice for MakerSpaces and FabLabs.  Imagine what your students can make, endless hands-on STEM learning!

[envira-gallery id=”11108″]

Learn more>

NH High School Students Explore High Tech Manf with Roland MDX-540

Con-Val High School (NH) Engineering Teacher Karen Fabianski is exposing her students to High Tech Manufacturing using the Roland MDX-540


Students at Con-Val High School in Peterborough, NH are going to be doing their own high tech manufacturing thanks to a new piece of equipment, the Roland MDX-540 desktop mill.

Engineering Teacher Karen Fabianski explains, “Students at ConVal High School will be using their new [Roland MDX] 540 to explore the world of high tech manufacturing by creating precision parts for a manually operated fan.  A team of four will design and manufacture each piece separately at the end they will check their skills by assembling the product.” (See photo right.)

The Roland MDX-540 will give the students an opportunity to learn how to import a CAD file into SRP Player (as an STL file) and mill parts on a variety of materials including plastics, woods, HD foam, and even metals.  Although the MDX-540 is a highly advanced 4-axis desktop CNC device, it offers Con-Val students a simplified approach manufacturing and invaluable hands-on experience.

We ‘re looking forward to seeing the projects that the Con-Val students manufacture!

To learn more about the Roland MDX-540 or other Roland Desktop Mills including the new MDX-50, click here!

Free VersaWorks Dual RIP Now Available for Existing Roland Printer Models!

[Roland DGA Announcement]
Irvine, Calif., Jan. 31, 2017 – Roland DGA Corporation has announced that its Roland VersaWorks Dual RIP and print management software is now available free of charge to customers of several additional existing printer models.

VersaWorks Dual, already available for Roland’s TrueVIS™ VG and SG series, SOLJET® EJ-640 and VersaUV LEF-300, LEF-200 and LEF-12i printers, is now also compatible with the models listed below:

– SOLJET Pro 4 XR-640
– VersaCAMM® VS-640i/540i/300i and SP-540i/300i
– VersaStudio® BN-20
– VersaEXPRESS™ RF-640
– VersaUV LEC-540/330, LEF-20/12 and LEJ-640/640FT
Roland’s VersaWorks Dual RIP builds upon the intuitive, easy-to-use capabilities of Roland VersaWorks to provide high quality printing, while adding enhanced processing and editing functions. VersaWorks Dual not only enables users to work with PostScript® files, it also allows for native processing of PDF files to ensure that transparency effects are processed accurately. In addition, White or Clear ink data can be generated easily in the RIP, making VersaWorks Dual ideal for producing transparent window graphics, stickers, and personalized accessories with special effects. The position and size of special color data can also be adjusted in the RIP for perfect registration. Features such as rotation and mirroring of the data can be configured in the RIP as well, without the need to return to graphic design software. For LEF users, the newly available Maintain Clipped Position function is included, allowing you to print designated images only.
“Roland’s extensive experience in developing RIP and print management software has allowed us to create innovative tools, like VersaWorks Dual, that bring out the best in our advanced inkjets,” said Daniel Valade, Roland DGA’s product manager, color products. “This powerful yet easy-to-use software optimizes overall performance by putting incredibly useful functions and resources at the user’s fingertips.  And, unlike other solutions that require an additional investment for the RIP, VersaWorks Dual is provided for free, allowing Roland customers to be productive right out of the box without added costs. The fact that VersaWorks Dual supports native PDF processing, alone, is a huge benefit, not only for printing sign and graphics, but also for product decoration, package prototyping and other applications.”

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