Equipment Reviews

When buying technology equipment for your tech center, there are a lot of options to consider. Here are reviews, recommendations, and comparison information for three categories of key youth makerspace equipment: computers, 3D printers, and paper/vinyl cutters. Every learning space has different needs and requirements, but our work investigating technology options can help you make faster decisions for your own space.

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Computers

Computers are an integral part of any tech center. Should you have laptops, desktops, or tablets? What will be the most flexible, and at the same time, the most reliable, for the youth and educators in your space?

In this article and video review we explain what we use at the Digital Harbor Foundation Tech Center, and why it works for us.

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3D Printers

If you’re new to 3D printing and looking to buy equipment, it can be hard to know even where to begin.

This article breaks down some of the basics of 3D printing software and provides a comparison chart for today’s top desktop 3D printers. It also contains a video review describing our favorite 3D printing option.

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Paper/Vinyl Cutters

If you want to easily make stickers, decals, and other cut designs, you’ll need a reliable cutting plotter. We tested three of the top brands of cutting plotters to see how they compared and which one makes the cut!

In this article you’ll find a comparison chart, test results, and a comprehensive video review of the most popular cutting plotters.

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More information

  • Check out our DHF Blueprint Construction Plans and Sample Projects
  • Sign up for one of our Educator Workshops for hands-on experience with maker education, 3D printing, and electronics, and access to a digital library of tips and information about equipment selection and practices.