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Written by Teula Bradshaw

27/11/2022

A Year On...

“No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away” – Terry Pratchett

Remembering Sanjay

A year ago today, on 27th November 2021, we tragically lost our friend, colleague and co-founder, Sanjay Mortimer. Sanjay was just 32 years old, and in his short life he attained legendary status. You only needed to meet Sanjay once for him to have a profound impact on you - indeed, he even achieved that effect on some without ever having met them at all. 

Sanjay lived outside the rules of convention, driven by his own passions – to have fun whilst revolutionising FDM 3D Printing through his, and E3D’s mission, to 'change the way humanity manufactures goods'. Every person that reads this, and knew Sanjay, will have a humorous or memorable story to share. No day was the same in Sanjay’s world and we dearly miss every part of him - his boundless enthusiasm and excitement; his ability to see into the future and with it, the brave decisions he took; his generosity and the time he spared for every person he ever met; his patience and desire to educate and be educated; and of course, his infectious, and sometimes wild personality!

We know Sanjay will not be forgotten, and we have already seen incredible support from the 3D printing community around the world. In the days surrounding the news of his death, thousands of you reached out to us on E3D’s Discord channels, YouTube, and email, sharing your memories, stories, condolences, and love for Sanjay. This sparked off hundreds of you printing the Pooch@Repkord Sanjay Hex Tile, which now lines the walls and cabinets of E3D HQ in great number

We then very kindly received this ‘iconic hair’ design from @CptKaoss which we’ve had printed onto our first official SMF merchandise. These can be bought on the E3D website here, with all proceeds going to the Sanjay Mortimer Foundation.

The SMF

The idea of the Sanjay Mortimer Foundation (SMF) was born almost as soon as we realised we’d lost him. It was the obvious way to keep his memory alive, support the industry he loved whilst also helping those who are faced with similar challenges to himself. Its mission is:

‘To help those with neurodivergent minds, recognise their strengths and talents, through engineering and making’

Having ADHD himself, Sanjay was acutely aware how challenging conventional education can be for divergent thinkers and how easy it is for them to slip through the net, simply because they do not fit the mold of traditional educational systems. The SMF hopes to discover gifted young adults who would benefit from funding, and help them realise their potential through making.

This summer we held our first fundraiser where we celebrated Sanjay’s life and kickstarted our fundraising for this exciting cause. E3D’s @Wjll_H, came up with the idea of building a giant Sanjay Hex out of many smaller tiles. Once again, you all stepped up and sent us over 700 tiles from all around the world. We absolutely adore the finished result, and it hangs, pride of place, in E3D’s cafeteria. Financial donations and auction prizes came in thick and fast (thank you so much to everyone that donated) and our lovable friend, Joel Telling – 3D Printing Nerd flew over from the States to host the auction. Hundreds of you dialed in from all corners of the globe and a total of £75,000 was raised. Special thanks to Jo Prusa for donating, and matching the bid, of the extraordinary Original Prusa i3 MK3S+ Timeline edition printer.

But our buddy, Chris Pelesky of East Coast Rep Rap Festival, thought we could go bigger! Using the incredible Sanjay bust, perfectly sculpted by Sid Naique, Todd from ’We The Builders’, supersized it, diced it up, and 462 design files were made available to you all. We were blown away with how quickly you guys snapped them up. You went to ERRF and helped the team construct a 1.3m high bust of Sanjay – well, why wouldn’t you?! Whilst there, you hopefully caught the heartfelt talk from E3D’s Clare on where we’d got to with the SMF. If you didn’t, I can shed a little more light…

Busily, behind the scenes, we have now submitted our Charities Registration. For those of you not in the know, this involved collating a mountain of documentation for the UK’s Charities Commission. We hope (fingers crossed) to achieve Charitable status in the New Year. 

We have branded the SMF, including logo and colours and have chosen some incredible volunteers to run the Charity. The website is under development, in the meantime, more information on the foundation can be found here: www.SanjayMortimerFoundation.org/

We are now finally in the position to begin realising the SMF’s mission and start hunting for our SMF Stars, Collaborators and Partners:

  • Collaborators – these are people who run safe spaces for individuals to learn, thrive and make in. Makerspaces, Fab Labs, after-school clubs, teachers, holiday club runners etc. We would like to build a relationship with these individuals so that they can help us find our SMF Stars.
  • SMF Stars – We will work with our collaborators to provide support in the best way possible to each Star. Fees or funding, resources & equipment, training & education, work experience & job opportunities – as many ways as we can feasibly help.
  • Partners – as equally important as our Collaborators, we cannot have one without the other. Are you an organisation, charity, institute, or professional body that is interested in our mission? We need your support, donations, resources, experience & guidance to help us realise our mission. 

If you can fulfil any of these roles, please do reach out to us on:

Info@SanjayMortimerFoundation.org

As of this week, I am extremely excited to report that we may have found our fist SMF Star. From day one, we have been working closely with the inspirational Dan Meyer, Fab Lab Senior Manager at the Museum of Science and Industry, in Chicago (MSI). Dan runs an excellent Lab for engineering and making and he and his team have developed a modular curriculum management system for self-guided, project-based learning. 

📷 E3D meets the team from the Fab Lab at the Museum of Science and Industry

We are not able to share a name yet, but the MSI Fab Lab team have identified an incredibly talented, neurodivergent individual who is faced with many challenges in their day-to-day life. This Star is struggling at school and is limited by their financial situation to attend more programs. The MSI team have watched them find solace and growth through the excitement, ownership, problem-solving, peer to peer mentorship and independence that MSI Fab Lab programs provide. The SMF are honored to be working closely with the Fab Lab team, to assess the best way to support this individual and help them find their niche in this complicated world we live in .

We appreciate that it seems like slow progress, but this is because we have been focusing on creating a reusable platform and that we are going slow, to go fast and big! Sanjay’s anniversary is an opportunity to make clear exactly what we are doing, and what we want from people to take SMF to the next level.

How can you help?

As mentioned, the SMF are looking for SMF Stars, Collaborators and Partners, do contact us on the above email if you can fulfil any of these roles, or know of someone who might.

Donations – Obviously, these are what make this foundation feasible, and we thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts, for donations already received. If you would like to donate to our cause, until we get our Charitable status, we are still using this JustGiving link. Any little bit helps, and we will be eternally grateful for anything you can spare. Your money will go directly to helping an SMF Star navigate this challenging world.

Finally...

(hold onto your hats)

We are planning our next fundraising event. You’ve been to ERRF, you’ve been to MRRF, well, how would you like to come to… SMRRF - The Sanjay Mortimer Rep Rap Festival?!

We will be holding this event annually, to celebrate the life of our inspirational visionary. It will be held in Oxford University’s Examination Halls which looks like it’s straight off the set of Harry Potter. Dates will be Sat 2nd – Sun 3rd Dec 2023 – as close as we could get to the second anniversary of Sanjay’s passing. Please do register your interest here and we’ll keep you up to date with all the exciting plans.  

Thank you again to all who have supported us over this past year. We could not have done it without you. And to Sanjay... “we’ll see you on Mars!”