MakerBot and Stratasys Take Center Stage at the Inside 3D Printing Chicago Keynote
MakerBot and Stratasys Share a Vision for the Future of 3D Printing
Scott Crump, Chairman of the Board of Stratasys, and Bre Pettis, CEO of MakerBot, kicked off the Inside 3D Printing conference in Chicago this morning with an exciting vision of a future where 3D printing becomes a part of our daily life.
It all began in the late 80s, when Scott Crump wanted to make a toy frog for his daughter. Scott and his wife Lisa built the frog, and with it the first 3D printer, with little more than a glue gun and a toy plotter in their kitchen. A passion was born, and after the food started tasting like plastic, they moved the operation to the garage. In 1989, they patented the first FDM (fused deposition modeling) machine, or 3D printer. Today Scott Crump is Chairman of the Board and Chief Innovation Officer of Stratasys, the largest commercial 3D printer company in the world. With over 30,000 printers sold, Stratasys has a global presence and annual revenues of over $350 million. They currently produce over fifty five percent of the commercial 3D printers in the market.
“Welcome to Stratasys and welcome to a 3D world,” passionately stated Scott Crump, “where the only limitation is your own imagination.” Crump emphasized how it’s amazing that a toy froggy led to building an exoskeleton that allows a girl to have fully functional limbs. In addition to turning manufacturing on its head, 3D printing will have a positive impact on people’s lives. “The manufacturing revolution has started and it’s not changing slowly,” says Crump. “Stratasys looks forward to leading the way to a future where we will see millions of 3D printers from home to industrial use.”
Crump then introduced Bre Pettis, the co-founder and CEO of MakerBot, who spoke about his journey into the 3D printing world that has made these printers accessible to consumers. He mentioned that he and his co-founders Adam and Zach began playing with the idea of 3D printing in 2007 at the hacker space, NYC Resistor. By January 2009, they founded MakerBot, which has recently been acquired by Stratasys for $403 million. Much like Scott and Lisa Crump started in their kitchen, Pettis mentioned how they “started as three guys, a laser cutter and a dream.”
After speaking to friends that they saw a future where you could download objects, they came up with Thingiverse where the latest challenge is for someone to come up with a birdhouse to download. Thingiverse has just launched a customizer where people who don’t know what CAD stands for, can design their own iPhone case design. Pettis mentioned, “Consumers now live in a world where they don’t have to choose between two products,” they can make one for themselves. He set forth his favorite example of a toy train track that can be made functional through 3D printing.
Scott Crump and Bre Pettis emphasized that 3D printing is here to stay and will become ubiquitous in our lives.
Authored by On 3D Printing contributors Rodrigo Garza Zorrilla, technology entrepreneur and advisor, and Lisa M. Pérez, co-founder of Heart Design Inc.