Tag Archives: Bre Pettis
MakerBot Store in NYC Drives 3D Printer Sales
We asked MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis what’s the next big thing he’s working on? He answered immediately, “3D scanners.” MakerBot announced its Digitizer product at SXSW and has a booth where you can digitize your own head. We gave it a try and our 3D printed profile is on order. See the photo below of one of the visitors scanning his head in the booth.
MakerBot’s motivation to open the store is to give potential customers a chance to see 3D printing in action. Does it increase sales of printers? “Absolutely,” one of the MakerBot employees told us. There is a certain magic to seeing a 3D printed robot or digitized head. You can immediately imagine what you might 3D print yourself.
We met some great entrepreneurs at the event as well, including the founder of Square Helper who prints his products on MakerBot 3D printers.
Below is a photo gallery from our visit.
“It is the best time to get into hardware.” – Bre Pettis, CEO of MakerBot.
At the annual SXSW conference in Austin, Texas, MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis kicked off the show with a big announcement: the unveiling of the MakerBot Digitizer. Though only a prototype, Pettis promises that the Digitizer will enable copy and paste for the physical world. “It’s like Tron,” he told the audience. You can scan an object in 3 minutes and then print out a copy.
Pettis continued, “The MakerBot Digitizer is a great tool for archiving, prototyping, replicating, and digitizing prototypes, models, parts, artifacts, artwork, sculptures, clay figures, jewelry, etc. If something gets broken, you can print it again.”
MakerBot has setup a website where you can sign up to learn more about the Digitizer.
At CES 2013 this past week, MakerBot announced a new 3D printer called the Replicator 2X, updates to its Thingiverse library, new materials, and more. We were onsite to record MakerBot CEO’s special announcement in the exclusive, full video below.
Pettis called the Replicator 2X an experimental machine. MakerBot published more details about the new Replicator 2X on its blog:
We call the MakerBot Replicator 2X an Experimental Desktop 3D Printer for a couple reasons. Unlike the MakerBot Replicator 2, which is optimized for PLA filament, the MakerBot Replicator 2X is optimized for the more traditional thermoplastic ABS. So why is a traditional plastic “experimental”? Because it’s a tricky material. ABS requires careful calibration and control to get consistently nice things, and the user of the MakerBot Replicator 2X should be prepared for the challenge. We know that many of you still prefer ABS, so our engineers have worked long and hard to deliver a great tool for the job.
We want you ready for experiments coming in the future, too. The MakerBot Replicator 2X has side-by-side extruders so that you’re prepared for new developments in dual extrusion technology. Want to try making things in multiple colors? The Replicator 2X is ready for the test.
Here’s are a few of the great things in the Replicator 2X:
- High-tolerance aluminum build plate that’s machined for crucial flatness to make it resistant to warping or sagging that could affect the quality of your prints.
- New easy-load filament lever makes loading filament as easy as flipping a light switch.
- Re-designed filament feeding system dramatically reduces stripping, skipping, and jamming.
- Enclosed sides keep drafts at bay and stabilize the ABS cooling period for less cracking and peeling.
VentureBeat published a fun summary of some of the top new developments in 3D printing during 2012. They include all stories covered by on3dprinting, listed below:
- MakerBot’s continued growth
- Shapeways raises $6.2 million Series B
- 3D printed guns
- 2-year-old fitted with 3D printed magic arms
Plenty of amazing things are happening as 3D printing expands its influence into mainstream culture. Not only are lots of 3D printing companies expanding and getting more funding, but enterprising designers are finding more and more ways to use the fledgling printing technology. While some of these uses are a bit troubling (like piracy of copyrighted material and firearms), others show that, with enough ingenuity, 3D printing can change lives.
Bre Pettis photo from bre pettis used under Creative Commons license.
In September, we covered the Wiki Weapon, a 3D printed gun. While it seemed like a relative innocent novelty, the stakes have changed this month, when a terrible tragedy struck Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, CT.
In response, MakerBot is enforcing policies around weapon design, as Forbes reports:
In the wake of one of worst shooting incidents in American history, the 3D-printing firm Makerbot has deleted a collection of blueprints for gun components from Thingiverse, its popular user-generated content website that hosts 3D-printable files. Though Thingiverse has long banned designs for weapons and their components in its terms of service, it rarely enforced the rule until the last few days, when the company’s lawyer sent notices to users that their software models for gun parts were being purged from the site.
Makerbot, for its part, included no mention of the Newtown shootings in a statement sent to me about the gun takedowns. “MakerBot’s focus is to empower the creative process and make things for good,” writes Makerbot spokesperson Jenifer Howard. “Thingiverse has been going through an evolution recently and has had numerous changes and updates. Reviewing some of the content that violates Thingiverse’s Terms of Service is part of this process.”
In the past, Makerbot chief executive and founder Bre Pettis has remained ambivalent about guns on Thingiverse, which has become the world’s most popular sharing platform for 3D-printing files. When I asked him about the issue last month, Pettis pointed to the terms of service ban on weapons, but added that the site goes largely unpoliced. He was more explicit in a blog post last year: “The cat is out of the bag,” Pettis wrote. “And that cat can be armed with guns made with printed parts.”
That freewheeling outlook contrasted with other 3D printing services like Shapeways, which bans the uploading of even gun-like toys more than 10 centimeters in length.
Good for MakerBot to make this decision. But it looks like it won’t stop Cody Wilson from attempting to advance his useless agenda.
In response to Makerbot’s crackdown, Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson wrote in an email, saying that the group plans to create its own site for hosting “fugitive” 3D printable gun files “in the next few hours.”
Neither Wilson believes that neither Makerbot’s purge of gun parts nor the outcry over the Newtown shooting has hampered Defense Distributed’s initiative. “The Internet routes around censorship,” he writes. “The project becomes more vital.”