Tag Archives: Zach Hoeken Smith

MakerBot and Stratasys Take Center Stage at the Inside 3D Printing Chicago Keynote

Inside 3D Printing Chicago Keynote MakerBot Stratasys

MakerBot and Stratasys Share a Vision for the Future of 3D Printing

Two industry giants, Scott Crump and Bre Pettis, lay out their vision.

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.


Poppy Launches Kickstarter to Turn Your iPhone into a 3D Camera

Poppy 3D iPhone Camera

Poppy Lets Your iPhone Go 3D

Remember the View-Master? The retro toy that would let you immerse yourself in images of the Eiffel Tower or an African safari. Well there is a new device in town that brings back the nostalgia of the View-Master while embracing our high-tech and social iPhone world.

It’s called Poppy and it’s on Kickstarter

Poppy is the name of the innovative device that lets you capture, share and view images in 3D using only your iPhone. It was created by two serial entrepreneurs Ethan Lowry and Joe Heitzeberg who are also founders of the blog Hack Things. Ethan and Joe describe Poppy this way:

Poppy has no electronics or batteries to babysit, but since it uses iPhone as its brain it’s quite a capable device. You put your iPhone in, and a system of mirrors captures two side-by-side images onto you iPhone’s single camera. Like the Viewmaster you might have played with as a kid, when you look in, lenses bring the two images together into a single 3D image. With retina quality video, the effect is immersive and really quite beautiful. It’s like stepping into another world.

Poppy went live with a Kickstarter campaign today, and as of writing this article, the campaign has raised over $25,000 of it’s $40,000 goal. [Update 6/28 - they've now raised $80K!]

Watch the video below and back the campaign if you like it. (Disclosure: a member of our staff has backed the campaign)

3D Printed Poppy?

Although Poppy is not a 3D printed product, the design and development leveraged 3D printing for rapid prototyping. Below are some sketches of the early designs, some of which were 3D printed for field testing.

Poppy 3D Printed Prototypes


We asked the founders why they used 3D printing in product development. Joe Heitzeberg shared his insights with us:

3D printing helped us make Poppy stylish and easy to use by allowing us to iterate the design and get actual usage feedback from real users before committing to the more costly work of tooling for injection molds.

The Poppy team shared some exclusive photos of their 3D printed prototypes with us. Here’s a photo of Zach Hoeken Smith, co-founder of MakerBot, holding a 3D printed prototype of Poppy in China.

MakerBot Founder Poppy 3D Printed Prototype

And below is a close-up photo of the prototype, held by founder Ethan Lowry. You can see the cross-stitch resolution lines common with 3D printed surfaces.

Poppy 3D Printed Prototype

3D Printed Poppy Kickstarter Perk

If you’re passionate about 3D printing and excited about Poppy, there is a 3D printing Kickstarter perk. Pledge $1,200 or more to receive one of the original 3D printed functional prototypes.