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"Tell the chef, the beer is on me."
Yesterday we announced that we closed our merger with Stratasys. We have a lot of work to do so this isn't a finish line, it's a milepost. It's like we've finished a video game level and it feels really good to have completed the level, but now we're on the next level and the terrain is a little different and the challenges are fresh.
In the early days of MakerBot in 2009 after we started the company and before we started shipping, I really thought that MakerBot would be a side project. I met Zach and Adam in the early days of NYCResistor. It promptly became clear that MakerBot wasn't a side project as we started logging 100 hour weeks. We spent the early days lasercutting, banging on keyboards, acquiring parts, and packing boxes. We lived on ramen which turns out to not be very healthy. I sold my musical instrument collection and started a secret cafe in my apartment to get through that first year before we paid ourselves.
Fast forward to 2013 and, as of yesterday, MakerBot is now a public company as a part of Stratasys. Since 2009 we've shipped an epic amount of machines and now have the capacity to keep cranking them out at our Factory here in Brooklyn. We're getting ready to launch the MakerBot Digitizer which allows people to make 3D models out of physical objects using LASERS.
We didn't get here alone. All of the people who have ever bought a MakerBot, everyone who has ever worked at MakerBot, and everyone who works at MakerBot now helped us get this far. I am proud of the work we've done together and thankful to get to have worked and be working with such smart people. There is a lot of potential energy in the universe and exploring how we use it to empower creative people is our frontier. We've got a lot of work to do and the future looks bright.
(Factory image: Core 77)
Last week the MakerBot Giveaway ended and the MakerBot Transformer came out on top. I made one on my MakerBot over the last 3 days. The first day I only printed the body which took around 4 hours and then the rest of the parts I made while working on other stuff and each one took between 15-30 minutes to print out.
This is one of those things that just blows my mind. It's a transformer and it transforms from a MakerBot into a robot... with my head on it!
There are a ton of oother things I want to print out before Maker Faire next week, but this one was at the top of my list! My next project for the evening is to bring a MakerBot to life that got started almost a year ago and then it had to have most of it's parts hijacked to ship out to customers. We've got everything in stock now so I can put it together as another bot to travel with and show MakerBotting in action.
In the rest of my life there are some great things going on. I moved in with my girlfriend Kio and we've got a great apartment with some space to entertain. As part of the deal I now live with a cat who is basically a puppey in cat's clothing. He's pretty hilarious and chases his tail most of the day.
When Mark Frauenfelder was asked to think of an imaginary future Apple product, he came up with a 3D printer in full Apple style, glossy and sleek.
I've always imagined that someday soon, everyone will have a 3D printer at home. Mark's vision of the Apple-y future really shook me up and made me think about how designs circulate. In the future Mark posits, designs could be like songs, or iPhone apps in iTunes.
"To create a product, you visit the iTunes Store to choose from among tens of thousands of product designs--prices range from free to $9.99--purchasing one just as you would a song, video, or app. The 3D data is sent to the iMake, which builds the parts, layer by layer, out of high-quality plastic. The iMake will also make the circuit boards. Then, all you do is snap the pieces together! After purchasing a 3D model from the iTunes Store, it takes about 15 minutes to print a 3D part."
Imagining a digital design branch of iTunes unsettled me, because one of the main focuses of the current DIY 3D printing movement is to be open source--and focus on sharing ideas and designs freely. The collective goal is to build out a large library of digital objects that anyone can download, modify, customize and share.
Should designs be free? It's really a provocative question. Would designers be more motivated to create designs if they could make money off of them?
I'm really curious to hear what you think about this in the comments! And, thanks to Mark for the thought-provoking vision of the future!
"Tell the chef, the beer is on me."
"Basically the price of a night on the town!"
"I'd love to help kickstart continued development! And 0 EUR/month really does make fiscal sense too... maybe I'll even get a shirt?" (there will be limited edition shirts for two and other goodies for each supporter as soon as we sold the 200)