Photo: Daniel Goodman / Business Insider
If you’re unfamiliar, Brooklyn-based MakerBot Industries sells 3D printers can make nearly anything out of plastic.Using CAD software on your computer, you can sketch out a 3D model and use your MakerBot to manifest it in the real world.
Commercial 3D printers can cost more than $25,000. The cost of a MakerBot? $1,100 or $1,750, depending on which model you spring for.
This price difference gets at the heart of what the company is all about — the democratization of manufacturing, or making it easy for people to create the objects they need without leaving the house.
MakerBot co-founder Bre Pettis told us that “When you think about it, we can print out a bottle opener, a whistle, a new doorknob. We needed a doorstop yesterday, so we printed one out. Rather than go out to be a consumer and buy something that’s been manufactured overseas and put on a boat and brought to a store on a truck, you can go to your living room.”
MakerBot maintains Thingiverse, a user-generated collection of free 3D models for people to download, alter, and make. So what else can a MakerBot manufacture for you in your living room?