In the world of engineering, if you haven't heard about 3D printing, you’ve been living under a rock; however, utilizing the prototyping tool is a different story. 3D printing technology, or additive manufacturing, has been around for some time now (FDM dates back to the early 90s), but it has only recently begun to reach the masses outside of engineering. Much of that exposure, and the growing impact of 3D printing in the mainstream, can be credited to makers, or physical hackers, and the MakerBot.
As the market gap between hobbyist makers and professional engineers continues to close, desktop 3D printing is emerging as the next golden nugget in prototyping and small-scale manufacturing. MakerBot has been at the cusp of this revolution, as CEO, Bre Pettis (pictured) explains, “when we started, we wanted a 3D printer, but at the time they were way too expensive [for the] average person, so we had to make one. When it worked, we started a company so everybody could have one.”