Tag Archives: Beat

WikiWeapons – To Print A Gun Or Not

3D printing, when it works, is a remarkably easy way to turn a very complicated design file into a physical object.

Open source, when it works, is a great way to innovate on and distribute an idea quickly.

What if that idea was a design for a gun?

The Defense Distributed project seems to be coming to open source 3D printing from a philosophical perspective. They assert that designing a 3D printable personal defensive weapon system is a challenge to numerous entities that they either disagree with or believe don’t go far enough in their beliefs.

More after the jump.

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Makerbot Expands Into NY MetroTech Building

Openalia just posted a video from Ignite in which the founder of Adafruit lists off several open source hardware companies that make real money.

As if to put an exclamation point on the idea, Makerbot is expanding into a new building.

Not only are they expanding into downtown New York, they aren’t giving up their old space in Brooklyn, so they’ll have over 30,000 square feet to make more awesome stuff. As part of the expansion they’re planning on adding 50 employees by the end of the year.

Makerbot started just three years ago. Today, propelled by a rabid base of hobbyists and makers (and more than a little bit of excellent marketing), Makerbot is poised to become the “Kleenex” of 3D printers. When these little machines are as common as microwaves we might just be calling them all Makerbots out of habit.

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Solidoodle, a Pre-assembled 3D Printer for Cheap

Solidoodle was included in a post on my older blog ‘printthat‘ back in the distant past (Dec 2011). Today, Solidoodle seems to have gotten more press in a month than Makerbot has gotten in a year.

Okay, not that much, but the story definitely took off. I’m going to go ahead and take credit for Solidoodle’s breakout success.

Sam Cervantes helped design the Mosaic at MakerGear, then did some time as the COO at Makerbot. Now he’s designed and is selling the Solidoodle. Its primary feature is its low price; $500. That’s the same price claimed for RepRaps, but the Solidoodle comes fully assembled.

I suspect he is taking a loss selling them at that price. My guess is that it’s a promotional thing to help get market share. Believe it or not, there are actually a lot of options for people who want to buy a 3D printer. Particularly when you consider the fact that the most likely customers are DIY’ers who aren’t all that concerned about maybe having to assemble the thing themselves.

Introducing a pre-assembled 3D printer means that he’s primarily competing against Makerbot’s Replicator and the UP! printer. Maybe the BFB-3000, but I don’t hear much about people using those. Anyway, it looks like Cervantes is trying to carve out a name for his printer in an unoccupied place in the market: RepRap price with high-end preassembly.

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