It’s good to have friends. Here at Maker Boulder, we need all the friends we can get. And one friend who has been especially friendly is MakerBot — you know, the 3D printing juggernaut that offers desktop 3D printers and seamless softwares that make 3D printing actually work (as opposed to, you know, the DIY printer that’s sitting in my garage right now half built…).
MakerBot calls it their 3D Ecosystem because, just like that thriving ecosystem that lives under your child’s car seat, everything works together to make the magic happen. So far, the ecosystem includes printers, scanners, apps for mobile and desktop, a digital store, and goodies like composite filaments. Actually, the composite filaments are really cool: made with real composites of metal, stone and wood, they make your finished products look even more lifelike (coming late 2015). Personally, I can’t wait to match the composite filaments with new generations of the MakerBot Smart Extruder to print integrated pieces of wood, plastic, stone and metal.
3D printing ain’t just about the printer anymore. It’s about what you can do with it, how you create and load designs, how smoothly designs are printed, what is the filament material…and how easy it is to make it all happen. MakerBot creates accessibility — they’re helping make the Boulder Mini Maker Faire accessible to us all this weekend, and they’re making 3D printing accessible too.