It was the end of a three-day binge of invention in March 2009. Bre Pettis, Zach Hoeken Smith and Adam Mayer had locked themselves in a bare cement room in Downtown Brooklyn pretty much around the clock. No one was hollering Eureka; they had to chase screws that rolled under the table.
They were building a three-dimensional printer, a machine that works like an inkjet printer except that it squirts molten plastic, not ink. The layers of plastic rise into almost any shape — bolts, tools, toys — based on digital models sent to the printer from a computer.
“We were making a machine that makes things,” Mr. Pettis said. “We’d say to people: ‘Right now, you can download books and movies. Someday you’re going to be able to download things.’ ”
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To be fair, they didn’t actually “invent” this 3D printer…they took the open source RepRap project, re-skinned it and commercialized it. I’m not saying that it wasn’t a lot of work to do so or that they haven’t made some upgrades along the way, but it certainly seems that they aren’t necessarily giving attribution to the project & team whose shoulders they stood upon to get where they are.
@ruffus – that’s not true. the makerbot team always credits – what a journalist puts in isn’t always what the interviewees say, or the journalist just leave it out to make the article more “interesting”.