MakerBot + Pinterest = Craft Juggernaut

Pt 928

MakerBot + Pinterest = Craft Juggernaut | Design |

Provo Craft, the world’s leading producer of desktop manufacturing tools, started out as a craft store in Utah that sold glitter, felt, and googly eyes. Today they have millions of users, hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, and a business model that is equal parts Pinterest, Zynga, and MakerBot. Provo Craft is the sleeping giant of the desktop design movement.

Wired coming out the gates with WIRED design today and hitting some maker+biz topics immediately. We’ve not used the Provo Craft, have others? Post up in the comments!

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  1. I’m not sure what Wired is talking about, Provo Craft is the same company that sued Sure Cuts a Lot and Make the Cut after they reverse engineered the Cricut USB protocol so that owners could cut whatever shapes they wanted from their computers instead of being restricted to the super expensive cartridges Provo Craft sold.

    Provo Craft is nothing like Pinterest, Zynga, and MakerBot and do nothing to support the maker movement.

    Silhouette America makes the Cameo and fully supports the Maker’s Creed, unlike Provo Craft.

  2. I’m sorry but ProvoCraft’s Circut should NOT be considered in the same category as Makerbot and SketchUp. Circut is a closed product throw back to the days of expensive font cartridges. A Silhouette does more in the same form factor – using either the vendor tools or open source Inkscape, etc. The USCutter MH 28″ wide product is not that much more expensive and offers a much larger work area.

    Perhaps the dumb down interface is appropriate for a segment of the market, but readers of Wired and Adafruit?!

    I dont own a Circut but I do have one of ProvoCraft’s YuDo POS silkscreening devices. POS is what it is. It might be worth grinding up as feed stock for my makerbot.

  3. Thanks for the link! My hope is the Wired blog can add a slightly different perspective to the Maker discussion. I have an Industrial Design background and love DIY, but I’m always more interested in designing cool robots, not soldering the boards.

    MauiJerry, I feel your pain and had the same initial reaction. Then I tried to use an “Open” product, the CraftRobo. I had freedom, but came at a pretty huge cost of time. I think the important thing to keep in mind is where people value creativity. A chef’s knife can only cut straight-ish lines, but they use it to prepare great meals. Likewise, these cutters have limited options, but allow you to choose size, color, material and once cut, secondary decoration, composition, etc. In the mind of fans, these creative moments happen AFTER the cut.


    I think Provo Craft is EXACTLY like Zynga. Both sell “virtual goods” at a high markup.

    The Pinterest connection is people mostly “Repin” other images. <10% even add new pins from a different site. They allow users to be "Creative" by curating boards of images. The Cricut allows users to curate a set of images and artfully arrange them IRL.

    The MakerBot connection is that both are relatively affordable desktop manufacturing tools. I also own a MB ToM (#6523) and actually see a lot of limitation similar to the Cricut. e.g. What percentage of things that have been printed came from Thingiverse, rather than someone's own CAD program.

  4. Chris,

    I have to agree that Provo made the right decision with rearguards to the reverse engineering of the Cricut USB protocol. This software was a direct threat to it’s core business model for the Circut line of cutters. So you have to look at it as a company protecting itself from a loss.


    You hit the nail on the head!

    Our People Services Coordinator has a Circut to make gifts for employees. It works out well for repeat project ideas.

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