MakerBot has introduced a new line of 3D printers for both consumer and business use. Its largest, high-end model could drastically cut the cost to businesses that use 3D printers. WSJ’s Jason Bellini reports.
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I love Adafruit and all the work you’ve done to bring Open Source hardware and software to the community – have an order on its way to me right now – and I have many times pointed to you as an example of the right blend of business sense and openness. Which makes it all the more surprising every time you focus on Makerbot, a company that started from the Open Source community and has moved only in the direction of being more closed and proprietary. There are lots of open 3D printer manufacturers out there, including fully open commercial designs like Lulzbot and RepRapPro and ones with only non-commercial restrictions like Ultimaker, Bukobot and Printrbot. And of course the real innovation in 3D printing is happening in the RepRap community. Why continue to focus on Makerbot when their philosophy is so much at odds with all the rest of your activities?
1) can you help us find a 100% open source 3d printer that we can buy that has margins for a reseller like us? we’ve looked, there isn’t one. non-commercial restrictions isn’t open source either 🙁
2) on the blog we focus on what’s new in 3d printing, most/all of it is closed source, for example we feature a lot of 3d systems and formlabs… and of course makerbot.
we will continue to look for a 100% open source 3d printer with margins for a reseller like us, until then we’re evaluating our options and we currently do not have any 3d printers from makerbot in stock.
I appreciate those issues, and recognize that NC != open (though it is a step up from completely closed). And I hadn’t seen your blog post from November discussing the Stratasys lawsuit and your concerns about Stratasys/Makerbot. Hopefully there’s room for both OSHW and a business model that allows for resellers.
the challenge for oshw fans and others is to show 3d printer makers there is value in open source, right now there isn’t many/any people telling anyone why being open source has value for hardware. there are only a few companies out there that do oshw, hopefully we can continue to show it’s worth it 🙂
you supporting us is very helpful, thank you for that bill.
Feel free to contact Aleph Objects, makers of LulzBot for resale opportunities. We have quantity discounts available, and would be happy to work out a deal. We’re definitely Adafruit fans here. Since October, have our own factory which can produce thousands of units/year. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at +1-970-377-1111.