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Wednesday, 18 May 2011

‘Nobody should have to choose between a cheap used Ferrari and a 3D printer’

Financial Times
May 17, 2011

In a dilapidated former brewery in an up-and-coming neighbourhood in Brooklyn, New York, Bre Pettis is beaming as he shows off his latest creation. An assemblage of gears and wires the size of a microwave oven, this is a machine that can print in 3D and, as such, exemplifies a technology that could democratise complex areas of industrial manufacturing.

Mr Pettis, tall and gangly with a shock of greying hair and thick black glasses, is the co-founder of MakerBot Industries, a small company that has created a cheap device that prints sturdy plastic models of a multitude of shapes.

3D printing, long dismissed as a futuristic dream of inventors, is today enjoying a welcome party, as MakerBot Industries and other companies find ways to bring it to the wider public.

“One of our biggest challenges is convincing people that this is within their grasp,” says Mr Pettis. “Put it together like Ikea furniture – and all of a sudden you’re living in the future.”


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