I’ve been writing about 3D Printing since when I first created this blog in late 2008. I wrote about MakerBot when they were first announced and many, many times subsequently. I was impressed by the concept and thought the team was cool, but wasn’t sure about the utility. I had a lot of doubts:
- My company had a $50K 3D printer and compared to that, the output from the MakerBot was pretty weak. Why bother?
- What would I do if it broke? The buzz in maker circles was that the tech support wasn’t great.
- What could I do with such poor resolution?
- Did I have the skills to actually build this thing? What if I spent $1,000 and 40 hours and it didn’t turn on.
But, my arguments started to wear down. The MakerBot guys kept improving. Interesting capabilities were demonstrated by pioneers of this new technology. I saw sample parts at MakerFaires. A freshman in high school told me he built one. I was putting off prototyping simple projects on the machine at work or with Shapeways because the cost was so high. I got tired of typing and wanted to start tinkering.
Then I saw the RC Koopa Shell racers and decided to buy one. This product finally made it clear that at the right scale and with the right the design, the MakerBot could be an amazing tool. I waited until the Thing-O-Matic went on sale after Thanksgiving and and pressed the virtual print button.
I’ve successfully assembled my kit (with a fair amount of frustration), started printing, and will be sharing my builds soon.