Innovation That Matters

An open-source 3D printer for the masses


Founded by a Brooklyn-based hackerspace, MakerBot Industries aims to promote the DIY manufacturing movement by producing affordable 3D printers that allow people to create almost any plastic object. CupCake CNC is the company’s main product. Made from a 100% open source design that can be freely downloaded, the CupCake takes digital design files as its input and produces 3D objects by building up layers of plastic. The machine is sold as a flat-pack kit that can be assembled by two people in a couple of days. It can even make its own replacement parts. Tinkerers can create their own designs from scratch using CAD software, or download a design file from Thingiverse, an online repository for the sharing of open source MakerBot designs. 3D printers are nothing new, but they usually cost tens of thousands of dollars. The CupCake CNC kit is going for USD 750. With DIY manufacturing now so affordable, and the popularity of magazines such as Make on the rise, it’s no wonder some are predicting a personal manufacturing revolution akin to that of personal computing. NYC Resistor is a small operation; could there be an opening for the mass production of MakerBots? (Related: Connecting creative consumers with local fabricatorsDesktop manufacturing, minus the special softwareMore desktop manufacturing for consumers.) Spotted by: Bonnie Sandy



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