Monday, April 7, 2014

Visit to the MakerBot Store

Sometimes it is hard to wrap your brain around a new technology until you see it in action. This weekend I had the opportunity to visit the new MakerBot store on Newbury Street in Boston, MA. If you have not had contact with a 3D printer yet, the MakerBot store offers you a convenient glimpse of multiple 3D printers/scanners in action with examples of a wide range of things to print. The store offers you opportunities to print your own designs or choose an already made design on Thingiverse for a fee. If you don't want to wait for something to print, it also has already made printed objects such as small 3D models of Fenway Park for purchase. For $5, one could obtain a Doctor Who Tardis out of a toy vending machine.  On display in the window were various printed Easter Eggs and rabbits with their attributed designers. Churches, garden gnomes, and even a large samurai bust were on display near each printer. I was amazed at how far the technology has come this year. The quality of the models and the detailing is getting better and better. There is even a giant scanner photobooth so you can print out a bust of yourself in 3 sizes.(I was tempted!).
The store is hard to miss with its HUGE windows.

Although I'm not sure if the store conveyed the multitude of useful functions 3D printers of the future will bring to everyone such as replacement machine parts, food, or even organs, it is nice to generate interest and spread the word about 3D printing in such a busy location. The store will be offer workshops this month for a fee on maintaining your 3D printer for adults or designing Mother's Day cards for kids. They also offer information on educational discounts for schools to acquire their own 3D printer. Next time you are in the Boston area be sure to check it out.

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