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MAKE’s Matt Richardson gives us a little peek inside the new MakerBot store, announced today at 3pm Eastern at the MakerBot press event.

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Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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Comments

  1. Kick says:

    I stopped by the store today.
    Total NoHo Hipstar store. No feeling of DIY culture which Makerbot used to have.
    It is a kind of place some Makers would be disappointed to visit, but design kids feel cool to go to.
    In my personal opinion, SO SAD to see things turned out this way.

    1. “hipster” , “design kids” ? – the MAKE community is inclusive, welcoming and getting more people interested in making, building and sharing is a good thing.

      since you’ve been to the makerbot store, what would you do to give it a “feeling of DIY culture”?

      1. caitlinsdad says:

        My teen daughter and I stopped by the store today.

        It did have the feel of a NOHO boutique. The vibe was something like the opposite of an Apple store in the way it was dimly lit, only printer on display was the new black one, a couple of geniuses around the store, make that more of a museum gift shop. You are instantly drawn to the steel ball roller coaster set in the window. It was not until I went around the store and back to it that I figured out you can turn the wheel on the wall to plop a few balls down the track. Since it makes no noise, hasn’t any lights, takes an effort to get one ball down, it was a pretty uninspiring display piece as is. I played with all the samples. I then noticed the little price tag for each of the sample items. I guess it makes it worthwhile to buy the 3D printer outright and then print the items yourself. Keychain sized items are dispensed from a bubble gum type vending machine, you have to pay at the cashier first to get the token to activate it. I played with the gear heart and got sticker shock from what it costs for a palm-sized one. There are a couple of printers in action along the wall printing out things. I do not know if they were being done for clients who needed something printed on order or just tagged with the owner names. I tried to figure out what was being printed by looking at the lcd display on the unit. I saw some of the architectural models that were completed. It would have been interesting to note how long they took and how much material was used and cost. No where is the process explained to get something into a format that can be printed. There are no computer terminals around to display any design software. Are they looking to sell this as “Just hit a button and in an instant whatever is made?”

        So yeah, if I had the money and walked into the store, it was not convincing enough to get me to buy one. It’s more of a high end new car showroom. I was not approached by any of the salespeople there the entire time we went around the store. Maybe we were not hip enough.

  2. dimitri silva says:

    Shame how this started off as open source until greed got the better of some of the Make team. Still there’s still RepRap, which is basically what they are selling – just at huge profit.

  3. Russell L. Magidson says:

    Ok, no one thought it useful to share the address of the store? Did I miss the Arduino code in Make magazine that automatically finds it?

    1. http://www.makerbot.com/retail-store/

      THE MAKERBOT STORE
      298 Mulberry Street, NY, NY USA | Mon-Sat 12-7pm | Sun 12-6pm

  4. Colecoman1982 says:

    I have to agree with dimitra silva. It’s really a disgrace that they made their name selling a printer based, heavily, off of the Reprap project only to now turn their backs on the open source hardware community. This isn’t some esoteric complaint about them “selling out” this is about their long standing process of seeming to try and distance themselves from the Reprap project they got their basic designs from and their conscious decision to now close source their printers entirely.

    If Make Magazine really believes all the Open Source Hardware talk they post here, they should really stop posting news about Makerbot Industries until they make amends with the community. Stop giving free press to a company that’s made it clear they’re too good for the community they owe most of their popularity and hardware designs to.

    Just my $0.02.

    1. Colecoman1982 says:

      Correction: I think it would be more accurate to say “most of their popularity and much of their hardware design to” since I won’t claim to know exactly how much they’ve modified the original Reprap base designs.”

    2. i am not familiar with the all of the reprap project(s), designs and code – can you list out specifically where makerbot is using something that is not following the license the reprap is under?

      1. Colecoman1982 says:

        @Phillip: I never meant to imply that they were violating Reprap’s licence. If that’s what you took away from what I wrote then I apologize for the confusion. I’m sure what they’re doing is completely legal. Honestly, I don’t know the specific wording of Reprap’s license well enough to make such a claim, even if they were breaking it. I just don’t think what they’re doing is very cool and feel that it’s more than a little disrespectful to the open hardware community that they came out of.

        To expand on that, if this were just a chinese knock-off company it wouldn’t bother me that much. I still wouldn’t buy their products or support them, but they’re outsiders to the community following the license rules.

        Makerbot, however, is not a cheap knock-off. They are one of the forefathers of the Reprap clone companies and have never seemed to hesitate to take advantage of any opportunity they had to trade off that history in order to gain press.

        Now, apparently, they’ve chosen to step on all that the open hardware community advocates that helped get them to where they are (assuming that reports of the next Replicator being completely closed source are true). Even before this they seemed, to me at least, to be trying to distance themselves from their history of having sprung forth from Reprap.

        If any of this is untrue, please feel free to correct me. As for my impression of their distancing themselves from their Reprap roots, I can only claim that as my own impression of what has happened as well as an impression that I’ve seen expressed by others. As for them going closed source with the Replicator 2.0, if the reports about that are incorrect then I certainly owe them a heartfelt apology. Please, prove me wrong on that…

        1. Colecoman1982 says:

          Ugh, that was far to long a response for how thin this page’s formatting make it. Sorry.

          1. do you have any public statements/links from makerbot about this that you can post a link to?

  5. Colecoman1982 says:

    On a related note (and in addition to the other things I mentioned), Hack-A-Day is now reporting that at a recent press conference Makerbot apparently claimed ownership of any content uploaded to Thingiverse.

    Assuming this is true, this is another behavior that has been tried by many other large businesses in the past and (in my opinion) is no more acceptable from Makerbot than it is from any other company. This is not the behavior of a good company or a company that should receive support from this community.

    Again, my 2 cents.

    1. instead of saying “Makerbot apparently claimed ownership of any content uploaded to Thingiverse” – quick search shows the terms of service were updated on thingiverse 6 months ago and there was a post, by bre, on the site.

      http://blog.thingiverse.com/2012/02/10/thingiverse-updates-terms-of-use-and-license-options/

      on thingiverse’s own blog, today, it says “The Thingiverse terms of use didn’t change yesterday. They are the same as they have been since we updated them in February. “:
      http://blog.thingiverse.com/2012/09/20/thingiverse-terms-of-use/

      i founded hack-a-day (but no longer part of the site) – it’s a great site, but always make sure you do research before saying or assuming things like this (and repeating them) :)

      1. Colecoman1982 says:

        Frankly, I didn’t really understand that post by Bre. I don’t see how the timing of when the license change occurred is relevant and nothing in either post (the new one or his original one) seem to directly refute the idea that their new license claims to give them ownership of anything uploaded. If the community is only just now realizing the implications of their license change, it doesn’t effect whether, or not, those changes are acceptable.

        It’s not uncommon for any news site to get the small details of a story wrong but, in this case, I don’t see how that changes the discussion much. From what I’ve seen, respectable members of the community (in this case HAD and Josef Prusa) have made claims about what is included in the TOS and what they were directly told by Makerbot Industries employees respectively.

        Makerbot has had a while now to respond to the story and correct any misconceptions. If they’re on the up-and-up (again, according to my personal definition of the concept of “up-and-up”) all it would take is a one-line tweet, blog post, etc.) from Bre saying something to the extent of “The rumors are wrong, Replicator 2.0 is just as open source as version 1.0 was.”). That would render this whole discussion a non-starter.

        Lastly, I want to apologize yet again. I didn’t notice the specific story below this on the blog talking about the rumors of Makerbot Industries possibly going closed source. Had I seen it before my first post, I’d have relegated my posts to that thread rather than loading this discussion up with them.

      2. Colecoman1982 says:

        Bre has now addressed this in a blog post: http://www.makerbot.com/blog/2012/09/20/fixing-misinformation-with-information/

        His answer seems to just dance around the issue. The only concrete thing I can interpret from it as a confirmation in the first sentence that, as of now, Replicator 2.0 is not open source. They could decide to make it open source in the future, but everything else in his post just sounds like a long-winded rationalization for not doing so.

  6. Colecoman1982 says:

    @Phillip: I’m posting this here because we nested the discussion too much.

    Here is a link to the Hack-A-Day article about it: http://hackaday.com/2012/09/20/makerbot-occupy-thingiverse-and-the-reality-of-selling-open-hardware/

    Here is a link to Josef Prusa’s (the guy the Prusa Mendel Reprap is named after) blog post where he described being told that the Replicator 2.0 will be closed source by Makerbot when he contacted them to ask: http://josefprusa.cz/open-hardware-meaning/

    Again, I certainly hope this is all just rumors and misunderstandings.