makerbot-printshop-1For consumer-oriented 3D printing companies, “easy to use” is the new “innovative.”

Apparently many potential buyers are staying on the sidelines, convinced that 3D printing is too complicated, too techie.

And they are right.

So advances in easiness are significant, for the entire additive manufacturing industry.

MakerBot, which probably feels that it has to lead in user interface to stay ahead of a yappy pack of competitors, may just have one with the brand new Print Shop, a free iOS app for the iPad.

The app’s primary thrust is steering users to pre-selected designs that are optimized for ease of use. Three categories are featured at launch: rings, bracelets, and type.


A selection of easy-to-print bracelets from MakerBot’s Print Shop.

The goal: enable new users to accomplish the easy stuff, score some early wins, and gain some momentum.

Then they can move on the the complicated, techie stuff