Bre Pettis on MakerBot’s Three New Printers

3D Printing & Imaging
Bre Pettis on MakerBot’s Three New Printers


MakerBot’s CEO Bre Pettis chats with MAKE Digital Fabrication Editor Anna Kaziunas France about the Replicator Mini, Replicator, and the Replicator Z18 3D printers.

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9 thoughts on “Bre Pettis on MakerBot’s Three New Printers

  1. bob says:

    Strarasys=Makerbot. Don’t buy makerbot. Stop big companies from using lawyers and fake patent lawsuits to bully their competitors

    1. James Floyd Kelly (@jamesfloydkelly) says:

      Bob, big companies are ALWAYS going to use lawyers, sorry. And although I’m not pleased with the way this issue is going, I will at least acknowledge that the patents appear to be real, not fake. They might be thrown out in a court of law or deemed too far reaching, but the lawsuit is legit whether you like it or not.

      I don’t like what Stratasys is doing. I don’t like that this may mean fewer options for 3D printers. But it’s Stratasys’ right to defend its patents if the company feels they are being infringed.

      What I find humorous about this thing is that it’s David vs. Goliath and everyone roots for David. But what if David were the one that filed a patent and then Goliath snuck in and created a product that infringed. Would you say that’s okay?

      I’m willing to let this play out and withhold my opinion. Both companies are going to get the chance to present to a jury their evidence.

      Boycott Makerbot if it makes you feel better, though.

      1. B says:

        I’m curious how you distinguish a “real” patent from a “fake” one.

        1. James Floyd Kelly (@jamesfloydkelly) says:

          They’re given numbers by the US Patent Office and can be easily verified with a search. Doesn’t mean they’re valid in a juror’s eyes, but they’re able to be submitted in a court of law versus a “that technology should be free to everyone” argument.

  2. B says:

    The lawsuit isn’t Bre’s fault, and as much as he did a terrible job on PR in his last Make interview on the subject, I find it’s hard not to feel sorry for him personally. I’m sure he finds the whole situation frustrating.

    But separating the person from the business, I believe this is a case of an established business using a patent thicket to stop new businesses from entering a market even after the initial patents have expired. It’s a common practice in patent-heavy industries, but that doesn’t make it any more palatable or justifiable.

    The only leverage that the maker community holds here is how we spend our money. If we let Stratasys sell us printers with one hand and sue innovative competitors with the other, we’re condoning their business strategy. It’s everyone’s personal choice how they respond, but Makerbot is off my list of acceptable vendors for any product, and will stay there until I see a clear change in the behaviour of the parent company.

    I also find it disappointing how compliant Make Magazine is here. If Stratasys didn’t own Makerbot, I wonder if they’d be so meek in reporting on this lawsuit? It seems to me that they’re doing the maker community a disservice through their editorial silence.

    1. Christian Restifo (@restifo) says:

      I’m not sure the maker community (well, the subset that helped MakerBot in the beginning) can really have that much of an impact, however. These new printers are beyond that market. They’re going after prosumers and later adopters who are more concerned about just printing stuff than the roots of the technology. Heck, they’ve even started a store to sell designs to these people. The makers who care about open source, etc. going elsewhere are probably not going to have an impact on MakerBot’s bottom line.

      I think it will make it harder for other companies starting with a similar business model to convince the maker community (early adopters/hackers) to support them. People will be worried about getting ‘makerbotted.’

      1. B says:

        We don’t know how much influence we have, but I’m not willing to admit defeat before even trying. I’ll vote with my dollar, I’ll vote with what I recommend to any late adopter who asks for my early adopter opinion, and if that doesn’t have an impact then at least I tried.

    2. Anna Kaziunas France says:

      @B Thanks for your feedback. I have many personal opinions on the subject, but I prefer to let MAKE readers make up their own minds by commissioning informative articles from experts on 3DP intellectual property. Have you read the pieces we published by Michael Weinberg on the Stratasys vs Afinia lawsuit? Stratasys Sues Afinia: Ramifications for the Desktop 3D Printing Industry: and Afinia Responds to Stratasys: Your Patents Are Invalid and Your Threats are Anti-Competitive: As the “maker pro” category grows, these cases will come up more often.

      Regarding this video interview, I was at CES to cover the news and to report on “making going mainstream” and MakerBot is both newsworthy and attempting to go mainstream. I am sorry you were disappointed in our coverage of this lawsuit. What type of response would you have liked to see?

  3. The State of 3D Printing and Scanning After CES 2014: The Push For Mainstreaming Begins | MAKE says:

    […] with the original laser-cut Replicator) and  Cupcake build size Replicator Mini Compact. See Bre Pettis on MakerBot’s Three New Printers by our Executive Editor Mike Senese […]

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Anna Kaziunas France is interested practical digital fabrication focused project documentation (anything that turns codes into things), as well as adventures in synthetic biology, biohacking, personal genomics and programmable materials.

She's currently working on the forthcoming book "Design for CNC: Practical Joinery Techniques, Projects, and Tips for CNC-routed Furniture".

She’s also the Academic Dean of the global Fab Academy program, the co-author of Getting Started with MakerBot and compiled the Make: 3D Printing book.

Formerly, she worked as an editor for Make: Books, was digital fabrication editor and skill builder section editor for Make: Magazine, and directed Make:'s 2015 and 2014 3D Printer Shootout testing events.

She likes things that are computer-controlled, parametric, and open— preferably all three.

Find her on her personal site, Twitter and Facebook.

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