We're still excited by 3D System's acquisition of BfB, and we're not the only ones excited. We wondered how this move would affect BfB's biggest competitor, MakerBot. Would 3D System's massive resources put such a push into BfB that MakerBot would be sidelined? We contacted MakerBot mandarin Bre Prettis for his thoughts:
I wish BfB the best because they are paving the way for Open Source Hardware to go mainstream which is great. Because their machine is based on the RepRap which is licenced GPL, I think it's going to be really cool to see how open source licensing plays out within a bigger company. Can you imagine how amazing it will be for innovation worldwide when a big manufacturing company went open source in the hardware space? Frankly, I hope that MakerBot is the first one to explore the territory and I plan for MakerBot to be the biggest open source manufacturer in the world.At MakerBot our mission is to democratize manufacturing and we're having a blast making affordable 3D printers. We're going to keep innovating and improving. As you can see by the onslaught of new upgrades to the cupcake and the new Thing-O-Matic, we're keeping busy. It's been fantastic to see all the amazing work that's being shared by digital designers on Thingiverse for distributed manufacturing. The personal fabrication revolution is here and it's the most exciting thing happening in technology right now.
Regarding any potential acquisitions of MakerBot, we asked Bre if his phone is ringing off the hook:
My phone is always ringing of the hook! Also, have you noticed that we're hiring?
We did. Things are clearly looking up at MakerBot, apparently with "some exciting stuff in store for 2011", and Bre's obviously totally pumped about it.