We haven’t written about former MakerBot chief Bre Pettis for quite some time, but now he’s reappeared with a new venture.
Pettis was well known in the 3D printing community as one of the three founders of MakerBot in 2009. He led the company for several years up til it was sold to Stratasys for an unheard-of USD$400M+ in 2013.
Since that time, Pettis has been involved in something called “Bold Machines”, a subsidiary of Stratasys in which unusual products were developed and promoted. However, according to the Bold Machines website:
Bold Machines is now an independent product development workshop. Bre Pettis looks forward to creating innovative products using Stratasys, MakerBot and Solidscape 3D printers.
In fact, that’s exactly what seems to have happened: Pettis has launched “Bre & Co”, which appears to be “an independent product development workshop”. The company produces a series of unusual high-quality gifts. They explain:
At Bre & Co, we make heirloom-quality gifts. Each gift i personalized to make the people you care about feel extra special.
Bre and Co. is exploring the frontiers of craftspersonship, advanced manufacturing, and iterative design to create watches, pens, jewelry and ceramics. Our mission is to deepen relationships with heirloom-quality gifts.
In Pettis’ announcement post, he explains:
From my previous lifetime which was focused on supporting creativity in the world, I have ALL the 3D printers. The team can develop ideas and have multiple iterations absurdly quickly. It didn’t take long to explore territory beyond watches into accessories and jewelry. We like to make things ourselves, but we’re also lucky to have cooperative partners and friends who have helped us develop our products and make take them from prototype to product.
And indeed you can see a brief glimpse of their workshop in this image.
It seems they’re wishing to create some cool gadgets and items - but use the customization of 3D printing (and other technologies) to make them very personal.
I believe this is a very good idea because I constantly see people absolutely thrilled to see a 3D print with their name or face on it. And that’s with crudely 3D printed plastic items that wouldn’t make the bargain bin at Wal-Mart. Imagine this effect if applied to high-quality goods.
That’s what Bre is up to.