This week saw not one, but two big media splashes for 3D Printing: First, a New York Times article introduced the topic to their readers, and secondly (perhaps triggered by the NYT article) MakerBot chief Bre Prettis was interviewed live on CNN in front of (presumably) millions. There was also a brief mention in Scientific American, too.
The Times article was introductory, of course, but 3D printing needs this type of coverage as your average person on the street has: a) no idea such technology exists, and b) is amazed by what can be done. They mentioned the options for operating your own printer, from kit to assembled. However, the Times recommends trying out a 3D print service first, rather than trying to use your own device, and we agree with that, particularly for those not so technically inclined. They mentioned Shapeways, but there are other 3D print services available, too.
The CNN piece was quite interesting, but seemed a little frantic, as if the host hadn’t been properly briefed on the topic. Nevertheless, master of media Bre came off very well by showing how his handy Thing-O-Matic had birthed a bunny in the studio.
We’re very curious to see if media coverage such as these actually change the public’s perception of 3D printing sufficient to cause them to purchase printers or use services. Time will tell (and a look at MakerBot’s hiring).