MakerBot has just released two important announcements: first that they have shipped a 100 micron-resolution version of their Replicator printer; second, that they have opened a central Manhattan storefront to bring the gospel of 3D printing to the masses. MakerBot co-founder Bre Pettis has penned Boing Boing a MakerBot Operator Manifesto to mark the occasion:
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Where we're going, there are no limitations: create your working flux
capacitor by glueing MakerBotted components together for installation
in your DeLorean.
Go big. With the MakerBot Replicator 2's 410 cubic inch build volume,
you can finally create the trumpet you've been dreaming of.
Compete with the industrial machines. With the MakerBot Replicator 2's
100 micron layer resolution you can create models that will look like
they were made on a refrigerator sized machine that costs 100 times
the MakerBot Replicator 2.
Make the unreal real. Use your MakerBot to manifest unicorns, dragons,
or a functional sonic screwdriver.
Resist buying things that you can make on your MakerBot Replicator 2.
There is no deeper nerd cred than MakerBotting frames for your
Optimize the world. That contraption to hold your microscopes glass
slides together in the dishwasher is just waiting for you to design
and MakerBot it.
Repurpose everything. The springs in pens and motors pulled from old
technology can be used to create the replica of that V8 supercharged
hemi you've been lusting after.
Repurpose the models in Cornell's wonderful mechanical library to
power your perpetual motion machine.
Prototype your inventions. We're still waiting for you to align the
lasers with your MakerBotted oscillation overthruster.
An inspiring call-to-arms from Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino, founder of Tinker London:
This should be a golden age for UK manufacturing. People are making things everywhere at various scales. In Hackspaces, studios, universities, at home, in their sheds. This is a nation on tinkerers after all. People are coming up with an idea using an Arduino, building a prototype, redesigning the electronics using Fritzing going to Tinkercad to build a box for the prototype. Then they will have the box made by a Makerbot, Ponoko, RazorLab, i-Materialise, Shapeways or other rapid prototyping manufacturers around the world who understand their users want to click a “upload” button and have something sent to them in the post.
That is a different kind of customer for UK manufacturing. It is a digitally-empowered one and to understand him/her, the industry has to adapt. Once that customer has a product they are happy with, they will look for funding through Kickstarter or sell their product online through Etsy or Folsky. (Most of these digital services were not developed in the UK, I hasten to add.)
Make little, Make often: ideas for the future of manufacturing in the UK
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Piotr Czerski's manifesto, "We, the Web Kids," originally appeared in a Polish daily newspaper, and has been translated to English and pastebinned. I'm suspicious of generational politics in general, but this is a hell of a piece of writing, even in translation.
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Writing this, I am aware that I am abusing the pronoun ‘we’, as our ‘we’ is fluctuating, discontinuous, blurred, according to old categories: temporary. When I say ‘we’, it means ‘many of us’ or ‘some of us’. When I say ‘we are’, it means ‘we often are’. I say ‘we’ only so as to be able to talk about us at all.
We grew up with the Internet and on the Internet. This is what makes us different; this is what makes the crucial, although surprising from your point of view, difference: we do not ‘surf’ and the internet to us is not a ‘place’ or ‘virtual space’. The Internet to us is not something external to reality but a part of it: an invisible yet constantly present layer intertwined with the physical environment. We do not use the Internet, we live on the Internet and along it. If we were to tell our bildnungsroman to you, the analog, we could say there was a natural Internet aspect to every single experience that has shaped us. We made friends and enemies online, we prepared cribs for tests online, we planned parties and studying sessions online, we fell in love and broke up online. The Web to us is not a technology which we had to learn and which we managed to get a grip of.