WTFFF457: 3D Printer Software & Hardware Development

March 23, 2017

We had a rare opportunity to interview two current employees of MakerBot on the record about a lot of issues around not just the new printers, but really all the things that are surrounding the 3D printer that are going on within MakerBot to support the user.

When they dove in, they talked about the fact that just upgrading the printer and solving features wasn’t really enough to support the user overall. Whether you’re a prosumer, an educator, a hobbyist, it doesn’t matter where you’re coming in from. It just wasn’t enough and they had to dive deeper into all of these areas, ecosystem and software and other things, to try and really make a more robust system.

I think that in the world today of 3D printing, as a company, if all you’re doing is creating a 3D printer and shipping it and that’s all you want to do, or maybe also sell some filament, you’re really doing a disservice to the customer or you’re leaving it up to the customer to figure out the rest of it on their own. I think they may not have as much success. I certainly admire what they’re doing at MakerBot. We’re going to speak with Mark Palmer, who is Head of Experience Design at MakerBot, which is more of the hardware side of things in the world of MakerBot.

We’ve spoken to Mark before. There’s a previous episode about it. We really talked more about the industrial design process and thinking about that. This is not a repeat by any means of that conversation, this goes beyond that and where MakerBot is today with all of the things they’re doing around the printer to support the users.

We also have Andrew Askedall joining us for the first time. He’s the Senior Director of Product Design. Now, at MakerBot, he’s more on the software side of things and speaks with that knowledge and experience behind him. We get to hear a lot of different aspects today.

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