Zach Hoeken Smith, founder of the $400 million worth MakerBot Industries, aÂ 3D printer manufacturer company, talked about the transformative potential of 3D printers and open-source software in the session âThe Conjurorâs Trick: How 3D Printing Will Change The Worldâ.
Zach started out by saying that there are a lot of misconceptions about 3D printing but that it is just another tool amidst many created by man to turn ideas into real products. Zach shared the extensive applications that 3D printing could have – from making rocket engines to prosthetics and even houses. He claimed that the world of 3D printing was a âfrontierâ which was waiting to be pushed and explored further.
Recounting earlier times, Zach spoke about how 3D printers used to be expensive and solely deployed for industrial purposes in big factories and corporations. He conceived MakerBot with the dream of making 3D printers affordable for the average individual. His vision of making technology accessible to masses eventually led to MakerBot becoming the largest selling 3D printer manufacturing company in the world. He claimed that MakerBotâs affordable 3D printers have transformed peopleâs lives by helping them build businesses and give shapes to their creative aspirations. In fact 3D printers have already been used to manufacture prosthetics, helping to bring down their cost and benefitting millions of people.
As someone who like to pushes the envelope always, Zach shared his belief that 3D printers also have the potential to contribute to space exploration as well.
A devout believer of open-source platforms, Zach talked about the virtues of people being able to freely share their designs and ideas for the benefit of all. What excites and inspires Zach, in his own words, is the ââŚability of affordable 3D printing and open-source technology to empower people to create what they want without going through a gatekeeperâ.
And he left his audience with a profound thought indeed â âWhat if everybody had the tools they needed to make their dreams a reality?â
By Shashank Shah