Life in 3D

New Will.i.am and Britney Spears Video Also Stars a Makerbot 3D Printer Because . . .

(Screencap: YouTube)

When one mulls over the future of manufacturing, naturally the first question that comes to mind is: How we can we as a nation effectively mass produce cornerstone products, like a plastic bust of performer Will.i.am?

Luckily, Mr. Am–who last we heard was hurtling our planet towards a Martian attack–has ushered 3D printing into the mainstream by including it in his newest video, “Scream and Shout,” also featuring the eminently GIF-able Britney Spears. At around 1:38 in the video, a 3D printer sitting on a platform displaying the Makerbot logo is seen printing thin layers of plastic to create a bust of that vital American commodity: Mr. Am’s head. Read More

Fake Sale

For Real? Betabeat Goes Fake Shopping for Made-Up Brands

Valley must-haves!

As Betabeat stood surveying the whimsical offerings of Montalvo Historical Fabrications and Souvenirs, a colleague reached out and, from among the Steve Jobs prayer candles and spontaneous marriage proposal packets, grabbed a bottle of “Dot-Com Bubbles” for a closer look. She quickly returned it with a rueful expression, remembering this was an art exhibit and not, despite all the price tags and other signs screaming “retail,” an actual novelty shop.

“As Real as It Gets,” a new exhibition at Tribeca’s apexart, is about fictional brands made flesh, as it were, and we weren’t alone in our confusion. Shortly thereafter, we saw curator Rob Walker, former “Consumed” columnist at the Times Magazine and author of Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are (Random House 2010), wave a couple away from one of the installations—a baby blue “bathtub synthesizer,” for making music while bathing, explaining that it wasn’t actually functional. Read More

Life in 3D

Introducing the World’s First Photobooth That Prints 3D Figurines Instead of Portraits

(Photo: Omote3d.com)

At the Makerbot pop up shop in Nolita, you can purchase mini figurines made by high-tech 3D printers in shapes like cats for $5 a pop. They’re a cute novelty, but there’s nothing personal about them; they’re basically mass-manufactured balls of plastic. But a new invention showing at an exhibition space in Japan puts a personalized spin on the 3D printing market. The Omote 3D printer is a photobooth, but instead of printing out your photo on paper, it prints a miniature replica of you. Read More

Patently Absurd

Patent Trolls Target 3D Printing, Seek to Limit Our Ability to Print Human Flesh

3dprinterpatentdrm

Apparently the advent of 3D printing technology is scary enough that before we’re even able to print out a new pair of shoes, patent trolls Intellectual Ventures have secured a patent that might prevent the use of 3D printing technology for making really fun stuff like cars, or zeppelins.

MIT’s Technology Review blog has taken a look at the patent and finds that it is a weirdly comprehensive attempt to enforce digital rights management (DRM) for items no one ever knew might need such protection: Read More

Seed Stage

500 Startups Staffs Up in New York City, India

Mr. McClure, ringleader. (Photo: flickr.com/joi)

Goodness, the early-stage scene in New York City sure is getting crowded. Pretty soon investors are going to have to start throwing them ‘bows if they want to get past their competitors and reach the most promising founding teams for so much as a hi-how-are-you chat.

The news today, via TechCrunch: Dave McClure’s 500 Startups has just announced the addition of two “amazing geeks” to the team: Shai Goldman here in New York, and Pankaj Jain in India. They’ll be venture partners, focused on making deals in their respective locations.  Read More

Meet Your Maker

Among the IRL Hackers: Snapshots from the World Maker Faire

19 Photos

Hey, those look familiar...

This weekend, Betabeat braved the utter and complete nightmare that was the subway situation–seriously, no 7 trains into Manhattan? No N trains into Manhattan? The R running on the F line?–to check out the third annual World Maker Faire. Nothing would stand between us and the robots.

The highly appropriate setting was the New York Hall of Science, which is located on the site of the 1964 World’s Fair. Rockets loomed above the check-in area, and talks were located in a refurbished pavilion that clearly showed its Jet Age origins.  The crowd seemed composed of equal parts tinkering geeks, respectable parents with tots in tow, and tatted-up hipsters who’d ventured northward in search of a DIY fix. Read More

Meet Your Maker

An Inside Look at MakerBot’s New Nolita Store [SLIDESHOW]

13 Photos

3D Printer. (Photo: MakerBot)

At the conclusion of the unveiling of MakerBot’s latest 3D-printing marvel, Betabeat was treated to a look at the company’s brand-new store, located at Mulberry and Houston Street. But before setting out (as the assembled reporters snacked on sliders and waited for our rides back to Manhattan) we got a bit more detail from CEO Bre Pettis about his hopes for the store and for the Replicator 2.

For one thing, “the store is a dream of mine,” Mr. Pettis explained. Read More

Meet Your Maker

MakerBot ‘Levels Up’ with the Replicator 2: a Sleeker 3D Printer with ‘Brooklyn Swagger’

Mr. Pettis.

“We leveled up to bring you this today,” MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis told the crowd at the company’s press conference in Brooklyn this afternoon.

The startup responsible for bringing 3D printing to the mainstream–with a nudge from Stephen Colbert, of course–announced a breakthrough: the fourth-generation of MarkerBot’s 3D printing device, dubbed the Replicator 2. You’ll see it soon enough. The gleaming metal rectangle graces the cover of the October issue of Wired. Read More