MakerBot & 3D Printing

The topic of closed source and open source technology is becoming increasingly important as tensions arise over cybersecurity and intellectual property.

Closed source often refers to technologies that are uncustomisable and, therefore, open source technologies are customisable.

New technologies surrounding 3D printing have seen it grow in popularity and become almost mainstream. Generally, 3D printing software is open source, allowing users to customise, share and produce the product.  However, in it’s growing popularity, some manufacturers such as MakerBot have chosen to close their source, despite the open source format allowing innovators to develop the technology. Some argue that open source hardware does not work on large scale and intellectual property concerns are a reason to move to a closed source product.

However, open source hardware such as that of 3D printing generates significant PR and marketing in its own right as artists, innovators and users of the product want open source hardware.

Think of the iPhone… why should you have to buy a new phone every two years just because Apple has released a new product? Apple creates closed source products that generate mass consumption… and it’s what they want… for their audience to continue purchasing at a fast rate.

It’s obvious that people want open source technology… so why would MakerBot go against majority of its audience?

Who knows? I’ll let you decide.

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