By Katie Jarve and Kate Wendell
For our final project we decided to examine desktop 3D printers, specifically the Fifth Generation Replicator from MakerBot Industries. 3D printing has a colorful history dating back to the 19th century with roots in the arts. We believe that new advances making desktop printers affordable and user-friendly, coupled with open source platforms for collaborative design will upset traditional manufacturing with far-reaching consequences. A new network that brings designers and users together and eliminates the complex supply chain will provide customized products with huge advantages. The following pages describe the history of 3D printing, the advantages of additive manufacturing, and how we envision it will redesign the megamachine and design itself.