Clone of MakerBots 3D printer hits Kickstarter at a heavy discount

first_imgSomeone has decided to outright clone the MakerBot Replicator 3D printer, and is looking for funding on Kickstarter even though the concept he is bringing to the table is nothing especially new or exciting. The MakerBot products are open source, so there is nothing legally wrong with this, but some ethical questions have been raised.Matt Strong is looking to raise $500,000 on Kickstarter. His nearly identical replica of the MakerBot Replicator is aimed at a price point of $1,199. The Replicator, meanwhile, is priced at $1,749. The only differences is that for the latter, there was actually a company that had to go through the grueling research and development process and that it’s made in Brooklyn, New York.Said Strong, “I want to bring a low-cost machine to market that people can trust. The Replicator is the best and completely open source. I discussed the licenses with lawyers, and it’s totally legit.” While it may seem like he is just trying to profit off of the creations of someone else, Strong is a mechanical engineer and an expert in supply-chain logistics, so he does add value to the equation.In addition, he has a personal story that will appeal to the emotions of potential donors and partially explain his interest in the area. His daughter has severe health problems and he thinks that 3D technology could help save future children with the same issues.The market of 3D printing is so unique because it spans every industry, from the hobbyist consumer to healthcare. Clearly anyone who wants to advance this technology should be praised, but is it ethical for someone to effectively piggyback on someone else and ask for money? This is the quagmire of open source technology. For end users, it’s a win-win situation. For MakerBot Industries, it might seem a bit painful but honestly, if it helps get 3D printing more embedded in the mainstream conscience, everyone could end up benefiting. The comments section of the Kickstarter page gets more into the back-and-forth that’s going on right now and it worth checking out.More at Tangibot Kickstarter page, via Wiredlast_img read more