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When Madura vacated the window-wrapped corner space at 144 Newbury Street a year ago, Boston was left wondering what might take over the prime space in Jamestown's Newbury Collection portfolio. Occasionally occupied by pop-up shops, the storefront reopened as MakerBot in November to meet the demands of Boston's 3D printing-curious customer, in both professional and personal uses.
The New York-based company both produces and sells desktop 3D scanners and printers, as well as prints customer requests in-store, right before their eyes. The applications of such devices are infinite, as any 3D digital model can be printed in a bio-plastic called PLA, derived from corn, giving off a sweet smell while the printers run. Fun takeaways from the store include $5 gifts from their "gumball machine," such as mini Faneuil Hall and Fenway Park novelty items, and visitors can also use a 3D photo booth, which takes just one minute to scan the subject's head and shoulders, shipping the end-result to your doorstep.
3D printing opportunities in the fashion realm range from hacks on the industrial side to individual designers producing merchandise. For example, local brand Nervous System employing the technique to make its jewelry and home goods. MakerBot works specifically with Francis Bitoni, a designer using filament plastic to create 3D printed dresses. Through MakerBot's online Thingiverse community portal for free, downloadable files, Bitoni hopes to eventually distribute future apparel designs. Until then, better learn CAD skills and design your own accessories to print in-store.
· MakerBot Retail Store [Official Site]