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Where is the time when we were building our little world as a kid: stone by stone, in colourful Lego blocks. If we can believe Bre Pettis, founder of Makerbot, those early days were only the beginning.

”With affordable 3D printers, young entrepreneurs from all over the world will be able to build the fruit of their imagination one prototype at a time, on a shoe-string budget’, stated Pettis at his #SxSW 2013 opening speech: ‘way too long imagination and progress were hold up by financial and structural difficulties. Today, some freeware and a 2200 dollar 3D printer can make all ideas come to live. At the click of the print button.’

Thinking that Pettis had too much Texan beer? Think again. Nasa is using these makerbot 3D printers to print essential parts of their martian rovers. If it is good enough for Nasa, it might just work for you.

‘Everyone is on social media now’, continues Pettis: ‘link that power of thought, wisdom, art and connections to hardware that concretizes ideas in tangible stuff. Take it, scan it, send it, print it, build it… move your world.’

The 3D printers enable scientists and mechanics to print artificial limbs for African children, tailor-made prosthetic body parts. It pushes the boundaries of the possible into realms that were only possible on the control deck of captain Kirk’s Enterprise spacecraft.

The days were 3D printers are capable of printing organic cells, food and replacement body parts are  closer by than most people dare to think.

In the meantime, Pettis revolutionized 3D printing by vulgarizing it, and bringing it to broader masses.

What the marketer in me wanted to know is how to think down such a complex machinery as a 3D printer into a concept that mortal people understand. Pettis answer made me smile: ‘it’s simple. Pack your 3D printer, set it up in the local pub and start printing shot glasses. You will attract a lot of attention.’

Pettis proved one thing for sure, as long as young people keep on dreaming, there will be progress.

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