If MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis’ dreams come true, we’ll one day see a 3D printer in every home.
And when you’ve got a 3D printer in every home, what do you need? Things to print, of course.
A few months back, MakerBot set out to launch a store front for premium 3D printable objects — sort of like an iTunes for 3D printing, if you will.
MakerBot put up a few offerings of their own to get the ball rolling – but today, they found their first big partner: Sesame Workshop, the legendary company behind Sesame Street. For a buck twenty nine, you get a prepped-and-tested digital version of Snuffleupagus that’ll let you print as many snuffies as your heart desires.
It’s important to note, though — and really, this is the reason I find it interesting enough to write about — that this is all part a very long term play.
As of January of this year, MakerBot had sold just shy of 50,000 3d printers since launch. Even if it turns out that MakerBot owners are just nuts for ol’ Snuffie and, say, one in four of them buys the model, that’s just $15,000 — a tiny drop in the bucket for Sesame Workshop, who brings in somewhere around $45 million in merchandise licensing each and every year. Sesame Workshop isn’t doing this to rake in the cash; they’re doing it to be a part of something cool, early on.
MakerBot, meanwhile, is prepping the foundation for the larger customer base, with the assumption that 3D printing eventually goes ubiquitous. If one day soon there really is a 3D printer in every home, they’re trying to make sure they own the pick-and-print market early.