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The Rise of "Big Make"

More big news in the continuing industrialization of the Maker Movement: Autodesk has bought Instructibles. What you can now see emerging are several vertically-integrated "making chains", which go from authoring tools to design houses to service bureaus to communities to 3D printers--all aimed at the new consumer/Maker side of the business.

Here are the two biggest players with some examples of their lineups, including recent acquisitions and investments:

--3D Systems: Alibra (authoring), Freedom of Creation (design), 3Dproparts (service bureau) the Z Corp printers and scanners, RapMan 3D printers, Vidar Scanners. No big community site yet.

--Autodesk: 123D (authoring), Ponoko/Techshop (service bureau), Instructibles (community). Lots of design strength already in part due to big Hollywood/game presence with their Maya and Alias product ecosystems. Haven't bought a 3D printer company yet (it's interesting to think what they could do with Makerbot).

Others in the wings include PTC and Dassault. Both have been focused on professional design and engineering, but are starting to move into the consumer space, too. (PTC just released the free Cleo Elements authoring tool, for example, and Dassault owns Solidworks, which is a leader in this space but doesn't have a really free consumer option yet)
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Matthias Welsh's profile photoChris Anderson's profile photojohn jensen's profile photoReed Sturtevant's profile photo
11 comments
 
Hey, maybe with the 3D printer network we will go back to local craftsman making things normally mass produced and selling or trading them with the local community? The new blacksmith for the digital age?
 
With Autodesk opposing the right of first sale (Vernor v. Autodesk, Inc.) . This makes me a little wary of their intentions for getting involved in the DIY community at this level.
 
It's fascinating; on the one hand, we're seeing hardware-building tools become easier to use, more broadly distributed, more democratic.

On the other hand, that broader base is helping to create successful companies, which in turn is attracting interest from bigger fish.

It's like the whole software-coding/personal computing revolution is playing out again.
 
I am with Jamey on this one i am taking the wait an see what happens with this, They can either make it better or kill it.
 
Haha, excellent, i just rss them at work and hear them in the background. I appologize for not recognizing you. 
 
Huge win for Instructables. Good work guys! I'm curious to see how Dassault/Solidworks responds. With the big round of funding that TechShop took from Autodesk, all the TechShop locations are doing away with Solidworks. With the amount of growth that TechShop is predicting, I think that's a bad thing for them.
 
Chris that is the first interview I have ever watched all of, nice job.
 
Love how "creative commerce" is evolving - I'd put funding and merchandising as links attached to the making chain, viz. Kickstarter & Etsy. Is it industrialiization or consumerization...or both?
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