Bre Pettis

“Pretending you know what you’re doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you’re doing even if you don’t and do it.” ~Bre Pettis

Bre Pettis

Bre Pettis
Image: Joi Ito via Flickr CC

Bre Pettis is the CEO and cofounder of MakerBot, a company that manufactures 3-D printers based in Brooklyn, New York.  MakerBot sells a variety of 3-D printers, which allows consumers to create jewelry, toys, décor, and a number of other products into heir own homes.  Users can use MakerBots to create prototypes, print parts, or make artwork come to life.  Bre Pettis says that MakerBot is leading the next industrial revolution, and it is possible that someday 3-D printers will completely change the way we think about manufacturing goods.  For example, anyone who needs a new shower curtain can simply go to their computer and print one, rather than go to the store, be forced to buy a whole set, and save most of the carbon emission involved in the current process.

As with many industry leaders and game changers, Pettis has an unconventional background.  He studied psychology and performing arts at the Evergreen College in Olympia, Washington.  He spent time working in the film industry, assisting in a Muppet work ship in London, and teaching art in Seattle.  He has also created a large amount of online content with his popular podcasts MAKE, and has been featured as a television host on the History Channel.  He is a cofounder of the hacker group known as NYC Resistor.  The group meets regularly to tinker and collaborate on various technology-related projects.

MakerBot employs nearly 300 people, and Pettis says that keeping the factory in Brooklyn makes sense, citing “Brooklyn Pride” as one of the reasons.  Taking pride in the type of work and location makes employees more productive.  Along with his cofounders, Bre Pettis sold MakerBot to Stratasys earlier this year in order to expand, but Pettis says that will not affect the location of its workshops.  Stratasys is an Israeli-based company with a high 3-D printing focus, and the acquisition of MakerBot expands their consumer reach.  Regardless of what happens, there is no question Bre Pettis will continue to innovate.

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