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MakerBot Is Stumbling, But Hopes Faster Printing Will Help

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MakerBot has seen better days. It’s now cut 20 percent of its staff twice as it struggles to fulfill founder and former CEO Bre Pettis’ vision of a 3D printer in every home. Now, with a software update, MakerBot machines can print 30 percent faster. Hopefully, it will help sway the impatient toward additive manufacturing.

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To the uninitiated, 3D printing seems like a laborious process. It’s certainly not as easy as the “click print and done” dance normal 2D printers are used to. Although 3D printers have come a long way to becoming more user-friendly, it still takes hours or even days to print something out, depending on the size and amount of detail. MakerBot says its new software will cut down wait times by 30 percent and create even more stable support structures (those extra bits of hot plastic that make sure your creations don’t collapse due to the laws of physics).


MakerBot’s had a sobering reminder that not all “revolutions” are easy business, or even good business. But “faster” and “more efficient” are telling signs of progress. Let’s hope it keeps marching in that direction.

Bye, Bye, BlackBerry?: With the new Android-based Priv only days from launch, analysts have wondered if this smartphone is BlackBerry’s dying breath. According to Bloomberg, the Priv would have to at least sell better than last year’s Classic and Passport in order to keep the company alive. BB has said it will continue to support its own operating system along with its growing partnership with Google. Whether that will manifest in terms of new hardware? The Priv may be the deciding factor. [Bloomberg]


Amazon...Clothing?: At this point, the more poignant question to ask is what Amazon doesn’t want to do. According to Buzzfeed, Amazon is now testing the waters for creating its own clothing line. Many brands have been wary to tie their clothing to a website seen mostly as a “utility,” so Amazon might just do it itself. [Buzzfeed]

Samsung Giving Up on Digital Cams?: SamMobile reports that Samsung may be shutting down its digital camera business and re-allocate resources to medical and smartphone branches. What does that mean for you? Well, hopefully better smartphone cameras if the Galaxy makers get a huge influx of digital imaging brainpower. [SamMobile]