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Product Pitch Spotlight: Makes 3D Printing Accessible to the Everyday Joe

Posted by Caroline Fong  February 7, 2014 02:30 PM

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Did you hear? The Maker Movement has caught the eye of the White House. This week, the White House announced plans to host the first-ever White House Maker Faire, citing inspiration from the millions of citizen-makers driving the next era of American innovation.

And it’s true: making something is no longer reserved for the big league companies. There is a whole movement of folks coming up with brilliant ideas and making things on their own.

At this year's Product Pitch, The Grommet is excited to recognize the Maker community for the inspiration and perspiration that go into making a product. Product innovation is happening right in our neighbor or friend’s garages and basements. Many of these hacks, or creative solutions to everyday problems, come from one-man or woman-run garage operations, and we are helping to bring the best to market.

One of the speakers at Product Pitch will be Dylan Reid, CEO of Matter Labs, a Cambridge-based startup that is building a whole new way to design, share, and 3D print three-dimensional models. Their software is web-based and designing is done right in your browser -- without having to learn complicated CAD software (used by professional engineers who are designing products to be mass manufactured).

Just this week and in time for Valentine's Day, The Grommet launched a limited run of Starscape Pendants in partnership with Dyo (Design Your Own), which is's off-shoot jewelry line. Using Matter Labs' technology, we created a unique, customizable starscape pendant that features a constellation corresponding to you and your significant other's birthday. jewelry.jpg
Available in Brass and Silver

The accessibility of emerging technologies like 3D printing is revolutionizing the landscape of bringing new products to market. Not only does it take less time, it can be done without needing a whole team and factory.

Designers are now able to design products for individual people -- but at scale. The question, Reid says, used to be “How can I make the most generic product that can apply to the biggest number of people?” Designers were forced to group people together and build generic products for those groups. Now, designers can consider individual differences.

What's more is that consumers get to play a role in the design of the products they buy. We can actually build a product according to our own needs and stories, instead of imbuing generic products with those stories. Don't believe me? Take a whirl on the Matter Labs website and create your own pug lamp base or mustache fridge magnets. They'll get to you in as little as a week. No need to go to Target to buy one that hundreds or thousands of other people will also own.

Technology like 3D printing is empowering Makers everywhere, and we're excited to see what kind of product innovation will emerge for Product Pitch this year.

Starting Feb. 17th, jump in and vote for your favorite product! The top 6 voted contestants will go to Fenway to compete for the ultimate product launch prize. For more Product Pitch info, click here.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About The Grommet

We launch undiscovered products and help them succeed; we call them Grommets. Grommets aren't just things. Grommets are products with a purpose invented by people with stories. More »
Buy Differently is a sponsored blog powered by The Grommet, and part of Finds, a site you can count on to bring you the best discoveries around Boston and beyond. This blog is not written or edited by or Finds. The author is solely responsible for the content.
Caroline Fong
Caroline hails from a tiny tropical island originally, but calls Boston home. A curious bird, she spent a spring trekking all over Ireland, has been an Air Force Junior ROTC cadet, and worked at Disney World as a merchandising intern. With a love for all things interesting, she found herself at The Grommet, where she gets to eat, sleep, and breathe innovative undiscovered products. Say hello to her on Twitter.