TJ McCue

TJ McCue, Contributor

I write about makers and inventors and creators.

12/01/2011 @ 11:21PM |1,345 views

MakerGear for Digital and Personal Fabrication

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Desktop manufacturing is a term that founder Rick Pollack uses several times in our conversation.  The 5-person company based in Ohio is empowering others to join the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) movement of desktop or personal manufacturing. Need a part, design and print it yourself.

3D printing is something this blog and Forbes has talked about quite a bit. It is a rapidly growing trend, a popular one, but Mr. Pollack points out that the personal manufacturing trend includes 3D printing, laser cutting or engraving, CNC routers (computer controlled), and more.

Mr. Pollack was an early adopter of the MakerBot Cupcake and explains that he was very active in the burgeoning 3D printer community and built parts and a company based on those early days. He was building devices with motion controllers years before the Wii and is passionate about helping others to make their own stuff. His company, MakerGear, sells 3D printers based on the open source RepRap  and its own Mosaic printer design. He also sells parts to enhance or modify or fix many of the more popular 3D printers as well.

We do a lot of our production locally. The guy who makes our nozzles, for examples, I can drive to his place and talk. We are very much a grassroots company with customers across a wide spectrum from Schools and Universities to Software by day, hobbyists by night. People want to do custom stuff for their hobby. We help artists. And, we have a growing group of Small Business Owners that want to do small run production, rapid prototyping. 3D printers have been cute and clever, but now they are useful and can be used for small run production.

According to Mr. Pollack, it won’t be long before you’ll see a personal fab lab on people’s desks. Given his solid reputation in creating two successful 3D printers and being one of the people who understands deeply what it means to make something from scratch, I’d wager his forecast will be one to watch.

Learn more about  You can also read a recent post at Make by Sean Michael Ragan on his build process with the Mosaic and learn how easy it is: Building the MakerGear Mosaic 3D Printer Part 1.


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  • kareanderson kareanderson 1 week ago

    Your stories about makers literally make the story come alive and inspire me with variations I might try. In these distruptive times where we can feel that many factors are outside of our control, from work to home values your coverage of Makers can spark the spread of greater self-sufficiency and related skill-building. It also taps the desire to share resources and learning that covers.

    Plus Makers span the previous labels of blue collar and “professional” work as we evolve ways to become Makers to serve the areas most familiar and/or of interest to us. I look forward to reading more of your stories, and can see you hosting a conference and a crowdsourcing contest to spur great shared learning and build a community around diverse yet overlapping interests of makers.