Bre Pettis, CEO of MakerBot, and the global leader in the desktop 3D printing industry, was the featured guest speaker at this week’s meeting of the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, formerly known as NAMII, and now known as America Makes, held October 8, 2013, in Youngstown, Ohio. Pettis helped make a special announcement for the organization where the group was renamed America Makes and the initiative was the call to action undertaken by the organization to challenge the perception of manufacturing in America. America Makes is a movement that goes beyond the halls of industry and reaches into the homes of individuals. It is a call to innovate, and a call to action. When America Makes, America works!
The announcement of the Institute’s rebrand to America Makes will broaden the identity of the organization and represents a unifying action for the entire additive manufacturing and 3D printing community. With America Makes, the Institute has a name and a concept that are more effective in communicating its purpose and ambition to broaden its voice to be more indicative and inclusive of the innovation happening in the United States – whether with hobbyists, entrepreneurs, or in the work of industry, academia and government.
Ralph Resnick, founding director of the Institute, and president and executive of the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM) stated, “It was a great honor to have Bre Pettis join us on stage for this rebranding announcement. Pettis is considered a visionary and successful entrepreneur in the desktop 3D printing industry.”
Bre Pettis has led MakerBot as CEO since the company’s beginning in 2009. MakerBot completed a merger in August 2013 with Stratasys, one of the leading players in industrial additive manufacturing in the world, and an American Makes member.Pettis has a long history of making things and inspiring others to make things. Prior to co-founding MakerBot, Pettis co-founded the Brooklyn hacker collective NYC Resistor, where MakerBot technology was first created, tested, and proven. He was instrumental in building the first prototypes of MakerBot’s 3D printers, and has become known worldwide as a leading evangelist for personal manufacturing. In 2006, Pettis started the popular “Weekend Projects” video podcast for Make: Magazine, where he taught millions of viewers to make things from pinhole cameras to bicycles to hovercrafts. He also introduced the blog at the popular online handcrafts marketplace, Etsy. Prior to both endeavors, Bre was an art teacher in the Seattle Public Schools system. Pettis is passionate about providing the tools for individuals and organizations to create the world around them. He has spoken publicly about empowering students to solve the problems of the future, and worked behind the scenes to bring professional-quality 3D printing technology into the hands of average consumers. In 2012, Bre was honored with the Disruptive Innovation Award from the Tribeca Film Festival, for "creating an entire ecosystem for desktop 3D printing." He has been a highly sought-after speaker and interview subject, gracing the cover of numerous magazines (most recently WIRED), and been a guest on The Colbert Report, and many more. “It was exciting to address the leadership and membership of America Makes, which is made up of some of our most innovative organizations here in the United States” noted Pettis. “The importance of encouraging American-made manufacturing is paramount to the economic success of our country. We see 3D printing as a large component of that success and one that America Makes is helping with further understanding and adoption. I’m proud to be part of this pivotal time in U.S.-based manufacturing.” Pettis also noted that he is excited to work with the members of America Makes to figure out how to get MakerBot Desktop 3D Printers within reach of every student. America Makes is working with major U.S.-based manufacturers, industry, academia, government, non-government agencies, and workforce and economic development resources but also has the goal of inspiring a generation of “Makers” to use 3D printing. The goal is to get U.S. citizens, students and all Fortune 500 manufacturing-driven company leaders to consider the benefits of additive manufacturing. With the emphasis on “ America Makes” The Institute is sending a strong message that Americans are proud manufacturers. Utilizing additive manufacturing in the process allows companies and employees to collaborate digitally, publish and share findings rapidly, and prototype and iterate at a much faster pace than ever before. The nation is on the cusp of the Next Industrial Revolution and manufacturing revitalization in part due to additive manufacturing and 3D printing technologies. The Institute was founded as the pilot institute for up to 15 National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) Institutes.