This article reflects my personal opinions, and not the opinions of Panda Robotics
I’ve had a few very interesting conversations and the organizations I’ve managed have had to make a very difficult decisions this last week.
Panda Robotics’ target market is primarily the general consumer, I personally believe that it is time to get 3d printers out of the labs, out of the workshops, right into the homes. Essentially, the exact same thinking that happened in the late 70s with personal computers.
Yes, there are always ways to improve on these existing tools from the perspective of finer resolution, etc., but, in my opinion we could spend the rest of time trying to make the very best one before we get the prices down and get it so people can use it themselves. Get it so everyone can start to imagine and create in ways that we, the manufacturers, can’t even imagine.
I’m fairly certain many of the early PC pioneers never envisioned VisiCalc, nor dreamt that something that useful for business could run on such an underpowered machine.
To get to the general consumer, we not only have to get the price down, but my dream was to get Pandabots safe and easy enough to use that we could get entire labs of these into the schools at schoolboards, or the universities throughout North America. Yes, there would still be a place for high-end printers like the Objet’s and Dimensions, but this provides a stepping stone where individuals who would never have had the opportunity to really play with a 3d printer, learn it’s limitations and possibilities, but more importantly be able to dream about how they can create a new world with it.
I know, this seems very optimistic, but I really think that Moore’s Law (to some degree) will apply to 3d printing, and by the time the kids in elementary school have reached adulthood, they will not only view 3d printing as just another part of life, but be able to enact those things they’ve been dreaming of doing since they were young.
Just as many of us did when we graduated, having started on old XTs and Apple IIs.
Amazingly, when the kickstarter started. we got lots of requests from schools and institutions who wanted it precisely for this reason. It excites me immensely, and I’m very hopeful that we’ll be able to get the first production models to them soon. So that the people in school in 2013 will be able to all start to use 3d printers daily and get as excited as me about them.
I’m working as hard as I can to make this dream come true, and I appreciate all of the support each and everyone of you has given me in reaching it.