The MakerBot Prince & a Journey with 3D Printing…

This is a delayed post about a serendipity event that took place last month and really needed some absorption to let it all sink in.

While doing catch-up reading of online newsletters that I had let pile up, a Springwise story caught my eye: MakerBot’s kids’ book teaches them about 3D printing: LEO the Maker Prince is a children’s storybook that helps them learn about 3D printing and then download files to bring the characters to life.


Curious, I hit the link to LEO’s site, where I found another link to a Co.Design article which made this fantastic connection: The creator LEO was inspired by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s 1943 children’s classic, The Little Prince.

“When I set out to write a book sharing my own excitement about the future of 3-D printing, I thought about what a strong impact certain books have had on my life. The Little Prince stood out to me, particularly for its message about creativity and keeping an open mind.”

Whoa! So LEO The Maker Prince is Carla Diana’s passion project that aims to inspire a new generation of makers.

Note: Seems to me that like “The Little Prince,” this book will speak to all ages, not just children.

In brief, the book follows a similar journey as The Little Prince in St. Exupery’s book.

The book features a prince from space who crash lands on Earth and then befriends the book’s narrator after asking her to draw a sheep.


The little prince of this story takes the sheep drawing, scans it into its memory banks, and prints out a three-dimensional model of it, initiating the narrator (and the reader) into the world of 3-D printing.


Pretty cool. So essentially, the journey that the author, Carla and LEO, the maker prince go on through Brooklyn, New York opens her eyes to lots of cool things you can do with 3D printing.


The funny thing is that just before stumbling upon this story, I was asked what I thought about 3-D printing. Honestly, I didn’t see the need, I replied.

As of today, I’ve changed my tune. I’m really curious and have already purchased the book.

LEO the Maker Prince: Journeys in 3D Printing

And there’s more! I did research to find out the story behind the story. Ended up at the blog of MakerBot where there was a post about this.

Then I jumped to the news section and read the press release which included a nice description of MakerBot:

A subsidiary of Stratasys, MakerBot is leading the Next Industrial Revolution by stewing the standards in reliable and affordable desktop 3D printing. Founded in 2009, MakerBot has built the largest installed base of desktop 3D printers sold to innovative and industry-­‐leading customers worldwide,including engineers, architects, designers, educators and consumers.

So the back story is that Carla Diana,a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and contributor to the New York Times, had worked with 3D printers for years. She really wanted to share the magic of the technology as it became accessible to more people.

“I had a strong sense affordable, personal 3D printers such as the MakerBot Replicator would empower makers like artists, tinkerers and students to realize projects that previously only existed in daydreams and sketchbooks.

Even more curious, I took a peek at Thingiverse and found some helpful information:

What is Thingiverse?

MakerBot’s Thingiverse is a thriving design community for discovering, making, and sharing 3D printable things. As the world’s largest 3D printing community, we believe that everyone should be encouraged to create and remix 3D things, no matter their technical expertise or previous experience. In the spirit of maintaining an open platform, all designs are encouraged to be licensed under a Creative Commons license, meaning that anyone can use or alter any design.

How Can I Get Involved?

The best way to get involved with Thingiverse is to try your hand at 3D designing. Thingiverse isn’t just of designers, engineers, or CAD drawing experts: anyone can learn. But that’s not the only way to participate… Gaining street cred can be as simple as posting your “makes” (prints of an existing design), or creating your own mod template for your favorite 3D design in Customizer, our first app that uses the Thingiverse API.

This serendipitous journey took more of a curious turn as I found MakerBot had ended up on Fox Business. You can find the interview here.

This is all very cool. I’m sure the gang will not only dig the story, but want to get their hands on the MakerBot 3D printer to try it out.

Stay tuned for a Sunday Session with the guys.


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  1. TheGang says:

    Good take on 3D printing from the Silicon Valley home paper:

  2. TheGang says:

    Looks like HP is getting into the 3D printing game.

  3. Those MakerBot printers are definitely interesting, and the fact that one can just walk into one of their stores and create some 3D object makes the whole thing even more appealing.

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