December 1, 2014

Print the Legend

Luis Lopez & J. Clay Tweel, 2014
Anyone familiar with the emerging technology known as  "3D printing" has a sense of its impending impact on the world. What will we actually be able to print of use in our own homes? Footwear? Vinyl LP's? Home manufacturing material? The possibilities are quite endless, really. But right now it's in its infancy. At this point if you are an early adopter of a 3D printer, you are limited to something more along the lines of action figures or trinkets.

Print the Legend is kind of two films, really. In one sense it's an exploration into the world of 3D printing in it's early days. It focuses on the big guys with the bigger market share and the little guys desperate to get their piece of the pie in the sector. The big guys are companies Stratasys and 3D Systems. The little guys are MakerBot and FormLabs. The former have the operating capital to build cutting edge machines with a high price tag. The latter are cut from more of a hacker/engineering cloth, looking to disrupt the sector by making more reasonably-priced consumer-available machines. But the doc is also a study on the sharp minds of the tech startup world, as much of the film focuses on MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis, FormLabs creator Max Lobovsky and anarchist/controversial media figure Cody Wilson. The film effectively covers the evolution of Pettis, from ambitious genius to guy who sells his soul to the devil CEO. And everything about the film is geeky, interesting, crafty. It really provides some real excitement for what's yet to come in the world of technology.

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