SXSW Shines in the Shadow of 3-D Printer

Not only is everyone talking about the SWSW conference right now, they’re also talking about a device that we’re bound to see more of if tonight’s enthusiasm is any indication.

MakerBot on Friday unveiled a prototype of its first desktop 3-D printer, the MakerBot Digitizer, which can produce plastic replicas of small objects.

It’s certainly an early standout at the South by Southwest Interactive conference.

Bre Pettis, the company’s co-founder, took the machine around to Austin’s watering holes, set it on the bar and showed off its capabilities by printing shot glasses. “They were pretty popular,” he said.

On Friday, CNN reports, Pettis was at SXSW serving as the keynote speaker before a packed hall of 3,000 people. During the event, he showed off the 3-D printer. And the audience was dazzled.

“This is something you would envision being science fiction, but in fact, it is real — and it is so cool,” said Pettis.

The visionary behind the futuristic printer says the digitizer and printer are perfect for archiving or replicating “prototypes, models, parts, artifacts, sculptures and other objects.”

“If something gets broken,” he says, “you can just scan it and print it again.”

The 3-D printer is expected to launch this fall with an estimated price tag of $2,000 to $3,000.