…are better when made and modded by yourself and with others.
After much pondering and contemplating, I’ve decided it’s time for me to step down from my role as Moderator and Keeper of the Peace in the MakerBot and Thingiverse Google Groups.
It has been quite the four years! When it started, everyone was new but technically adept so the demands on my time were minimal. As the MakerBot machines have evolved however, the technical barriers to entry have dropped and expectations have risen. That’s not a bad thing – don’t get me wrong – but it has meant that more of my spare waking minutes (including many sleeping minutes lost) have been spent treading the rising tide. It has gotten to the point where I haven’t been doing much actual 3D design and printing. I miss that.
Maintaining the status quo is also not fair to the next batch of MakerBot Users who I expect will be unboxing Replicator 2 machines over the X-mas holidays and queuing up first-prints over the New Year’s holidays. With their new direction, targeting non-technical creators with more closed-source machines and design flows, MakerBot Industries’ support infrastructure needs to be more actively and visibly involved with the troubleshooting in the community at large.
I am also looking forward to the freedom it will give me, formally setting aside the conflict of interest I have had – receiving free stuff and some monetary compensation for my efforts – to explore other existing and upcoming open source hardware and software activities. I’ve been holding myself back so as not to to stir up trouble; that has got to change.