POPA and Makerbot - printing your intentions
by Brendan Dawes
November 24, 2011
Sketching out an idea in a sketchbook is great, but they're only intentions if they don't ever spring forth from the page and become real. And right now, making those ideas become real has never been easier, more accesible and more exciting.
When I had the idea for POPA
– adding a physical shutter button to the iPhone – I made lots of sketches in my Field Note notebooks on what I thought it could look like; but with something like that, something that was very much about how something felt, not just how it looked, it was frustrating to not be able to hold it in my hands and truly test that feel factor. Anyone involved in industrial design will say, yeah but that's easy, you just get a rapid prototype made. But I wasn't an industrial designer, I was just someone who had an idea and loves to make things.
Then in December of 2010 I discovered MakerBot
– an affordable 3D printer that you could build yourself which would mean that making physical things appear, born from sketches in a notebook, was now possible to people who weren't industrial designers; people like me.
After building this amazing machine the second print I did was literally my idea for POPA (which I made very simply in the free Google Sketchup); now I could hold it in my hands and actually feel how, well, how it felt! And it felt good. Suddenly an intention had turned into a possibility and now, 10 months on, it's finally a reality with the release of POPA
This is what technology represents for me and Beep Industries – new possibilities becoming a reality.