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MakerBot moves Downtown

MakerBot moves Downtown
The doctor is in: MakerBot head Bre Pettis, who is a huge “Dr. Who” fan, insisted on having a tardis in the office.
Photo by Ken Yapelli

MakerBot’s new offices are a grown-up kid’s dream. The chairs and tables look like giant, stackable construction toys. There’s a sprawling “bot farm,” where racks of 3-D printers constantly churn out goodies. There’s also the stunning 21st floor, 360 degree view of the city.

That’s not to mention the full-scale replica of Dr. Who’s Tardis, which uses clever architecture to somehow seem, indeed, bigger on the inside.

Last week, MakerBot, the pioneer of desktop 3-D printers, moved from Gowanus into its massive, 26,000 square-feet offices in the Metrotech building in Downtown.

Bre Pettis, co-founder and chief executive officer of MakerBot, said he never considered leaving the borough.

“Brooklyn is the best place in the world. There are other places?” quipped Pettis before disappearing into the Tardis in the lobby, which connects to the rest of the space though a second door. “There’s more talent here, more people with a can-do attitude.”

The folks at the Brooklyn Tech Triangle Initiative, a coalition of groups from Downtown, DUMBO and the Navy Yard that are formulating a plan to bring more technology companies to those neighborhoods, are thrilled that MakerBot is here.

“We’re incredibly excited by the opening of MakerBot here,” said Tom Conoscenti, executive director for planning and administration at Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, one of the members of the initiative. “The media companies started moving here a couple of years ago. Now, the tech companies are the next wave of tenants.”

So far, MakerBot is the first and only major technology company to commit to Downtown. But Conoscenti is hoping that the printer company will lead to a critical mass.

“MakerBot is going to give confidence to a lot of companies that Downtown Brooklyn is where the action is at,” he said.

Last fall, MakerBot released its Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer and opened a retail store in NoHo.

But MakerBots are still printed in Brooklyn too, at the “bot cave” in Boerum Hill, and Pettis said it will stay that way.

The Tech Triangle folks aren’t the only ones happy that MakerBot stayed in Brooklyn. The company’s employees, most of whom live in the borough, are also psyched.

“My commute is really great,” said Annelise Jeske, who rides her bike to work almost every day. “I love Brooklyn. When I first moved here, I thought I would have to work in Manhattan. I’m happy that I don’t.”

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.

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