When Bre Pettis left Stratasys last year, it was with ambitious goals – the creator of MakerBot stated that he intended to “change the world” through 3D printing with the help of his new company, Bold Machines, which began as a product development workshop within Stratasys. Many would argue that Pettis has already made a significant impact on the world through 3D printing, just by creating what may very well be the most well-known 3D printer in the history of the industry. After moving on from Stratasys, however, Pettis has continued to diversify his career and approach the industry from new angles.
While Bold Machines has already produced plenty of creative work through 3D printing, Pettis is now launching a new creative venture. Bre & Co creates customizable, “heirloom-quality” gift items using 3D printing and other advanced manufacturing techniques. Like many companies, Bre & Co grew out of a desire to create unique, personalized gifts for loved ones.
“I started Bre & Co. as a project to make a few unique watches as gold medals of friendship, appreciation, and admiration for a special people in my life,” Pettis explains. “Working on these gifts filled me with gratitude. I wanted to enlarge the project to make watches so other people could also give them, for gifts or to mark personal achievements. We expanded from watches to pens, pocket knives, jewelry and ceramics.”
Bre & Co.’s products are not cheap in either price or quality. A few examples of the company’s offerings include:
- Origami Watch, a fancy timepiece made from 316L stainless steel, sapphire crystal, and a PVC rubber strap. It includes an Eterna 3909A movement and an American eagle liberty gold coin embedded in the back. The watch was machined by Bre and Co.’s machining partner Burger & Brown Engineering from the wood of a tree that fell in Pettis’ yard. The facets on the watch reflect Pettis’ obsession with origami, and the whole thing will run you $5,800.
- The Origami Pen shows that Pettis’ origami habit applies to more than just watches. Made from stainless steel, the pen is more than just attractive. Its smooth grip was specially designed to feel great in the hand and to assist people who have trouble grasping or holding their hands still. As a bonus, it can also be used to punch out a car window if your vehicle catches on fire or crashes into a lake. With a Muji gel ink cartridge, the Origami Pen is designed to last lifetimes – which is good, as it’s an investment of $425. The pen can also be customized with a three-letter laser monogram.
- The Origami Teapot really looks like it could be made from paper origami. 3D printed from black porcelain and glazed on the inside with a clear food-safe coating, the delicate, faceted teapot appears almost diamond-like when held up to the light. The teapot holds four cups of liquid and is priced at $320.
MakerBot was actually one of the earliest companies to begin exploring 3D printing with ceramics, and Bre & Co. is currently using a PotterBot and a Lutum to further investigate the possibilities of 3D ceramics printing, as well as traditional slip casting. Other 3D printed ceramic pieces include the Origami Sake Set, and the range of other gifts in the shop include everything from jewelry to a pocket knife.
“My original idea was to make items that you could only buy for other people, as a gift,” said Pettis. “I wanted to make something that was different enough that people would have to ask you about it. ‘What is that?’ Then you’d have to say, ‘My friend gave me this because he/she thinks I’m an awesome friend.'”
Bre & Co., which is based in Brooklyn, New York, will be hosting an open house and holiday sale at their workshop on December 6 at 6:00 PM – and 3DPrint.com will be in attendance to check out the new venture. You can learn more details at the company’s Facebook page. Discuss in the Bre & Co forum at 3DPB.com.