My extended Q&A with MakerBot founder Bre Pettis is up on the Look Ahead blog at The Economist.

Pettis was a school teacher who got his start in desktop manufacturing by searching for ways to reach kids who learned best by working with their hands.

MakerBot is at the forefront of the digital manufacturing revolution with its series of desktop 3D printers. This could change everything….

From the interview:

I think the most interesting thing is that, in many ways, we’ve solved the prototyping problem. Most people creating a product—doing product design—never get to do it in real life. They have to ship it out to be some part of a machine somewhere. But we’ve shifted that. The whole front end of the process, the design process, has been made easier through software. Instead of having a design, sending it off, getting it back a month later and then iterating again a month later, you can iterate literally multiple times a day. So it really changes the speed of innovation and allows people to fail faster and build better products.

Read the whole interview at Look Ahead.