MakerBot released an update to PrintShop, its iOS app that takes drawings and sketches and turns them into 3D printable files.

From the press release: “Our goal with the MakerBot PrintShop app is to make 3D printing more accessible and empower anyone to easily create 3D designs,” said Joey Neal, chief experience officer with MakerBot. “All it takes is a pen and a piece of white paper to create a drawing that can then be 3D printed using the new MakerBot Shape Maker feature. If you can draw a sketch, you can use MakerBot Shape Maker to transform your creations from the flat 2D world of pen and paper to the exciting 3D world of 3D printing.”

While 3D printing is still nowhere near ready for mass consumption, it’s getting closer all the time. The key is to get it beyond printing highly specialized things like spare parts for your dishwasher or vanity action figures of yourself. Easy to use apps like PrintShop are going to make that happen. (And faster print times. That’s a biggie.)

Again, from the press release:

How it Works
Shape Maker on MakerBot PrintShop is easy to use. Just open the MakerBot PrintShop iPad app, select Shape Maker and snap a photo with the iPad’s camera of a drawing or an item that has a distinct contrast and simple lines in its design. Use the slider tools to select the areas of the drawing to 3D print and scale; when all of the items or lines that are to be 3D printed turn green, choose a background select print or save right from the screen. Files saved will be accessible in the MakerBot Cloud Library and can be accessed through personal accounts on, the world’s largest 3D design destination for viewing, sharing and 3D printing digital designs. Files printed can be sent via Wi-Fi directly to a MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printer, MakerBot Replicator Mini Compact 3D Printer or a MakerBot Replicator Z18 3D Printer. For those who want to change the size of their finished print, it is recommended that the item be accessed via MakerBot Desktop for sizing and scaling to fit the 3D printer that is being used. To see Shape Maker for MakerBot PrintShop in action, go to