Ever since 2009, when I first saw Bre Pettis and Zack Hoeken on the video series "Make: Weekend Projects" build a RepStrap I've been in love with 3D Printing. In 2010, my parents put up half the money for a Makerbot Thing-o-matic kit as a Christmas present (Thanks Mom and Dad!). I spent the rest of the week assembling my Makerbot and was able to finally print out my first squirrel. It was by far the largest and most challenging I had made at this point in my life and I definitely had some panic moments when it wasn't homing correctly (Due to a bad wire crimp).
The event I am about to recount happened 5 years ago from the time of this writing so I will do my best to make sure it is as accurate as possible. I don't remember the year but it was around 2007 - 2009 that I began to really gain interest in 3D Printing. It all started with Bre Pettis (You may know him as the former Makerbot CEO) who at the time made a weekly video series through "Make" (The Magazine) called "Make Weekend Projects". I used to watch these videos on youtube to see the cool projects that Mr. Pettis would bring on the show. One of the weeks he brought on one his friends and future co-founder of Maker Zach Hoeken, together they made a two part episode on making a Repstrap (A machine designed without RepRap parts for the purpose of printing RepRap parts). Anyways the minute I saw them building their 3d Printer I was amazed. Later on they developed Makerbot Industries and began selling Cupcake CNC 3D Printers.
I really wanted a Cupcake CNC 3D Printer and was trying to explain to my parents that 3D Printers were real. They were not as popular as they are now and my mom has told me that at the time she thought it was a scam.
When I visited new york back in 2010 I had the chance to visit the original Makerbot Industries headquarters in Brooklyn. At the time they had just come out with the Makerbot Thing-o-matic. Sam from Makerbot let me see them printing some parts on a couple of thing-o-matics and I got to bring home some cool 3D printed bracelets that they had in the vending machine.