NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — What will they think of next?

A weekend event in Brooklyn might just have you asking this question – along with several others.

Brooklyn’s 3rd Ward is teaming up with MakerBot, a company that’s been named one of the top New York City-based start-up companies. Their project, the MakerBot Thing-O-Matic, is a robot that, as the name suggests, makes things for you.

“It’s an affordable, open-source 3D printer,” said Bre Pettis, CEO and cofounder of MakerBot. “You can take anything you can imagine and turn it into something physical.”

Riding the cusp of a new technology known as 3D printing, the bot uses a variety of compounds and chemicals to make 3D objects – any object – out of thin air, using only schematics as its guide.

The new technology may sound out-of-this-world, but it seems to be catching on.

“This idea of being able to make things yourself is seeding itself all over the world,” Pettis said.

The project came to life three years ago in New York City, when Pettis and some friends wanted a 3D printer, but couldn’t afford one. So they took it upon themselves to build one.

This weekend, MakerBot is collaborating with Bushwick facility 3rd Ward for a Make-a-Thon to showcase the Thing-O-Matic. There will also be presentations from artists within the MakerBot community, including resident artist Kyle McDonald who will be attaching the Thing-O-Matic to an Xbox Kinect for nefarious and artistic purposes.

A Makerbot representative tells CBSNewYork they see the event as an opportunity to create awareness of the new technology – something a lot of people have heard of, but no one’s seen up close.

Need to see it to believe it? Pop-in at the free event on Saturday. For more information, click here.

Freelance writer Lawrence Bonk contributed to this report.


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