MakerBot from Venturebeat on Vimeo.

Is there anything more American than a robot that can create anything you want out of a spool of plastic and some electricity?

It’s only a slight exaggeration to say that 3D printers offer levels of Jeffersonian self-reliance that our founding fathers only dreamed of.

“We have a consumer product that’s anti-consumerist,” MakerBot Industries founder Bre Pettis told me at CES 2012, where I captured the short video above. “When you get a MakerBot, you have an alternative to buying things. You can download them … or you can design something and make it custom yourself.”

The new MakerBot Replicator is a $1,750 box that can print three-dimensional objects by melting and fusing bits of plastic line, layer by minuscule layer. A version that prints objects in two colors costs $2,000. It’s one of several new, affordable 3D printers that are hitting the market this year.

Read the whole story: Dylan’s Desk: Saddle your horses and fire up the 3D printer | VentureBeat.