Help support We The Builders

We the Builders  makes giant crowd-sourced sculptures out of hundreds of small parts, 3D printed around the world by people like you!

We want to make more sculptures in more places, improve the process and user experience for you, and create some other cool projects that bring the hands-on, collaborative building experience to your home. We'd also like to tour with our existing sculptures around the country - places like Maker Faire, 3D printing festivals, museums, and anywhere else you want to see us! Your support will make all this possible.

>>> Watch and read on to find out more! >>>

We the Builders was started as a Hackathon project in Baltimore in 2013. Todd Blatt and Marty McGuire, with the help of Direct Dimensions, 3D scanned a bust of George Washington and sliced the digital image into hundreds of sections. They developed a nifty platform where anyone with a 3D printer can claim a part to print at home, then log and ship us their piece. The rest, they say, is history.

Since then, We the Builders has created five large community-built sculptures, in the likeness of some of our nation's historical icons: George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Edgar Allen Poe, and Rosie the Riveter, sculpted by Jen Schachter. Most recently, we built a giant monument of Rosie printed by over 700 people from around the world. With help from Adam Savage (, Mythbusters) and dozens of volunteers from Nation of Makers, we assembled all 2,625 parts into a staggering 6-foot tall sculpture.

First, we scan a bust of the figure we want to re-create. The imaging is done using a super high resolution 3D scanning process. How hi-res, you ask? Enough for Jen to see her fingerprints in the clay on Rosie! 

Todd takes the 3D image, lowers the poly-count to something manageable, and cleans up the model in Meshmixer, hollowing out the inside and removing space for an armature. The digital file is then sliced along three axes, and painstakingly labeled using a coordinate system to code each part based on its location in the sculpture.

Marty, the web development wizard, designed a pretty slick platform to manage the crowdsourcing process. Anyone with a 3D printer can log in to claim a part on (Even if you don't have a printer, services like 3D Hubs, Shapeways, or even a Print n' Share event at your local library or makerspace are an easy and inexpensive way to get involved.)

We track the progress of each part at every step of the process, from printing, to logging, shipping, and receiving. Once all the parts arrive, we recruit a team of volunteers to help us sort, glue and assemble the sculpture like a big three-dimensional puzzle!

We have learned a ton from building five sculptures, and there are lots of ways we plan to streamline both the backend and frontend processes. This will enable us to make more sculptures, with a quicker turnaround time, and make your experience as a user even easier and more fun!

If you hadn't guessed, We the Builders is a nod to "We the People" from the opening of the United States Constitution. In the spirit of democracy, we're hoping to bring the process of building large sculptures and monuments to the people, to tell your story and memorialize who you want to see remembered.

Anyone who has participated in one of our projects knows the feeling of being part of something so many people helped bring into being, most of whom you've never even met! On Build Day, we get to read all the messages and stories written on and inside pieces, and shared along the way across the interwebs. This is why we do what we do -- it's about collaboration and community, and we love sharing that experience with the world!

We quite literally cannot do this alone.  Your support will help We the Builders grow, and make more projects possible. Here are some exciting things we have in the pipeline:

• Put a ring on it: Get set up as an official partnership so we can manage funds, issue/sign contracts, and just generally be more legit.

Swag On: Make t-shirts, business cards, posters, stickers, etc.

Automate it: Partner with a coder/CAD designer on a script that will slice, name, inscribe, and save each part file. (Mondo upgrade - this is currently a days-long manual process!)

We the Builders on tour: Cover freight shipping and travel costs to bring WTB sculptures to a city near you!

Our powers combined: Improve the “Team” function for those hosting printing events - more team admin functionality, and batch shipping.

DIY Kits: Create at-home kits for you to print and assemble mini models of all the WTB sculptures at home. Yassss!

Can't stop, won't stop: Of course, we want to make even more sculptures for you all to be a part of. That takes a ton of time and cashmoney to buy supplies like armature material, hardware, and lots and lots of glue!

That's our story. We hope you're as excited about our projects as we are. Anything you can contribute means a heckuvalot (that's a word) and it will help us get bigger and better.

You can check out our past projects, and get involved at, or follow us on social at @we_the_builders

See you on the next build!

- Jen, Todd, and Marty
We the Builders

Fundraising team (2)

Jennifer Schachter
Baltimore, MD
Marty McGuire
Team member

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