MakerBot targets engineers with latest desktop 3D printer
The desktop 3D printer offerings just became a little more interesting with MakerBot® Industries’ introduction of the MakerBot® Replicator™ 2 Desktop 3D Printer, which, according to the company is the “easiest, fastest, and most affordable tool yet for making professional-quality models.” Designed for use by engineers, researchers, creative professionals, or “anyone who loves to make things,” it features 100-micron layer resolution, which is impressive for this type of 3D printer. In addition, the build size is up to 410 in.3 in volume (11.2 in. L x 6.0 in. W x 6.1 in. H).
Bre Pettis, CEO of MakerBot, also announced a total software update for faster and more consistent printing; an additional new product launch of the MakerBot® Replicator™ 2X Experimental Desktop 3D Printer for experienced users; and the company’s first retail location, which opened simultaneously with the launch of the new products in the NoHo neighborhood of Manhattan.
The printer is optimized for MakerBot PLA Filament — a renewable bioplastic PLA. PLA is a popular build material in 3D printing because of its strength and ability to make large prints without cracking or warping.
The new software is named MakerWare. According to MakerBot, this new slicing engine is up to 20 times faster than the previous technology. The software is smart and efficient for faster and more consistent models.
It lets the 3D printer make multiple models at one time.
The software also makes it intuitive to move, rotate, and scale models. When it comes time to choose print settings, it simplifies the process while still leaving the control in the user’s hands.
The price of $2,199 won’t make everyone happy, but considering what you are getting, this price is competitive.
MakerBot’s second announcement of the “experimental” version of the MakerBot Replicator 2X Experimental 3D Printer (at $2,799) was designed specifically for “3D printing experts that want to blaze a trail into the future of 3D printing.” The key feature of this printer is its experimental dual extrusion and the use of the familiar petroleum-based thermoplastic, MakerBot ABS filament. The 3D printer comes equipped with an updated dual-extruder tool and an updated heated build platform. Professional engineers, many who are printing experts, might not be that impressed with these features. But this development is an indication of things to come in the industry—a convergence of size, capabilities and features, and price at the lower end of the 3D printing market.