MakerBot has continued to tone down its presence at CES from huge machine launches, to mature materials and now this year, an accessory that will be a welcome addition for many desktop 3D printer users – the MakerBot Smart Extruder+.
Designed for Fifth Generation MakerBot machines, this swappable extruder is set to boast improved print performance over a long period of time with an enhanced sensor system and components and has been announced just before the doors open on the CES 2016 3D Printing Marketplace in Las Vegas.
MakerBot says the Smart Extruder+ has been tested rigorously by teams at MakerBot and parent company, Stratasys for over 160,000 print hours. In these tests, the Smart Extruder+ performed consistently and reliably for over 700 hours on a MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printer, which equals 1.44 miles of MakerBot PLA Filament. In fact, over 90 percent of test units were still printing successfully at 1,200+ hours of print time. With that, MakerBot doubled the warranty on the extruder to six months.
“The advances we made with the MakerBot Smart Extruder+ are a big step forward and set a new benchmark in 3D printing,” Jonathan Jaglom, CEO of MakerBot, explained. “The extruder is the most critical part of a 3D printer and it is a part that wears out after a certain period of time and needs to be replaced. We engineered and tested the Smart Extruder+ to enhance its reliability, provide better performance and extend its lifetime. And we stand behind it by doubling our warranty to six months. Because it is swappable, the Smart Extruder+ can also reduce downtime when it’s time to replace it.”
The Smart Extruder+ features improved key components to ensure longer-lasting reliability, such as an enhanced thermal management system and an extended PTFE tube to feed the filament into the nozzle. Additional improvements include faster print start up and refined build plate levelling. The smart sensors within the extruder have been enhanced for better performance and to streamline the printing process. The sensor system communicates with MakerBot Desktop and MakerBot Mobile to keep users informed about the status of a print on the go.
The Smart Extruder+ is available for pre-order now for $199 and expected to ship on January 18, 2016. Current and new MakerBot Fifth Generation 3D Printer customers qualify for a special price of $99.
Visitors to CES 2016 can find out more on the Stratasys stand #72938 in the Sands Expo, Halls A-C on 6-9th January. There’s also still time to register for the CES 2016 3D Printing Conference, organised by TCT + Personalize and featuring speakers from Voxel8, Carbon3D and Made in Space.