The new MakerBot replicator
We were teased by Bre in an interview with Rory Cellan-Jones that MakerBot were going to announce something fairly large at International CES 2014, we speculated it might be perhaps a new Replicator, what I don’t think anyone saw coming was not just one but THREE brand new machines from the Brooklyn-based outfit.
From their press conference over at the Mandalay Bay, Bre whipped off the covers of the new line-up, which includes a sort of small, medium and large arrangement:
At an entry price of just $1,375 the Mini offering from MakerBot is an easy-to-use, no compromise 3D printer for everyone from beginners to professionals. It contains none of the calibration sticking points that may have been putting consumers off previously. It is plug-and-play, works over Wi-Fi with the new MakerBot Printshop app (more on this later), no levelling, has a build volume of 10.0 L x 10.0 W x 12.5 H cm [3.9 L x 3.9 W x 4.9 H in] and a 200 micron layer resolution.
As well as this it comes with MakerBot’s new Smart Extruder and on-board camera for monitoring prints whilst away from the machine. This may be mini in name and size but this represents a huge leap for the entry-level consumer market.
Though the name is the same this isn’t that laser-cut wood box - that now seems like it was invented B.C. – MakerBot released in 2012. This is an entirely new the fifth generation prosumer machine with an 11% increase on build volume from the Replicator 2. Like the Mini, this machine also contains the new Smart Extruder and on-board camera but with a 3.5 inch full colour LCD display complete with high-end stereo system knob and smartphone control over you print.
The mid-ranged printer is priced at $2,899 and promises to be the complete machine for professionals and consumers alike.
Perhaps the most surprising and exciting announcement in the line-up is the biggest of the three printers the Z18. The price point of $6,499 means the printer is almost certainly aimed at professionals. The name refers to the machines incredible build dimensions, which an extraordinary 18-inches in height.
The machine also is the benefactor of a feature we here on Personalize predicted would feature in the next-gen MakerBots as soon as MakerBot were taken over by Stratasys, a heated build chamber. The ability to control the temperature of the environment of a print has long had envious eyes casted over by competitors and now MakerBot have it. And have it alongside a raft of other features such as the explanatory Superflat Build Plate, 100 micron resolution and LCD interface.
All three printer, of course, are exceedingly aesthetically pleasing and re-enforce MakerBot as one of the top 3D printing brands out there.
The printers weren’t the only announcements Bre made to a packed out press conference. MakerBot is now a complete 3D Printing Eco-System with three new apps and a new digital store. These alongside the three new printers show just how far the company has come in this their fifth CES.