MakerBot’s New 3D Printers Include Entry-Level Replicator Mini [CES 2014]

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We called it a “badass” product when MakerBot announced their Replicator 2X at last year’s CES, and now the company is back with three new 3D printers — including the Replicator Mini, which is being pitched as an affordable desktop unit for beginners.

“This is fifth-generation technology that’s setting the standard for reliability, quality, and connectivity,”┬áMakerBot CEO Bre Pettis said of the new Replicator printer. “It’s our fastest and easiest 3D printer to use.”

In addition to the Replicator Mini — which has a build volume of 75 cubic inches — MakerBot’s new flagship Replicator desktop 3D printer has a build volume of 456 cubic inches, while its industrial-class additive manufacturing box the Replicator Z18, increases this to 2,592 cubic inches.

The Replicator Mini prints at a 200-micron resolution, while the larger units can print at 100-micron resolution. The printers can use biodegradable PLA filament, which serves as a greener, more sustainable alternative to ABS plastic.

The new printers come packed with 3D-printing software and firmware, alongside cloud-connecting capabilities, which mean that “you can connect to [them] however you want [using] a phone, a tablet, or your desktop computer.”

They additionally feature 3.5-inch color LCD screens to enable users to monitor the progress of their print jobs, and set up Wi-Fi and Ethernet connections with other systems and devices.

The MakerBot 3D Printing Platform also includes new applications for desktop and mobile — including MakerBot PrintShop, which is described as a “fun, easy, and free way to create and 3D print unique items,” and the MakerBot Digital Store in which users can “purchase, download, and print incredible MakerBot Verified 3D collections and models.” the company said in a news release.

The new Replicator 3D printer is currently available to purchase — while the Replicator Mini and Replicator Z18 are set to ship later this year.

MakerBot also announced that it is entering a “strategic alliance with innovative 3D vision company SoftKinetic” to make future 3D scanning products.

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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