CES 2014: Makerbot Unveils ‘Next Generation’ Of 3D Printers

Makerbot Mini 3D Printer CES 2014

Makerbot’s fifth generation of 3D printers is intended to ‘lead the next industrial revolution’ and bring 3D printing into homes

Having been involved in the market since 2009, it’s fair to say that Makerbot knows its stuff when it comes to 3D printers, and the company has now revealed its fifth generation of products this week at CES. CEO Bre Fettis unveiled the Makerbot Mini, the Desktop 3D, and the Replicator Z18 3D, aimed at home, office and industry respectively.

All three devices run the company’s new MakerBot Replicator Platform, which features a 3.5 inch colour LCD screen that allows users to monitor their print jobs, an on-board camera, and Wi-Fi capability. They also feature a new “smart” extruder which alerts users as to when the printer’s filament supply runs out, automatically pausing a print job until new filament has been loaded.

Makerbot 3D Printer group CES 2014Home printing

The Makerbot Mini was labelled by Perris as “the consumer 3D printer”, measuring in at just under 5 inches tall, and will go on sale in the spring for $1,375. The company says it offers “one-touch” printing, and is suited to beginners and professionals.

Users can create 3D printouts either from scratch using Makerbot’s free Printshop tablet app, or using 3D models which can be bought from the company’s digital store, with prices starting at $0.99 (60p).

Files are transferred either by Wi-Fi or USB, and MakerBot has promised a mobile app which can control the printer.

For those looking for something a bit meatier, the company also announced the Replicator Desktop 3D and an industrial-sized version, the Replicator Z18 3D.

The fifth-generation Replicator printer offers a build volume of 7,522 cubic centimetres (456 cubic inches), meaning that it’s 11 percent larger than its predecessor. It will also be available in the spring for $2,899.

The daddy of the trio, the Replicator Z18, offers the ability to build objects up to 45.7 cm (18 inches) tall, with a total build volume of 42,475 cubic centimetres (2,592 cubic inches). It will go on sale for $6,499.

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Author: Mike Moore
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