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MakerBot unveils its new 3D printer, the Replicator

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January 12, 2012

MakerBot has unveiled its latest desktop-friendly 3D printer at CES 2012, the Replicator -...

MakerBot has unveiled its latest desktop-friendly 3D printer at CES 2012, the Replicator - with a bigger print footprint and the ability to create objects in two colors at the same time

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The folks at MakerBot Industries have not exactly been resting on their laurels since causing a stir at CES last year with the Thing-o-Matic 3D printer. Even though the original small object creation device would still see the jaws of most people dropping in wonder, the company has now unveiled a new model at CES 2012 called the Replicator that is not only capable of fabricating much bigger objects than its predecessor, but can also do so in two colors at the same time.

Rather than having some fabrication company on the other side of the world mass-produce millions of plastic shower curtain hooks, door knobs, or even chess pieces and then ship them to your local store for you to buy, desktop-friendly 3D printers like MakerBot's Thing-o-Matic allow users to create every day objects in the home, only when they are needed. Revolutionary!

Now, I'm no stranger to side-stepping the world of big commerce to get what I need. There was a time in my not-so-distant past when I used to spend my spare time pouring resin into floppy molds, wait a few hours for all the chess pieces to set and then smooth, polish or paint the finished objects until they were smart enough to give away as presents. By MakerBot standards, though, my efforts were positively prehistoric.

MakerBot's new Replicator 3D printer above, and a few of its printed objects above and bel...

With the next generation of MakerBot 3D printer, users will be offered the chance to increase the print volume from objects about the size of a cupcake in the Thing-o-Matic up to roughly the same size as a loaf of bread in the Replicator - or something in the region of 9 x 6 x 6 inches (228.6 x 152.4 x 152.4 mm). The new device features an upgraded MK8 version of the MakerBot Stepstruder (that's the bit that actually transforms raw materials like ABS plastic or bio-degradable PLA into 3D objects) that prints at a speed of 40 mm (1.57-inches) per second. The company is also now making it possible to simultaneously print objects in two colors via dual extruder heads.

The new 12.6 x 18.4 x 15-inch (320 x 467 x 381 mm) Replicator weighs 30 pounds (13.6 kg) and now includes its own built-in, four line LCD panel and game-controller-like user interface to allow for computer-free operation. Object model designs can be loaded directly into the control pad via an SD card slot, or via USB connection to a Linux, Windows, or OS X computer.

The new Replicator includes its own built-in, four line LCD panel and game-controller-like...

Unlike its kit-based predecessor, the new beast is pre-assembled by hand by MakerBot's engineers in Brooklyn, New York and tested before being shipped out, making it ready for action as soon as it arrives.

The new Replicator is currently showing as available for pre-order. A single extruder unit and a 1 kg (2.2 pounds) spool of natural ABS plastic is priced at US$1,749, with a further US$250 securing the purchase of the model featuring MakerBot's dual extruder - or Dualstrusion - technology and two spools of plastic - one natural, one black.

About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag.   All articles by Paul Ridden
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10 Comments

"pre-assembled by hand" - don't they have any maker(ro)-bots to make their maker-bots?

agulesin
13th January, 2012 @ 04:08 am PST

i want one!

Hilary Albutt
13th January, 2012 @ 05:17 am PST

As do I Hilary, wanna marry me?,,, nah,,, I will just keep polishing rock, Mexican Lace Agate is the best, lovely, insane wonderful patterns, make wonderful pets, beautiful pendants

Bill Bennett
13th January, 2012 @ 08:21 pm PST

Check out thefutureis3d com For larger 3D printers. They were the first ones to sell a fully assembled ready to print 3D pritner with Bed sizes starting at 12" x 12" up to 16" x 16".

Jeff Christiana
14th January, 2012 @ 11:59 am PST

Nice, as far as it goes. Can I make molds in it? molds for metal parts? There already are replicators that work directly in metal, but the price is astro-big.

Walt Stawicki
15th January, 2012 @ 02:08 pm PST

I hope there's somebody working on replicating living tissue.

leondk
15th January, 2012 @ 09:54 pm PST

I am hoping to find a Replicator owner who would be willing to do some small contract work. I think it would be a win-win.

Bruce H. Anderson
16th January, 2012 @ 06:09 am PST

I think the article missed one important enabling feature of the dual head design. Makerbot has already introduced a new (new to them, not new new) water soluable PVA filament. With the dual head design, support material could be easily washed away to create moving/working assemblies in one model.

http://www.makerbot.com/blog/2011/02/21/makerbot-introduces-water-soluble-3d-printer-filament/

CreativeApex
16th January, 2012 @ 09:16 am PST

I need to see it in action

is it on display at an exhibition center?

13thbiosphere
21st January, 2012 @ 08:07 pm PST

What about three heads and mixing colors? ;)

Anona Mous
25th January, 2012 @ 01:02 pm PST
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