For about a year, former aerospace engineer Sam Cervantes served as the chief of operations for Makerbot, the Brooklyn-based 3D printer manufacturer. While the reasons for his departure hasn’t been made public, his subsequent activities have – he’s been developing another 3D printer, known as the Solidoodle. He recently unveiled the latest model, the Solidoodle 2, which comes fully-assembled for just under $500.

Like other home 3D printers, the Solidoodle creates actual objects based on computer files, by depositing layers of molten plastic on a platform. Different colors of finished products are achieved simply by using different colors of filament plastic stock.

The Solidoodle 2 is capable of building objects measuring up to 6 x 6 x 6 inches (15.24 cm), which is a step up from the original model’s 4-inch (10 cm) limit. The steel-framed Base model is Windows, Mac, and Linux compatible and includes everything needed to start printing, for US$499. Extras on the $549 Pro model include a heated build platform (to prevent bottom warping of objects), an upgraded power supply and interior lighting, while the $599 Expert model additionally features an outer cover and a front acrylic door.

An object created using the Solidoodle 2

By way of comparison, the higher-spec’d Makerbot Replicator sells for $1,749, while Cubify’s The Cube 3D printer goes for $1,299.

The Solidoodle 2 is currently available for preorder, and can be seen in action in the video below.

Source: Solidoodle via BetaBeat