Cychron @ CES: Three New MakerBots Revealed

The world of 3D printing just got a whole lot bigger. MakerBot Industries CEO Bre Pettis revealed the fifth generation of MakerBot’s popular Replicator 3D Printers this afternoon at the International CES in Las Vegas: the Replicator Mini, Replicator, and the Replicator Z18, pictured above.

MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis  particularly enjoys the new knob on the redesigned MakerBot replicator.

MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis particularly enjoys the new knob on the redesigned MakerBot replicator.

All three printers come with new hardware designed to make 3D printing more user friendly. From technology such as one-touch printing and intuitive interfaces to the smart extruder, which lets the user know when the printing is paused after it runs out of material, the new MakerBots seem much more accessible to users of any skill level. They also come with a small camera pointed at the object being printed so users can watch their objects in the making on their mobile devices at any time. As with their previous lines of printers, these still use the plant-based eco-friendly PLA filament as printing material.

The new entry-level MakerBot Replicator Mini begins shipping in Spring of this year with a suggested retail price of $1375. The smallest of the three, the Mini is designed for small projects any consumer can make.

The standard-sized MakerBot Replicator is a step up from the previous generation’s, with a larger print volume, a bigger build plate with assisted leveling for more accurate prints, and all the new perks from the new generation. The Replicator is set to start shipping in February at $2899 each, and is designed for the prosumer–those in between the everyday consumer and professional users.

Finally, Pettis unboxed the MakerBot Replicator Z18,  the largest in the line with the ability to create items as large as 12x12x18 inches. The crowd was amazed when he demonstrated a finished product from this printer: a large sci-fi inspired mask that fit perfectly over his face. In fact, the company even plans to use the Replicator Z18 to produce smaller-sized MakerBots.

MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis models a mask made from the MakerBot Replicator Z18.

MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis models a mask made from the MakerBot Replicator Z18.

Pettis also revealed a new suite of apps for desktop and mobile which integrate with the printers to complete the 3D printing process, such as a store for ready-to-print MakerBot models and tools for creating simple printing projects.

Before revealing the new printers, however, Pettis introduced the presentation by touting his company’s successes since they unleashed MakerBot upon the technological world in 2009. Over 44,000 are now in use, said Pettis, with 218,000 digital designs on their 3D design depository Thingiverse. He said the company also aims to have a MakerBot in every school in the United States to encourage student innovation. Pettis also teased MakerBot’s collaboration with gesture recognition company SoftKinetic, and while there are no details revealed, whatever is in store is sure to surprise.

“Makerbot is an innovation company,” said Pettis. “We innovate so others can innovate.”

Keep watching Cychron.com’s coverage of the International CES for more about MakerBot and other upcoming technologies.

Photos by Maria Hedrick Photography for Cychron.com.

Read more at Makerbot.com.

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