MakerBot Replicator 2 Is The New 3D Printer In Town
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
Anyone with an idea for a new product or new component faces a dilemma. The idea exists there in their mind, and is probably laid out in detail in a computer model, but how can they bring this idea to life?
According to Bre Pettis, CEO of MakerBot, these designers and engineers would previously have to buy or rent a large, expensive 3D printing machine, or sneak into a university on the weekends to rush ideas into existence. Yesterday, Pettis announced a new revision to their line of desktop 3D printers, the MakerBot: Replicator 2.
According to Pettis, this new 3D printer is capable of producing ideas and models at up to 100-micron layer resolution and 410 cubic inches high. 100 microns, by the way, is roughly the same thickness as a sheet of paper, says Pettis, giving this machine the ability to create some very detailed models. In addition, these models will come from the platform without the need for refining or sanding.
“The new MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer, which is featured on the cover of the October 2012 issue of Wired, sets a new standard in resolution, build volume, and professional quality in the desktop 3D printer market,” said Pettis in a press statement.
“With our fourth generation product, we have made the best desktop 3D printer on the market, made it affordable to both professionals and hobbyists, and made it cool looking.”
This piece of machinery truly is a desktop printer, with a footprint a little larger than that of a toaster oven. And, just as quickly as you can heat up last night’s leftovers, you’ll be able to print out new custom gear for your prototype or Game of Thrones figurines.
Pettis stands proudly by on the promotional video for the MakerBot: Replicator 2, praising it for its rigid frame, its quick printing and its overall design. This new printer, says Pettis, isn’t just for designers and engineers who need to come up with a new idea for a new part in an existing product. The MakerBot: Replicator 2 is for anyone who wants to make things, and Pettis seems to genuinely be asking any with a creative bent to put his new 3D printer to work and put some plastic behind their ideas.
About that plastic: The Replicator 2 uses a renewable bioplastic PLA filament to create these 3D products. According to the press release, PLA is the most popular build material for 3D printing because of its strength and resistance to cracking. The PLA used in the Replicator 2 is capable of being used and re-used, and is available in an expanding array of colors.
Pettis even channels his inner Henry Ford in the press release, saying the new MakerBot: Replicator 2 “is available in any color, as long as it is black.”
Every piece of hardware needs good software behind it, and the Replicator 2 is no exception. Makerware drives the MakerBot, bringing those computerized 3D images into real life. According to the press release, Makerware is smarter and more efficient than previous versions, allowing the 3D printer to make even more consistent models more quickly. This software also gives the printer the capability of printing out multiple models and pieces at one time on the same build table.
This new MakerBot: Replicator 2 is available now at makerbot.com/store as well as MakerBot’s own retail store in Manhattan for $2,199.