If you’re not familiar with MakerBot or what a 3D printer is, check out this intro to 3D printing video. In a nutshell, 3D printers are CNC-like machines with additive plastic extruders that lay down threads of molten material in a pattern to create layered 3D objects.
MakerBot has become the name in consumer 3D printers, and they just announced their new machine, the Replicator. Described as the ultimate personal 3D printer, the Replicator has a new larger footprint – 300 cubic inches, about the size of a loaf of bread. There is also a dual extruder option that allows you to print in 2-colors at the same time.
The price tag on the Replicator is a bit high – $1750 for the base model and $2000 for the dual-extruder model. The previous premium model, the Thing-o-Matic, is priced at $1100. Before the Cupcake model was discontinued, it dropped below $500.
The extruder works with a 1.75mm filament diameter, and can be used with ABS, PLA and other similar materials.
So what can you make with a 3D printer? Take a look at the samples in the above image, and then check out the library of user-submitted models at Thingiverse to find out.
MakerBot Replicator via MakerBot