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MakerBot's latest 3D printers are aimed at professionals and schools

By Bryan Chan & Liu Hongzuo - on 21 Sep 2016, 2:44pm

MakerBot's latest 3D printers are aimed at professionals and schools

MakerBot Replicator+

MakerBot launches two new printers, a new software system, and one new 3D printing material in an attempt to reach out to business and education markets, going beyond their initial aim of home 3D printing.

MakerBot Replicator Mini+

First, the two new 3D printers are the MakerBot Replicator+ and the MakerBot Replicator Mini+. In comparison to its predecessor - the MakerBot Replicator 5th Generation Desktop 3D Printer - the new MakerBot Replicator+ is capable of 30 percent faster printing, 25 percent larger build volume, and 27 percent quieter printing altogether. On the other hand, the MakerBot Replicator Mini+ prints 10 percent faster, has 28 percent larger build volume, and is 58 percent quieter. Both of the new 3D printers are compatible with the swappable Smart Extruder+, which makes print-head replacement easier.

Secondly, the new 3D printers work with their new software, MakerBot Print and MakerBot Mobile. This suite was designed to make 3D printing more accessible, as it supports more CAD file formats and they provide automatic positioning of 3D objects for efficient printing. To introduce more folks to the world of 3D printing, the new software also comes with a guided step-by-step 3D printing process called Guided Setup. Another feature, called Dynamic Print, allows users to change resolution or thickness settings for each individual 3D model while it’s on the build plate. This saves time for users who need to print multiple models with varying print settings in one sitting. Print Preview allows the users to check the Smart Extruder+’s printing path before starting. Understandably, MakerBot mobile is the mobile app version of MakerBot Print.

Slate Gray Tough PLA Filament

Finally, MakerBot launches a new Slate Gray Tough PLA Filament Bundle. The bundle consists of three spools of MakerBot Tough PLA Filament colored in slate gray, and a MakerBot Tough PLA Smart Extruder+. MakerBot said that their new “Tough PLA” print material combines the toughness of ABS with the flexural strength of PLA, which makes the resulting 3D products suitable for functional prototype usage.

The market shift by the 3D printing company was to address the needs of professionals and educators, and MakerBot conceded that home 3D printing is 'not there yet', according to Gizmodo.

The new products are available now; here are their official prices:

  • MakerBot Replicator+: US$2,499 (introductory price US$1,999 until October 31, 2016)
  • MakerBot Replicator Mini: US$1,299 (introductory price US$999 until October 31, 2016)
  • Slate Gray Tough PLA Filament Bundle: US$379 per bundle

Source: MakerBot