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Makerbot's Replicator 2: The Future in Home 3D Printing

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 26 comments

MakerBot's new and improved Replicator 2 brings professional-grade 3D printing into the home for an affordable price.

Earlier this year, MakerBot released its new and improved Replicator 3D desktop printer just in time for CES 2012. The sub-$2000 price range on the device was a turning point for 3D printing technology. High-quality, affordable and user-friendly 3D printers are finally making their way into homes. Now, the company has announced its Replicator 2, bringing easier faster and even more affordable 3D printing to a desktop near you.

Featuring a 100-micron layer resolution, the Replicator 2 is the company's highest resolution printer yet. Capable of creating bigger, professional-quality models, the Replicator 2 is ideal for the desktop of a professional engineer, yet easy enough for anybody with an imagination to use. In addition to its upgraded printing abilities, the Replicator 2 also features a new sleek, futuristic design. According to Makerbot CEO Bre Pettis, it "is available in any color, as long as it is black."

Makerbot Replicator 2

“The new MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer sets a new standard in resolution, build volume, and professional quality in the desktop 3D printer market,” Pettis explains. “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.”

Like most modern 3D printers, the Replicator 2 uses the renewable bioplastic PLA to create larger prints without warping or cracking materials. With a build volume of 410 cubic inches (11.2” L x 6.0” W x 6.1” H), the Replicator 2 gives its operator a much larger space for multiple-part or larger projects. The MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop Printer is already available for purchase at the company's new online store. The price tag of $2,199 is a bit higher than the previous model, but Pettis firmly believes it to be a worthwhile investment for any professional engineer.

 

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Top Comments
  • 14 Hide
    willard , September 24, 2012 2:50 PM
    friskiest"is available in any color, as long as it is black" what???

    You've stumbled across something known as a "joke." Try to keep up.
  • 11 Hide
    freggo , September 24, 2012 3:21 PM
    Would be nice to get an idea how much the 'ink' is.
    In other words, how expensive is it to make an item.
    Do I want to make custom (personalized) LEGOs for the kids and become the hero dad ? :-)
  • 10 Hide
    Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer , September 24, 2012 2:35 PM
    friskiest"is available in any color, as long as it is black" what???

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_ford#Model_T

    (Insert cane-shaking rant about modern education here...)
Other Comments
    Display all 26 comments.
  • 5 Hide
    Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer , September 24, 2012 2:09 PM
    I want one so bad... :-D I wrote some code about a year ago in college to create files for a 3D printer and got them printed out...best class project EVAR. I have a 3D cross-section of a 4D Julia set and two Menger sponges (one whole, one halved down the diagonal) sitting on my desk at home.
  • 10 Hide
    Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer , September 24, 2012 2:35 PM
    friskiest"is available in any color, as long as it is black" what???

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_ford#Model_T

    (Insert cane-shaking rant about modern education here...)
  • 14 Hide
    willard , September 24, 2012 2:50 PM
    friskiest"is available in any color, as long as it is black" what???

    You've stumbled across something known as a "joke." Try to keep up.
  • 11 Hide
    freggo , September 24, 2012 3:21 PM
    Would be nice to get an idea how much the 'ink' is.
    In other words, how expensive is it to make an item.
    Do I want to make custom (personalized) LEGOs for the kids and become the hero dad ? :-)
  • 2 Hide
    thecolorblue , September 24, 2012 3:43 PM
    aoneoneSo can I print out new shoes or computer parts? Oh wait.. its not 2060 yet.. Well gee, what exactly do I print out in 3d that is useful and NOT a complete waste of my time, money, and maybe my life? LOL


    "the Replicator 2 is ideal for the desktop of a professional engineer, yet easy enough for anybody with an imagination to use"

    engineers, artists, creative types... maybe not you though. no big, all things are not for all people
  • 2 Hide
    darknetdroid , September 24, 2012 3:54 PM
    I think i would make really wicked custom bas-relief cases as a value added item for my smartphone repair business as a start. 50 bux a pop, could go a long way towards paying for the printer in a few months - just doing that. But that's just me...
  • 5 Hide
    g00fysmiley , September 24, 2012 4:03 PM
    aoneoneSo can I print out new shoes or computer parts? Oh wait.. its not 2060 yet.. Well gee, what exactly do I print out in 3d that is useful and NOT a complete waste of my time, money, and maybe my life? LOL


    you can probably print out the shoe soals with rubber glue them on and prolong hte life of an existing pair. might actusaally be able to make croc liek shoes .. or make a computer case out of ABS plastic
  • 2 Hide
    Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer , September 24, 2012 4:03 PM
    aoneone...useful and NOT a complete waste of my time, money, and maybe my life...

    Well, that depends on your definitions of "useful" and "waste". If I had one of these I'd have a desk covered in little models. If their only "use" is to look pretty or cool or awesome, I wouldn't consider that a "waste".

    Heck, $2200 is less than i spent putting together my desktop computer.
  • 0 Hide
    _Cosmin_ , September 24, 2012 4:10 PM
    Last time i check the 2200$ was not in sub-2000$ price range and was not more affordable than 2000$!
  • 0 Hide
    vpoko , September 24, 2012 4:10 PM
    aoneoneSo can I print out new shoes or computer parts? Oh wait.. its not 2060 yet.. Well gee, what exactly do I print out in 3d that is useful and NOT a complete waste of my time, money, and maybe my life? LOL

    It's great for people who do interesting things.
  • 2 Hide
    vpoko , September 24, 2012 4:18 PM
    _Cosmin_Last time i check the 2200$ was not in sub-2000$ price range and was not more affordable than 2000$!
    They didn't say this device was in the sub-$2000 price range; that was the original MakerBot.
  • 3 Hide
    TeraMedia , September 24, 2012 4:30 PM
    What are the characteristics of that bio-plastic? Anyone know? If it holds up to UV and has decent strength, hardness and elasticity characteristics, you could make some really neat items with this (I'm totally with you on the LEGO hero-dad thing, @freggo). But if material characteristics fall short, then it's really just good for prototyping.

    Now if they could print in some kind of high-temp ceramic, that would be REALLY cool. Then you could do an inverse-print to make a form-mold, and fill it with whatever liquid-hot plastic or metal material you wanted to make an object. Talk about hero-dad, you could make plastic or metal replacement parts for, well, just about anything. Imagine downloading component 3D image spec files from the manuf., buying a block of spec-X stainless steel or can of spec-Y plastic resin from the HW store, and voila... there's your replacement part.

    This would lead to a subsequent market shift. Manufs that refused to publish part-specs because they want the replacement part (or item) revenue would end up getting out-marketed by manufs that don't. If I were the CEO of HomeDepot or Lowes, I would assign a new Veep in charge of replicator replacment parts. This person would be responsible for creating relationships with manufs, defining the in-store presence and required materials, setting pricing, procedures and policies, and then all-of-a-sudden the concept of what a HW store can market and sell undergoes a quantum change.

    But they have to figure out how to do ceramic (or whatever material can hold the intended target material) form-molds first. And they need to improve on the 100 micron resolution for any moving or tight-fitting parts. Something on-par with what a CNC lathe can do in the radial dimension would be outstanding.
  • 3 Hide
    CaedenV , September 24, 2012 4:40 PM
    freggoWould be nice to get an idea how much the 'ink' is.In other words, how expensive is it to make an item.Do I want to make custom (personalized) LEGOs for the kids and become the hero dad ? :-)

    That was exactly my first though when I saw this! How many legos would I need to print to make up $2000?
    If a 50 piece set costs ~$13, then that is $0.26 per lego (custom blocks are obviously much more expensive in the $2+ range). But for normal blocks that would be 7,692.3 blocks to pay off this printer... well worth the money if I had a spare $2000 laying around! lol
  • 0 Hide
    CaedenV , September 24, 2012 4:43 PM
    ... with that resolution you could possibly print a pretty neat phone case... or even a new body entirely.
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , September 24, 2012 5:27 PM
    ok, question, whats cheaper, buying a 3d printer like this, or building your own?

    i know they sell all the parts online, and you really need to know what you are doing, but is it cheaper?
  • 0 Hide
    _Cosmin_ , September 24, 2012 6:34 PM
    vpokoThey didn't say this device was in the sub-$2000 price range; that was the original MakerBot.


    Text was: "Earlier this year, MakerBot released its new and improved Replicator 3D desktop printer just in time for CES 2012. The sub-$2000 price range on the device was a turning point for 3D printing technology. High-quality, affordable and user-friendly 3D printers are finally making their way into homes. Now, the company has announced its Replicator 2, bringing easier faster and even more affordable 3D printing to a desktop near you."

    ...so yes it refer at original being sub-2000$ but "Replicator 2 is ... even more affordable" that means (for me) way lower than SUB-2000$ !!!

    Please read all text not between lines before makeing corrections.
  • 3 Hide
    Menigmand , September 24, 2012 7:12 PM
    Wake me up when robot wives are cheap and effective..
  • 0 Hide
    zybch , September 24, 2012 10:46 PM
    aoneoneSo can I print out new shoes or computer parts? Oh wait.. its not 2060 yet.. Well gee, what exactly do I print out in 3d that is useful and NOT a complete waste of my time, money, and maybe my life? LOL

    Maybe YOUR life, yes.
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