MakerBot Launches Replicator 2: A 3D Printer For Your Desktop

Since Makerbot debuted the Replicator at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, creative people all over the world have been hard at work, expanding the boundaries of 3D printing technology. Although MakerBot’s core community are hardcore geeks dedicated to open source technology, the 3D printing revolution has grown to include a wide variety of individuals, from kids to artists to industrial professionals.

MakerBot has always prided itself on listening to feedback from its community, so when user reviews of the Replicator came flooding in after CES, it got to work. The result is the recently unveiled Replicator 2, a machine capable of bigger, badder fabrication without taking up more space.

makerbot-replicator-2

Image via Makerbot

If you’ve ever wanted to dip your toe into the fantastic world of 3D printing, the MakerBot Replicator 2 makes it easier than ever. Early iterations of this technology had trouble with low resolution layers, resulting in surfaces that weren’t smooth or very thin. The Replicator 2 takes care of that by lowering the default layer height all the way down to 100 microns, giving you smooth surfaces without any post-production. The new Replicator also has a build volume of 410 cubic inches–37 percent more than the original–so bigger, multi-part projects can be made all at once.

The Replicator 2 is also fully-optimized for MakerBot PLA filament, which is derived from corn instead of petroleum. (This is good news since a big complaint against 3D printing has been the proliferation of more toxic plastic waste). According to MakerBot, the PLA (polylactic acid) has no odor, sticks without sliding, and looks great.

And in the interests of attracting more amateur 3D printing designers, the company also debuted MakerWare, an in-house designed software program that makes it easier than ever to start creating.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog

    • Hello,

      I really enjoyed
      reading your piece
      and I have something else you might be interested in. I am an employee of
      Blu-Bin Inc, a 3D printing start-up that opened the doors of its
      first location. I thought that you might be interested in the
      standard press release we have been sending out for our opening day.
      Keep up the good work!

      Poultney, VT October
      5, 2012–

      Blu – Bin, Inc has
      opened the doors to its first 3D printshop last Saturday, September, 29th. Blu –
      Bin is the first company to offer retail 3D printing design and creation
      services, and is excited to be introducing this new business model in Vermont.
      Working against the grain, Blu – Bin employees see 3D printing as a service
      that can benefit everyone even if they can’t afford the printer itself.
      Founded by Daniel Riley, an alumnus of Green Mountain College, the business
      seeks to fill the void left by larger 3D printing companies that
      have entirely ignored offering retail 3D printing design and creation
      services.

      At our grand opening
      at least 30 people were in the store at one time and we’ve received 20 orders. We
      are working towards providing local high school and elementary schools with CAD
      programs so that their students may design their own objects.

      Customers can order items that are designed and made in store, as well as
      providing their own designs for creation as part of a growing catalogue of
      designs the company has access too. Using a range of rapid manufacturing
      techniques, Blu – Bin creates a friendly environment for rapid design and
      creation of what it’s customers want. Through these services Blu-Bin seeks
      to advance the field of 3D printing, bringing it to the forefront in
      manufacturing and into mainstream American life.

      With the first store up
      and running in Poultney, VT, Blu – Bin inc will be working with students and
      professors of Green Mountain College to demonstrate and test the capabilities
      of 3D printing through various unique projects.

      Effectively creating
      an entirely new industry, Blu-Bin predicts a successful future, which will lead
      to expansion of the company into other cities and towns.