Right before our press conference today to announce the MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer, the Replicator 2X, MakerWare, and the MakerBot Store, our table looked like a USB cornucopia. The table was flowing forth with USB sticks.
We wanted to give members of the press something easy to carry around, but you know we couldn’t just toss out a random USB stick. It needed a special MakerBot touch, and in keeping with the spirit of the day, it needed to be high resolution and made from MakerBot PLA. Our designer Jason nailed it. The shape has detailed wings surrounding a MakerBot logo. At the 100-micron layer resolution of the Replicator 2, none of this detail is lost and it all looks amazing, like something you’d normally buy off a shelf.
The stick is also perfectly shaped for the USB insert, which snaps snugly into place. This is one of the reasons we love PLA. When you’re designing at the scale where things need to fit together reliably, you need a material that won’t expand and shrink significantly. PLA is perfect for this; you just get what you expect.
If you’re not already familiar with PLA, check out the new filament page in our online store. You can easily click through ABS and PLA options in one place and see all the colors at once. PLA gives us the chance to explore matte colors like the yellow USB stick in the picture, but also finishes like shimmery, metallic, translucent (like the Green PLA in the picture), and sparkly.
Here’s a nice family shot of our current PLA offering, but watch this space for more to come!
Look out, world. Your MakerBot just got a whole lot more taken care of.
With the launch of the MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer today, we also announce a new premium service offering from our famous Support Team. In addition to the expert online help that is always available with all MakerBot product, the new MakerCare package gives our customers an added level of security for the times when things go wrong. Says Ben, “It’s great for us to be able to provide a deeper level of care, now that the use cases of our machines are getting more and more complex. We want to keep your Replicator 2 happy and healthy for a long time.”
MakerCare is available in one-year plans for the Replicator 2, and only at the time of purchase. If you’re pondering an awesome future with a MakerBot Replicator 2 on your desk, we strongly urge you to tack on MakerCare.
Every new MakerBot product comes with friendly support of expert MakerBot Technicians. Along with responsive email and phone support, tutorials, documentation, and “troubleshooting” guides, the MakerCare program includes the following added benefits:
1. Online support tools to help you troubleshoot and fix the easy stuff.
2. Access to friendly, expert MakerBot technicians
Today we reached new heights. If you didn’t catch our livestream, MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis ran down a series of announcements, and we’ll do our best to highlight all of them on the blog. In the meantime, tweet your questions to @makerbot, email us at [email protected], and leave all your comments and thoughts here on the blog.
We launched the original Replicator at CES this year, and since then we’ve been listening to the feedback of our incredible community. We’ve watched this community grow to include moms and dads, teachers, artists, and an exploding number of bold professionals. We’ve always been blown away by our users, but this latter group sparked new inspiration. We saw what the professionals were doing and set out to make a machine for their needs. It’s not a surprise that our own army of engineers understand these needs pretty well. Here’s Bre:
The Replicator 2 introduces the world of prosumer 3D printing. We made it stronger, faster, and finer than the original Replicator, and we optimized it to work with MakerBot PLA Filament. We also blew up the build volume without making the machine itself any bigger. The MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer is, as the name suggests, a desktop machine, not a it-needs-its-own-room machine. It’s going to fit nicely where you need it and look amazing while it works.
But what’s under the hood?
100-micron layer resolution – If you know our machines or 3D printing in general, you understand this advancement. The original Replicator was tuned for a 270-micron layer height. 100 microns is nearly three times finer than before, which means the layers are even harder to see and feel. For those keeping score, 100 microns is also a good bit finer than the output on some much more expensive machines.
Huge 410 cubic inch build volume – MakerBot desktop 3D printers have never had a build volume this big. When we learned more about PLA, which works beautifully with huge builds, we knew we had to increase the build volume. This is 37% larger than the original Replicator. You can make entire projects on one build plate.
Optimized for MakerBot PLA – Polylactic Acid, derived from corn, has been in our repertoire for a little while, but now we’ve discovered its full power. It doesn’t have an odor, it sticks without sliding, and it makes beautiful things. That’s all there is to it.
Sleek, sturdy steel – The powder-coated steel frame of the MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer gives it all the strength it needs for high print speeds. Plus it’s resistant to changes in temperature and humidity.
Smart new parts — The acrylic build plate pops out for you to grab things easier, and the bearings are oil-infused so you spend less time on maintenance.
We’re Not Done Yet
Those are the basics of the MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer, but keep in mind that a world class 3D printer needs world class software. So our software department’s been pretty busy too. Introducing MakerWare, developed right here at MakerBot by people who know the ins and outs of the desktop 3D printing workflow as well as anyone.
Look how pretty and simple this new application is. Our UX team has tested the patterns of this process to put the controls in all the right places. Now you can open multiple STL or OBJ (yes, OBJ!) files at once, even if they’re totally unrelated. You can scale individual pieces together or separately, and save any number of items together as a THING file, our new file format for projects. The MakerWare interface is coupled with other important bits of software that let your MakerBot behave just like a 2D printer. This means you can set something to print in the background and let it go.
MakerWare also simplifies a lot of the decision making. For example, when it comes to choose print settings, you can select preset printing profiles for High, Medium, or Low quality. Finally, MakerWare includes the new slicing engine Miracle Grue, built by MakerBot software engineers. This algorithm prepares models up to 20 times faster (you read that right: 20X) than Skeinforge. For the super enthusiasts, Miracle Grue also defines a much more efficient toolpath, meaning there are fewer stops and starts in the printing process, which makes for more consistent prints overall.
We hope you’ll put one of these in your office or home office today and start making the things of the future.
Before we hit the end of our countdown, in a couple hours, let me share with you some fun news from NASA.
We’re a company primarily of engineers and robot nuts, so naturally we’re no strangers to NASA here. It’s become clear that they’re no strangers to MakerBot either. In fact, several NASA centers around the country use MakerBots and MakerBot filament in their research and education programs.
This week we got an update from the NASA Langley Research Center, where they have been using MakerBot Thing-O-Matics for a while to educate the public about 3D printing. In their personal fabrication lab, or “pFab Lab”, they are able to use the MakerBots for impressive sounding applications like “Electron Beam Free Form Fabrication Dual Feed Guide Wire Holder”, and “Artificial Magnetic Conducting Back plate”, and “Rocket Camera Mount”. And then there’s my personal favorite, “Pillow Tank”. They’ve prototyped these pieces for form and function.
This center has also been fantastic about bringing their Thing-O-Matics out to events. This summer, the group acquired a Replicator and on Saturday, Sept. 22, you’ll have the chance to visit with them for the Open House of the 95th Anniversary of the NASA Langley Research Center. Yes, that is correct, the ninety-fifth anniversary! The pFab Lab will be printing miniature space shuttle models to hand out to visitors. Given the retirement of the shuttle program, what a cool souvenir to have from NASA’s oldest center.
View at [http://QuietMan.com](http://www.quietman.com ) and download the Best in Show Sequence of Johnnie walking his dog Mateo.
Created for the AMP 2013 music awards for the Opening and introduction of Award Categories.
Using ReconstructMe, the Xbox Kinect, and our MakerBot Replicator we sca…