NEW TO THE FAMILY
You’ve asked for them, and now they are here. Introducing MakerBot’s True Blue, True Black, and True Purple PLA Filament. We have loaded these colors into the Replicator 2s in our office, and the results are gorgeous.
We love PLA for the MakerBot Replicator 2 because it is luscious to work with. It performs well with minimal peeling, curling or shrinking; it’s an environmentally friendly, renewable bioplastic made from corn; and it smells nice! Our entire Filament library is now fully stocked, with no lead time on shipping. Take a look and order today.
Since the MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer launched last September, requests for new Filament colors have gone through the roof. We’re developing a range of new colors to meet this demand and want to hear from you! Cast a vote for the colors you want to see, and we’ll follow your lead. Happy 3D printing.
In 2009 at SXSW in Austin, the founders of MakerBot presented the prototype of our very first 3D Printer, the Cupcake CNC. Today, four years later, MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis took the stage for opening remarks, and did it again!
In perfect MakerBot/SXSW fashion, Bre unveiled an early prototype of the newest addition to our 3D ecosystem, the MakerBot Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner. This is a product we have been eager to develop, because it’s the perfect complement to our Desktop 3D Printers. You can use it to jump start a design using an object in the real world. You can archive your possessions or save your kid’s play-dough sculptures.
What makes the MakerBot Digitizer special is that we designed it with 3D printing in mind. When you digitize an object on its spinning platform, you automatically get a high-quality, water-tight 3D model, in as little as three minutes. It’s the easiest and fastest way to get 3D-printable designs.
Lots of details will become available throughout the year, and in the meantime, please jump over to makerbot.com/digitizer. Sign up to get information and find out when the MakerBot Digitizer will go on sale. In the signup form, Click to read the full press release.
Hopefully by now you’ve heard about MakerBot’s newest 3D printer, the Replicator 2X. While 3D printing opens up a new world of possibilities, being able to print with a second plastic extruder at the same time takes it to another level entirely. There are a lot of things that become possible with a dual extruding 3D printer that are simply not feasible by any other means.
The most obvious, and by far the simplest, use of dual extruders is to enable two color printing. Although a single-color object could be painted, there are times when painting a particular object would require a great deal skill or be very time consuming. While printing a plastic sushi set for my daughter I used dualstrusion to add black plastic “soy sauce” to white plastic dishes. Sometimes, painting an object might even be impossible. Imagine an object such as a bottle, vase, or an egg where you want to have an image or design inside. While it might be impossible to paint inside such an object, the interior image could be printed inside the object as it is being created.
Dual extruders allow for printing with a dissolvable support material like PVA. Being able to print with a water soluable material means your robot could print entire mechanical devices complete with moving pieces. PVA is still very experimental and fussy as an extruded material and at the extreme forefront of dual material printing.
With two extruders it would be possible to create an entirely solid plastic object with a customizable density. This could be used to make trick dice, a balancing toy, a toy that can’t be knocked down, a toy that can’t be stood up, or maybe a boat that is difficult to sink.
Different extruded materials, such as ABS and PLA plastics, tend to have different physical and mechanical properties. ABS tends to be more flexible and PLA tends to be more rigid. A 3D printer with dualstrusion can combine the two plastics into a single object that is both flexible and rigid.
Simultaneous Dual Printing
One of the more exciting developments with dual extruder printing was a recent contribution by Thingiverse user thorstadg. Thorstadg created a method for operating both extruders simultaneously – allowing the printer to print two objects, one with each extruder, at the same time.
Two extruders means you have two nozzles at your disposal. However, there is no particular reason for both extruders to have the same size nozzle aperture. With one very fine nozzle aperture and one relatively large nozzle aperture, a single object could be printed with quick printing coarse features and very high resolution features that take more time.
Yesterday was an amazing day for the MakerBot community and those of us here at the MakerBot headquarters. Today we’re back to business as usual, focusing on shipping world class desktop 3D printers and software that will keep taking all of us to the next level.
WOW. Our engineers, programmers, productors, and support staff have worked so hard for this moment, and we are overwhelmed by these reactions. Thank you to all of these publications for taking the time to write about our developments and to all of you for your incredible support. Your spirit keeps us going.
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.
Hey, look at our store! We just added six super sweet new colors, and five of them are PLA. More on that material here, but for now, just dig these hues.
Green PLA, but come on, that’s Leaf Green if we’ve ever seen it. Look how shimmery it is, and start imagining what you could do with this around the holidays. A little backlighting, anybody?
This is listed as Yellow PLA, but we call it Buttered Corn Yellow. Don’t you just want to bite into that? (Note: 4 out of 5 dentists think you shouldn’t bite into this.)
Transparent Blue. This truly looks watery and frozen, so we call it Icicle Blue. Add some chill to your summer. In the sense of cold but also, like, chiiiiiillll.
While we’re getting summery, throw a couple of these flamingos on the lawn, now with the most vibrant pink ABS in our store: Stellar Pink.
Orange PLA. We think this looks so perfect for a pumpkin that we went straight for it. Now might be a great time to start thinking about Halloween designs, and this is the perfect Earthy looking orange for that type of thing.
White PLA. This is a great addition to the White ABS we added to the store recently. The PLA looks a little whiter on the spool, but both make for excellent true-white things. To prove it, we made a set of nesting igloos.
We’re super happy to offer these new colors of PLA for the first time. You’ve seen our designs, now show us what you got. If you’re in the market for some filament, grab one of these and start uploading some good pictures to Thingiverse.
The first season of MakerBot TV is now available on DVD! Re-visit your favorite episodes and share them with your friends in the comfort of your own living room. As a token of thanks to our community we are sending complimentary copies of the DVDs to the first 100 people who purchase MakerBot Replicators™. Get yours today and keep it awesome!
Look at your hands.
Hands are complex tools that grant humans a superpower, the power to transform imagination into reality. The power of our hands is unlimited. We can use them to throw a ball, climb a tree, or build a tool.
Not everyone is fortunate enough to have two hands.
Robohand is an…