MakerBot Software | Desktop 3.5 and Firmware 1.6 Are Here


The next versions of MakerBot Desktop and MakerBot Firmware have arrived. Be sure to install them right away so you can take advantage of the latest improvements and capabilities.


Say Goodbye to Manual Updates
As promised, we’ve now included an auto-update feature in this version of MakerBot Desktop. So after you download MakerBot Desktop 3.5, you can unlock the latest and greatest features and fixes to MakerBot Desktop without having to check for updates.

For the time being, you’ll still need to update your MakerBot Firmware manually. To do so, simply navigate to Devices in MakerBot Desktop, and select Upgrade Firmware.

PLEASE NOTE: For best results when printing files via the USB port, your printer’s internal storage, or your Library, reprepare (reslice) them through MakerBot Desktop. Files that are not reprepared (resliced) won’t give you the best results.

Laying the Groundwork for On-The-Go Printing
The ability to print, monitor, and control your MakerBot Replicator 3D Printer via MakerBot Mobile from any 3G or 4G connected wireless device is coming soon. The new versions of MakerBot Desktop and MakerBot Firmware include the necessary updates to make this feature possible. Download them now to be ready.

Two More Features
MakerBot Desktop 3.5 also comes equipped with an updated Device Preferences panel, and the ability to adjust the temperature on your MakerBot Replicator Smart Extruder in Print Settings.

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Partnerships | Join MakerBot at SOLIDWORKS World 2015


The Superbowl isn’t the only big-ticket event to come to Phoenix, AZ this month. MakerBot will be joining our friends at Dassault Systèmes for SOLIDWORKS World 2015, a gathering of over 5,000 CAD designers and other users of the popular SOLIDWORKS 3D modeling software.

Attendees can check out exciting speakers and training workshops, including a keynote speech from former MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis.

Let SOLIDWORKS and MakerBot Help You Travel in Style
We’ll be co-hosting the “3D Print Zone” in the Product Showcase in the main exhibition hall, which will give visitors the opportunity to customize a 3D printable luggage tag in SOLIDWORKS 2015, and 3D print it directly to one of six MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printers on site. Come by and witness the latest advancements in creating a seamless 3D printing workflow between SOLIDWORKS and the MakerBot 3D Ecosystem.

Get A Free Pass to the Exhibition Hall
MakerBot and SOLIDWORKS fans in the Phoenix area can register for a free exhibit hall pass to attend conference (a $250 value) using the promo code SWW15EX11.

See you there!

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MakerBot Innovation Centers | Xavier Facility Makes Its Debut


From Florida Polytechnic University to SUNY New Paltz, a growing number of colleges and universities across the country are building MakerBot Innovation Centers to prepare their students for the jobs of the future. Today, a new MakerBot Innovation Center opens its doors at Xavier University, the first midwestern school and the first private college to make this powerful 3D printing resource available to students.

Fully Stocked with the Latest from MakerBot
The new MakerBot facility boasts over 30 of our latest generation of MakerBot Replicator 3D Printers, as well as the MakerBot Innovation Center Management Platform — proprietary and innovative 3D printing software platform that enables remote printing and links all of the printers together to streamline productivity.

A Space for Creative Collaboration
In addition to giving students from different academic disciplines access to cutting-edge manufacturing technology, Xavier’s MakerBot Innovation Center will also serve as a space for students to get hands-on experience working with local entrepreneurs, researchers, and organizations from the greater Cincinnati area. The new facility features dedicated spaces for startups and networking to facilitate these kinds of community and university interactions.

Pioneering a 3D Printing Curriculum
But this is just this beginning. The new MakerBot Innovation Center is part of a larger innovation initiative at Xavier, including the creation of a full bachelor’s degree in Human-Centered Making, a program that teaches students how to use design and 3D printing to solve human problems. MakerBot Consulting has been working closely with Xavier faculty and staff to make this college-level 3D printing curriculum a reality ­— a move that MakerBot CEO Jenny Lawton is particularly excited about.

“This is an important step that will help introduce more students, community members, and entrepreneurs to the idea of 3D printing and how this technology can help them visualize and memorize complex theoretical concepts, gain hands-on experience and unleash their creativity,” said Lawton.

We’re eager to see the kind of interdisciplinary collaboration that emerges as students and community member flock to this exciting new facility.

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MakerBot Stories | A New Frontier in Tracheal Repair


Your trachea, or windpipe, connects the throat and lungs. Air comes in through the windpipe; carbon dioxide goes out.

If it is torn or diseased, surgeons have two ways to fix it. They can remove the damaged part and attach the healthy ends, but there’s only so much slack. Or they can extract some rib cartilage and graft it into the windpipe, which is also made of cartilage. Additional surgery has risks, however. So some patients can’t be helped.

But what if doctors could grow you a new piece of windpipe, just the size and shape you need, from your own cartilage cells?

For the past year, the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, in Manhasset, NY, has been exploring this question in collaboration with MakerBot.

The team of surgeons and scientists at the Feinstein Institute, the research branch of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, has grown cartilage on a scaffolding made from ordinary MakerBot PLA Filament. Their remarkable results, early investigations that might lead to a clinical breakthrough, are being presented today at the annual meeting of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, in San Diego, CA.

Tissue Engineering + 3D Printing = New Possibilities

The Feinstein Institute’s findings build on innovations in two emerging fields: 3D printing and tissue engineering. Tissue engineering is like other kinds of engineering, except, instead of using steel or computer code to make things, living cells — skin, muscle, cartilage — are the raw material.

Researchers already know how to make cartilage from a mixture of cells called chondrocytes, nutrients to feed them, and collagen, which holds it all together. Shaping that cartilage into a nose or a windpipe is more challenging.

That’s where 3D printing comes in. The hope is to use a 3D printer to construct a scaffolding and cover it in a mixture of chondrocytes and collagen, which grows into cartilage. There are 3D printers that can extrude living cells, but options are few and expensive; one bioprinter cost $180,000 —beyond the Feinstein Institute’s budget.

So, at the end of 2013, Todd Goldstein, an investigator at the Feinstein Institute, called MakerBot. After several conversations, MakerBot agreed to provide the Feinstein Institute with two MakerBot Replicator 3D Printers, MakerBot PLA Filament, and expert advice in 3D modeling, 3D printing, and materials.


Real-Time Prototyping with Surgeons

Creating a replacement windpipe is uncharted medical territory. It has to be rigid enough to withstand coughs and sneezes, yet flexible enough to allow the neck to move freely.

To develop the scaffolding, Goldstein teamed up with two North Shore-LIJ surgeons who specialize in repairing windpipes. Goldstein would make prototypes of the scaffolding, then bring the prototypes to the surgeons to examine them. Goldstein would adjust his designs based on their feedback, and return in a day or two with an improved design.

Working this way, the Feinstein Institute team was able to develop a strong, flexible scaffolding design in less than a month. Goldstein, who had never used a 3D printer before his call to MakerBot, tested about 100 versions of the scaffolding. When he hit a design snag, he consulted with a designer at MakerBot, who analyzed the 3D files and suggested ways to optimize them for 3D printing.

“The ability to prototype, examine, touch, feel, and then redesign within minutes, within hours, allows for the creation of this type of technology,” says Dr. Lee Smith, a pediatric otolaryngologist at North Shore-LIJ who worked with Goldstein. “If we had to send out these designs to a commercial printer far away and get the designs back one and three and seven weeks later, we’d never be where we are today.”

“Without the 3D printers to do this, the amount of capital we would need would be exponential,” says Goldstein.

Experimenting with the MakerBot Replicator 2X

The next challenge the Feinstein Institute team faced was how to grow the cells on the scaffolding. To test the idea, Goldstein used a handheld syringe to apply the mixture of chondrocytes and collagen to the scaffolding. It was, he said, “like putting icing on a cake.”

After further consultation, MakerBot provided the Feinstein Institute with a MakerBot Replicator 2X Experimental 3D Printer, which has two extruders. Goldstein converted it into a low-cost bioprinter by replacing one extruder with a syringe that dispenses the chondrocyte-collagen “bio-ink.”


To mount the syringe on the MakerBot Replicator 2X, Goldstein modified a universal paste extruder that he found on Thingiverse. The paste extruder, which Thingiverse user nicksears remixed from other extruder parts, is in fact designed to put icing on a cake.

Goldstein modified the other extruder to print in PLA filament instead of ABS. “The advantage of PLA is that it’s used in all kinds of surgical implant devices,” says Dr. Smith, the pediatric surgeon. Goldstein found that the heat from the extruder head sterilizes the PLA as it prints, so he was able to use ordinary MakerBot PLA Filament.

The bio-ink, which stays at room temperature, fills the gaps in the PLA scaffolding, and then cures into a gel on the heated build plate of the MakerBot Replicator 2X. A two-inch-long section of windpipe (imagine a hollowed-out Tootsie Roll) takes less than two hours to print.

Once the bio-ink adheres to the scaffolding, it goes into a bioreactor, which will keep the cells warm and growing evenly. A new bioreactor costs between $50,000 and $150,000, so Goldstein found a broken incubator. With the help of an undergraduate intern, he is converting it into a bioreactor, with gears fabricated on a MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer.

Proof of Concept

At the conference, Goldstein and Dr. David Zeltsman, the chief of thoracic surgery at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, are presenting the Feinstein Institute’s results from its investigations into how 3D printed windpipe segments held up for four weeks in an incubator. According to their abstract, “The cells survived the printing process, were able to continue dividing, and produce the extracellular matrix expected of tracheal chondrocytes.” In other words, they were growing like windpipe cartilage.

The Feinstein Institute is describing this work as a “proof of concept,” and the team still has plenty of work to do before establishing a new protocol for repairing or replacing damaged windpipes. Medical research can take years to move from bench to bedside, as can Food and Drug Administration approval.

Dr. Smith, the pediatric surgeon, says that he expects in the next five years to harvest a patient’s cells, grow them on a scaffolding, and repair a windpipe. At least one tracheal patient comes through the North Shore-LIJ Health System each year who can’t be helped by the two established methods. In such cases, the FDA has a compassionate therapy exception that allows you to try a promising experimental method like a 3D printed windpipe.

New Careers and The Future of Medicine

The windpipe experiment has already made a profound impact on the research team.


“It’s completely changed the trajectory of my academic career,” says Goldstein, who came to the Feinstein Institute as a molecular biologist, working with cells, chemicals, and drugs. Combining this knowledge with 3D printing and getting into tissue engineering — “I didn’t expect that at all when I got here.”

Now he is the Feinstein Institute’s lead researcher for 3D bioprinting, making models for pre-operative planning and tools to improve the lab. He is also the presenting author of a paper being delivered to thousands of surgeons, and is applying for major grants to continue his research. “Knowing that I could potentially have designed something that will end up saving someone’s child is the most exciting thing I could ever ask for,” Goldstein says.

“This project will probably define my scientific career,” says Dr. Smith. “As we produce something that can replace a segment of trachea, we’ll constantly be modifying and optimizing, the correct bio materials, the correct way to bond the cells to the scaffold.”

“3D printing and tissue engineering have the potential to replace lots of different parts of the human body,” he says. “The potential for creating replacement parts is almost limitless.”

So what’s next? MakerBot has supplied the Feinstein Institute with early samples of forthcoming MakerBot PLA Composite Filaments in Limestone and Iron, so the team can start investigating other applications of 3D printing and tissue engineering.

“Do you remember The Six Million Dollar Man?,” asks Daniel Grande, director of orthopedic research at the Feinstein Institute and Goldstein’s mentor. “The Bionic Man is not the future, it’s the present. We have that ability to do that now. It’s really exciting.”

MakerBot Stories | Feinstein Institute for Medical Research from MakerBot on Vimeo.

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MakerBot Mobile | The Android App Has Arrived


When we rolled out MakerBot Mobile for iOS earlier this year, we promised to deliver a version for Android OS, the mobile operating system running on 80% of the world’s smartphones.

Today, we’re following through with MakerBot Mobile for Android. This simple yet powerful app puts your MakerBot Cloud Library and the power to monitor and control your MakerBot Replicator 3D Printer in the palm of your hand.

Download MakerBot Mobile 1.0 for Android now from the Google Play Store.


Control Your Printer with a Tap of Your Finger
If you’re on the same Wi-Fi network as your MakerBot Replicator 3D Printer, you can use MakerBot Mobile for Android to print any 3D model you’ve saved to your Library using MakerBot Desktop. All with a just a tap of your finger. You can also use MakerBot Mobile for Android to monitor and control your MakerBot Replicator 3D Printer, including canceling or pausing prints, and changing filament.

Upgrade to Thingiverse 1.3 for Android
For all of you MakerBot Thingiverse fans, we’re also happy to announce a new version of the Thingiverse app for Android. Use it in tandem with MakerBot Mobile for Android to print 3D models directly from Thingiverse. Just select the Print Now button in Thingiverse 1.3, which will automatically open MakerBot Mobile for Android and prepare your model for 3D printing.

We’re Just Getting Started
This is just the beginning for MakerBot Mobile for Android. In the near future, we’ll be introducing features for exploring Thingiverse, and the ability to start a print on the go using any 3G or 4G connection. In the meantime, use the Thingiverse app for Android to get a jump-start on your 3D model collection, and keep your eye out for these updates.

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Thingiverse | Swap Ideas and Models with Thingiverse Groups

Groups image

One of the most vibrant parts of the MakerBot 3D Ecosystem is Thingiverse, the 3D design community for discovering, printing, or sharing over 500,000 free 3D models.

Today, we’re unveiling a new way to explore this community of innovators.

Our new Thingiverse Groups feature allows you to join and create groups around specific topics or types of designs, start conversations, and share Things with your fellow community members. We’ve made it super easy to create groups, search for the newest or most popular groups, and upload your designs.

Check out Groups under the Explore section of Thingiverse.


There are already a few groups to choose from, but a good place to start is the My First Make group, where you can share your first 3D printing experience. Can’t find a group that fits your interests? Start one of your own. In a community as vast as Thingiverse, chances are there are others out there who share your passions. Find your people!

As always, we’ll be iterating and improving this new feature based on your feedback. Head over to Groups Feedback and let your voice be heard.


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MakerBot at CES 2015 | Showcasing Customers, Winning Awards


For the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), we focused our efforts on telling the story of the MakerBot 3D Ecosystem, our growing and continually improving range of hardware, software, services, and solutions designed to make the 3D printing process easier and more accessible for everyone. We were excited to be at CES and meet as many 3D printing enthusiasts as we could.

By the end of the week, and many thousands of great conversations later, we’d shared our knowledge that MakerBot is creating the most comprehensive 3D Ecosystem to support our customers; picked up five awards, and started greeting each other with, “We’re number 18!”

Here’s why.

Our Customers and Partners Were Superstars

We’re proud of our MakerBot products and services, but prouder still of how they help customers and partners leverage the power of Real-Time Prototyping to accelerate product development workflows, educate students, remake design processes and more.

At CES 2015, we decided to shine a spotlight on some of the people who are making wonderful things with MakerBot’s technology: the brilliant engineers at GE FirstBuild, who are prototyping the next generation of smart refrigerators; the talented designers at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, who test designs for housewares; and a dedicated, creative teacher at Whitby School who uses MakerBot Replicator 3D Printers to bring everything from ecology to economics to life. Special thanks, too, to our panel discussion guests that included our booth guests and partners The Foundry and TTI Floor Care (Hoover Vacuums).

Manufacturers, designers, educators, and others lined up at the MakerBot booth to talk to representatives from all these organizations. They were the superstars of the week and we can’t thank them enough for all their efforts!

MakerBot PLA Composite Filament Picks Up Three Awards

Our newly announced MakerBot PLA Composite Filaments generated lots of interest and recognition. These composites of MakerBot PLA and a high concentration of functional material — iron, bronze, limestone, and maple — are beautiful, realistic and highly stabilized. These new filaments will be available for purchase in late 2015.

Engadget Best of CES 2015: Best Maker-friendly Technology

Popular Mechanics: CES 2015 Editors’ Choice Awards

Popular Science: The Best of CES 2015, Products of the Future

MakerBot PLA Composite Filaments were also featured in Fast Company’s list: The 9 Best Ideas From CES 2015.

When the composite filaments are released, the potential of the swappable MakerBot Replicator Smart Extruder will start to be realized. In just minutes, you will be able to swap in a new extruder optimized for these innovative filaments. Then you’ll be ready to create prototypes that look and feel like the real thing, so that you can accelerate Real-Time Prototyping—without purchasing a new 3D printer!

MakerBot PrintShop Makes iPhone Life’s List 

When we say anyone can design 3D printable models, we mean it. With a smooth and easy interface, and tools like Vase Maker, Medal Maker, Ring Maker, Bracelet Maker, and Type Maker, the MakerBot PrintShop app for iPad allows anyone to design a 3D printable model. No prior 3D design experience needed. We love MakerBot PrintShop and we’re happy to learn the editors over at iPhone Life Magazine think it’s pretty special too.

iPhone Life’s Best of CES 2015

Better Homes & Gardens Likes the MakerBot Replicator Mini

Announced in conjunction with CES 2015, the first ever Better Homes Editors’ Choice Innovation Products List features our very own MakerBot Replicator Mini Compact 3D Printer.

We’re happy and proud that the MakerBot Replicator Mini is featured on a list designed to highlight the “best of new and existing technology proven to make the homes and lives of consumers smarter, safer and more efficient.” Best of all, making this list is a great sign that our efforts make the 3D printing process easier and more accessible for everyone are paying off.

Better Homes and Gardens Editors’ Choice 2015 Innovation Products List

Surprise Nod From TIME

Our whole team puts a lot into everything we do: hardware, software, services, and more, and we’re always pleased to be recognized for our efforts.

But you could have knocked us over with a feather when TIME named our booth, designed to showcase our customers and their innovative efforts in education, prototyping, and design, as one of the 20 most “eye-catching” at CES. MakerBot was listed as number 18!

TIME: The 20 Most Eye-Catching Booths at CES 2015


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From The Makers | MakerBot Digital Products and Joey Neal


Introducing From the Makers
Today, we’re debuting “From the Makers”, a periodic feature to give you a peek inside MakerBot, to introduce you to the people who create our products and services, and to let you know how we’re doing with our plans, challenges, and progress.

First up is the Digital Products team, represented by Joey Neal, VP. Joey talks with us about the evolution of MakerBot software and apps, and their important position in the growing MakerBot 3D Ecosystem.

Coming soon: From the Makers posts that focus on how we conceive of and design our hardware, including the MakerBot Replicator Smart Extruder, MakerBot Innovation Centers, and more.

We’re eager to hear what you think about From the Makers. So please send us your feedback and suggestions, via email to [email protected].

MakerBot Apps: A Progress Report
Back in October, we told you about our software release plans for the remainder of the year. Since then, we’ve

–Released new features and print quality improvements in MakerBot Desktop 3 and 3.4;
–Introduced Print History to provide a way to reprint your favorite designs as quickly as possible;
–Released MakerBot Mobile 1.1 (now for iPad too); and
–Added a Vase Maker tool to MakerBot PrintShop.

We’re also working on launching MakerBot Mobile for Android, a new Medal Maker tool for MakerBot PrintShop, an auto-update feature for MakerBot Desktop, and should soon have some news for you about MakerBot-Ready Apps.


Now, as our Digital Products team puts some finishing touches on MakerBot Desktop 3.5, it seems like a good time to kick off From the Makers with a chat with Joey Neal, VP of Digital Products. He tells us about the Digital Products team: who they are, what they do, and how digital products have evolved, and continue to evolve, here at MakerBot.

It Began With MakerBot MakerWare
If you only think of desktop 3D printers when you hear “MakerBot,” you might be surprised that software has always been an essential part of the MakerBot 3D printing experience. From the company’s earliest beginnings in 2009, we knew that an 3D printing app like MakerBot MakerWare would get makers excited and help make desktop 3D printing easier

So, from the get-go, we made sure that free MakerBot MakerWare, would work with industry-standard .STL and .OBJ files output from almost any customer’s favorite 3D modeling software.

This also means that MakerBot MakerWare users could print many, if not most, of the files shared in the large Thingiverse 3D design community.

[Fun fact: MakerBot Thingiverse, actually predates MakerBot, the company. Thingiverse, which Joey describes as an “amazing source of inspiration”, also has a dedicated iOS and Android app.]

Networked 3D Printers Open Up Software Possibilities
As popular as MakerWare was, when the hardware, engineering, and software teams sat down in 2013 to review customer wish-lists, and to sketch out a vision for our latest generation of MakerBot Replicator 3D printers (networked and running on a common MakerBot OS), they soon realized the Digital Products team should create the app we now call MakerBot Desktop.

MakerBot Desktop: MakerWare and a Whole Lot More
During design, the Digital Products team made sure to keep their ears to the ground, listening closely to our customers. So they made MakerBot Desktop backwards compatible “with ALL of our printers” and, like MakerBot MakerWare before it, free MakerBot Desktop works with .STL and .OBJ files.

But that’s not all. MakerBot Desktop incorporates great print preparation features of MakerBot MakerWare, and adds to them by including access to a personal MakerBot Cloud Library, the ability to explore MakerBot Thingiverse and to shop the MakerBot Digital Store, and even access to your print history. In short, Joey says, the idea is to have MakerBot Desktop “work with all the products in our ecosystem” as that ecosystem continuously evolves.

MakerBot Mobile: Walk Away From Your Desk
MakerBot Mobile 1.1, with a new layout design for the iPad, makes browsing Thingiverse an even better experience.

And, if you’ve updated your printer with the latest firmware (v1.5), you can now start a print remotely from your iPad or iPhone from anywhere within range of your MakerBot Replicator 3D Printer’s Wi-Fi network. Thanks to the onboard cameras you can also see your build plate to make sure it’s clear before you start printing remotely.

But Joey and his team have even more ideas up their sleeves: “We’ve made it really easy for you to print stuff, but maybe you want to scale something or put two items on a plate. So we will be investigating having a Prepare mode similar to MakerBot Desktop.

The team is also working on true, remote monitoring that will work over a cellphone network as well as over your local Wi-Fi network. With this upcoming feature, Joey says, the idea is to be able to check the phone from anywhere and, “…find something that’s cool on Thingiverse that’s new, or from my library, take a look at the onboard camera on my printer, and start a print.”

MakerBot PrintShop: Making 3D Design Easier
The Digital Products team is also as pleased as punch with MakerBot PrintShop, an iPad app, optimized for fifth-generation MakerBot Replicator printers. You can use it to print directly to the printer without having to go to MakerBot Desktop first.

Joey says PrintShop takes all the guesswork out of print preparation, not to mention the technical-sounding jargon, and, “We make it really easy for users to create their own content without having to know 3D design skills.”

PrintShop is ideal for people just starting out with 3D printing or who love to 3D print but are in learning mode with 3D design software. “We give them the power to make some of their own, custom 3D models that are really easy to use like Vase Maker, or [the upcoming] Medal Maker, or jewelry like bracelets and rings.”

On top of that, the team worked with Sanrio, a MakerBot partner, to create special-edition, 3D printable ring toppers for the Hello Kitty conference this year. They’re looking forward to similar partnerships in the future.

What’s Coming Down the Pike
Lots. The Digital Product team has a master calendar, of course, and it includes things like:

–MakerBot Desktop auto-update
–Print queues
–Mobile remote printing
–Thingiverse groups

Joey and team are also working on the MakerBot Innovation Center Management Platform, a software solution that enables people to manage large groups of MakerBot Replicator 3D Printers effectively and efficiently.

That’s what on the calendar. But, as Joey points out, “from time to time, we also hear things from the field” the team knows they have to take a look at.

A good example of this is Z-Axis Offset. “We noticed that folks needed a little bit more variable control” to help them adjust their build plate, relative to their printer’s MakerBot Replicator Smart Extruder. So the team quickly crafted a solution and added it to the latest MakerBot Desktop release.


Keep Your Firmware Up-to-date
Whenever anyone on the Digital Products team talks about new features offered by any of the apps, they’re quick to remind us to “update your firmware.”

No wonder. As Joey tells us, “One of the interesting things about when we release our software, like MakerBot Desktop, is that most of the time there’s also some firmware updates that go in tandem with the features.”

So it’s important to always update your 3D printer’s firmware to enable those new features — and all the capabilities they offer.

Here’s how

Tell Us What You Think
We’re always interested in your feedback, thoughts, and suggestions, so feel free to reach out to us at [email protected].

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Thingiverse | MakerBot Ghostly Vinyl Challenge Winners


Well that was awesome.

We had a feeling that this challenge was going to be right in the Thingiverse community’s wheelhouse and we were right!

For three weeks, Thingiverse was bombarded with hundreds of amazing #GhostlyVinyl Challenge entries ­— from customizable zoetropes, dancing ghosts and vinyl-based sculpture to clocks, wave generators, cable organizers, and so much more.

All participants deserve a round of applause for their hard work and creativity.

Picking finalists from all the inspired entries was tough, but after consulting with Ghostly International and recording artist Com Truise, we’re excited to announce the winners!


And the winners are…

First prize goes to Oana’s Hand Cranked Vinyl Player. It prints without support and assembles in less than five minutes. It’s complex, but not complicated, and it can actually play records!

Second prize goes to M600’s DeskSHELL. It’s an elegant multi-purpose container for your audio miscellanea. It prints easily, looks perfect next to your turntable, and features some clever customizable elements.

Third prize goes to Aleccs’ Phone Amplifying Dock. The Ghostly-themed design holds an iPhone in place and redirects audio through an amplifying chamber.

UPDATE: Due to a judging error, we’ve changed the challenge winners. Check them out!

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MakerBot at CES 2015 | The Growing MakerBot Ecosystem


It’s time for the annual International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas and MakerBot is there. Back in 2014, we brought three new MakerBot Replicator 3D Printers to market, plus we launched numerous other initiatives including MakerBot Desktop, MakerBot Mobile and MakerBot PrintShop. We also launched the MakerBot Digital Store, brought on licensed partners, and more.

But for 2015, says MakerBot CEO Jenny Lawton, we’re purposefully not introducing any new 3D printers at CES. Instead, we’re “focusing our efforts on creating the most comprehensive 3D Ecosystem to support our customers. 3D printing is not simple. It is not plug-and-play. 3D printing takes work and takes software and hardware that make it work. We are focused on improving the overall 3D printing process to make it easier and more accessible for everyone.”

We know there is a lot of hype around 3D printing. So, in 2015, we’re telling the story of the growing MakerBot 3D Ecosystem. Our 2014 generation of printers will be there, of course, but we’re also going to showcase how “educators, businesses, and real users have incorporated MakerBot 3D printing into their daily work and lives,” says Jenny.

If you’re at CES 2015 this week, stop by the MakerBot Booth at #72711, located in the Sands Expo Convention Center, CES Tech West.

We’d love to show you some live demos and talk about what’s next.

The Growing MakerBot 3D Ecosystem
The large and growing platform currently includes hardware, like 3D printers and scanners; software, like MakerBot Desktop, MakerBot Mobile, and MakerBot PrintShop; solutions like the MakerBot Innovation Centers; services like MakerBot Learning; and in depth support options including tutorials, quick tips, and the MakerBot MakerCare Protection Plan.

That’s a lot, but there’s room for more. At CES 2015, we’ll be talking about:

-New MakerBot PLA Composite Filament
-New MakerBot Solutions & Services
-New and upgraded MakerBot apps
-New MakerBot partnerships

MakerBot PLA Composite Filaments
Enter the new line of MakerBot PLA Composite Filaments, created in three categories: Metal, Stone, and Wood. These beautiful, realistic, and highly stabilized materials are slated to be released in late 2015, but we’ll be showcasing select prints at CES 2015 so you can see the many potential uses for these great materials.


With these new materials, the potential of the swappable MakerBot Replicator Smart Extruder will start to be realized. In just minutes, you will be able to swap in a new extruder optimized for these innovative filaments. Then you will be ready to create prototypes that look and feel like the real thing so that you can accelerate Real-Time Prototyping—without purchasing a new 3D printer!

Browse MakerBot Filaments

MakerBot Professional Services
MakerBot has been working hard to add to the services arm of the MakerBot 3D Ecosystem. We’re starting the new year by introducing a collection of offerings designed to help consumers and professionals alike.

 -3D Design Services by MakerBot: Obtain master-level 3D design services for your important 3D printable content.
 -MakerBot 3D Printed Products: Our team of experts quickly and reliably 3D print 50 – 100,000 of your products, models, or parts.
 -MakerBot Learning: Get up and running faster with hands-on, creative, and collaborative sessions taught by knowledgeable MakerBot 3D printing experts.
 -Consulting from MakerBot: Receive unparalleled expertise to help you lead the way in the Next Industrial Revolution.

New and Upgraded Apps

In the first quarter of 2015, it will be easier than ever to remotely monitor and print. Upgrades to MakerBot Mobile for iPhone and Android will let you preview digital files for 3D printing, prepare files for 3D printing, and start a 3D print while monitoring its progress, all from your mobile device.

Download MakerBot Mobile

The new MakerBot Innovation Center Management Platform helps maximize the value and efficiency of your MakerBot Innovation Center with a seamless solution for managing large groups — as many as 30 -100 — of Fifth Generation MakerBot Replicator 3D Printers.

Learn More

MakerBot Partnerships

We love finding creative companies and organizations eager to create new things for our customers, and at CES 2015 we’re showcasing some fun and engaging projects that demonstrate the power of Real-Time Prototyping with MakerBot Replicator 3D Printers.

MakerBot Digital Store x Martha Stewart: The recently launched Martha Stewart for MakerBot Digital Store Trellis Collection is a popular download for many MakerBot customers. At CES 2015, MakerBot and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia will provide a sneak peek at some prototypes for potential future collections.
MakerBot Thingiverse x GE FirstBuild: Engineering and 3D printing enthusiasts hacked the refrigerator as part of the Icebox Challenge, a MakerBot and GE FirstBuild collaboration. Winners will be announced and designs showcased at the CES 2015 MakerBot booth.
MakerBot x The Foundry: The MakerBot Kit for MODO is the first ever 3D app integrated into MakerBot’s Cloud Library and MakerBot Thingiverse to provide access to The Foundry’s MODO 801’s easy-to-use content creation package.

Come Visit – We Can’t Wait to Meet You
CES is a hub of ingenuity and exciting ideas. It’s a great place to kick off the new year, discuss where we’re headed, and celebrate how real users use the MakerBot 3D Ecosystem to incorporate 3D printing into their workflow, save time and money, and inspire a whole new generation of innovators.

Again, if you’re at CES, please come visit us at booth #72711, located in the Sands Expo Center, CES Tech West.

We can’t wait to meet you.

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