The MakerBot usually takes the CES to showcase their innovations, and this year’s CES 2014 was no different. During the press conference that took place January 6th in Las Vegas, the co-founder and CEO of MakerBot Bre Pettis took the stage to tell what's new. Pettis could not hide his excitement at the beginning of the presentation. Once he took the stage, he began to tell how the MakerBot has been a success worldwide. He said the company has already sold more than 44,000 3D printers from the start.
Another impressive number is relative to Thingiverse, community designs and models in three dimensions will be working with the MakerBot and to bring together the work of many artists and enthusiasts. Pettis also talked about how 3D printers have changed the way now you can create products. According to him, geniuses are emerging and creativity are surfacing everywhere.
Recently, MakerBot opened several stores in America. Cities like New York and Boston already have places where people can come, see and understand how 3D printers work closely. Pettis, who was once a teacher, says that one of his biggest dreams is to put at least one 3D printer in every American school to encourage the development of young people.
Then the news that everyone expected finally arrived. Bre Pettis showed three new printers developed by company: MakerBot Mini, MakerBot Replicator and MakerBot Z18.
The MakerBot Mini is a compact printer that has the same format as the first printer launched by the company, CupCake, but the similarities between them end there. This model is extremely powerful and its main advantage is ease of use. According to Pettis, just plug, load the template and print. It is not necessary to align the print platform nor perform complex equipment adjustments.
Another feature present in MakerBot Mini is a dedicated camera used to monitor your print job while you're not around. As each job can take many hours, follow the process from afar can be a useful feature. This camera also allows images of objects being printed can be shared on social networks. Pettis ensures that working with this printer is the same as using a point and shoot camera - just plug and print. The model should be available in the first half of 2014 and the cost will be $1,375.
The name may not be new, but the printer is. The new version of the traditional model has many interesting features. One is the leveling system by light sensors - simply rotate the knob until the specific light turns off. This makes it possible to accurately align the print platform. This model brings a complete control panel on the front. The screen is colorful and allows any complex configuration or tuning can be done quickly and without difficulty. Like the previous one, this model also has a built-in camera so you can monitor the work and share the images on social networks.
The new MakerBot Replicator can print objects with resolution of up to 100 microns to ensure the details, and you can access the printer through four different ways: WiFi, network cable, USB cable or USB stick. The MakerBot Replicator perfectly balances the quality of work as a printing facility, and serves well for both amateurs and professionals. It is now available in the market and can be purchased for U.S. $2,899.
The MakerBot Z18 printer is the largest 3D printer ever built by the company. With an area of approximately 30.5 x 30.5 x 45.7 cm, you can create immense objects, even full size helmets, as was shown during the presentation. Moreover, Z18 Makerbot can print several products at a time. This greatly facilitates the print job. The model also has the same features of the printers made before: camera for monitoring print and color control panel.
The MakerBot Z18 is the most professional of all and is coming to the market in the first half of 2014 costing $6499.
All these printers have a new model of extruder that can be easily detached from the print head. The Smart Extruder know when raw material is missing and sends alerts if it encounters any problem along the way.
To control the printing of the objects you need software capable of performing this type of task with precision. That's why MakerBot is launching MakerBot Apps, a suite of applications and full printing services. Among these applications are the MakerWare, the familiar print management software from the Partners Company. With it you can set parameters as size and position of the object before printing.
Along with it's Printshop, a software developed to allow even people with no experience in publishing to create custom 3D objects. The application allows text, bracelets and other accessories simply and quickly be created. Another important feature is that the software can be connected with the Thingiverse, the community of the MakerBot 3D printer to download templates and manage your collection of objects for printing.
These software are available for Mac, PC and Linux.
Wrapping up things, the company is also offering the MakerBot Mobile management software that allows the user to manage their work from anywhere via a smartphone or tablet running iOS or Android.