3D printers are definitely moving fast in 2013. As I pointed out it is one of the top 5 technologies to watch out for in 2013 and MakerBot is undoubtedly one of the initial and good movers in the 3D printing industry. At CES 2013 Makerbot was expected to make a splash and it did. It has definitely left an impressive imprint with its MakerBot Replicator 2X.
Announced as a name release in September 2012, MakerBot demonstrated a working Replicator 2X 3D printer at CES 2013. The new printer is a higher-end version of the Replicator 2 MakerBot announced earlier.
Like the Replicator 2, the new model features a finer printing resolution than the earlier MakerBot Replicator, with the specifications reaching as small as 100 microns per layer of extruded plastic, and it also has a redesigned chassis. The updated features of the improved design are an aluminum build platform and print area that’s enclosed by plastic windows. The benefit is that the build area retains heat better than the open chassis, providing faster and more reliable printing.
The Replicator 2X has the ability to print in two different colours as well as the ability to print with both PLA and ABS plastics.MakerBot launched the Replicator 2 a day after competitor 3D Systems announced its own high-end 3D printer, the CubeX. The Cube X also supports PLA and ABS, and comes in configurations that let you print with up to three different colors. The Replicator 2X costs $2,799, a single-color CubeX costs $2,499, and is up to $3,999 for the three-color model.
Along with the Replicator 2X, MakerBot also announced its own plastic print material that will go with the printer and a new API for its Thingiverse web site which hosts user made design files for printable objects. The API enables users to tap into the Thingiverse object library via user made applications.
With the Replicator 2X MakerBot has just made the next major stride in the world of 3D printing and stepped up competition with 3D Systems.