MakerBot showcases Replicator Mini and Z18 at CES, coming this spring

By on January 7, 2014, 1:45 PM
ces, makerbot, 3d printer, ces 2014, replicator mini, z18

MakerBot is doing it up big at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. From a 10-by-10 booth five years ago to a packed press conference at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in 2014, the company unveiled two new Replicator 3D printers which represent their largest and smallest offerings to date.

The Replicator Z18 is the larger of the two and can output items measuring 12 by 12 by 18 inches. It features an enclosed chamber that is said to help hold larger objects in place as they are being printed.

To give an idea of the types and sizes of things that can be created with the Z18, CEO Bre Pettis showed off a full-sized, functional Stormtrooper helmet that actually fit on his head. With more than 48 million digital designs having been downloaded from the company’s website, Thingiverse, there’s a seemingly endless array of items that can be created right at home.

The smaller machine is known as the Replicator Mini which Pettis described as the point-and-shoot model of the family. It’s designed with speed and ease of use in mind as evident by the one-touch operation.

The Mini also has a bit of a social flare as it has an integrated camera that can be used to monitor the printing progress remotely and can share images via social media. It connects to your local network using Wi-Fi and has access to a suite of cloud-enabled apps.

The Replicator Z18 will be available starting this spring for $6,499 while the Mini will carry an MSRP of $1,375 and launch around the same time.




User Comments: 5

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2 people like this | ikesmasher said:

3d printing is getting better. slowly. but it is.

And honestly its really exciting.

JC713 JC713 said:

3d printing is getting better. slowly. but it is.

And honestly its really exciting.

Yeah, really nice stuff.

The thing that irks me though, is that MakerBot is only targeting the high-end crowd. I think they need to get a <$500 3D printer to the market and then we are talking.

1 person liked this | ikesmasher said:

Yeah, really nice stuff.

The thing that irks me though, is that MakerBot is only targeting the high-end crowd. I think they need to get a <$500 3D printer to the market and then we are talking.

A user friendly one for that price too lol

Oneiro Oneiro said:

Where I work we have a PROJET HD 3000 that costed about $60,000 for a used display model and that's not including the service contracts, cost of materials etc. It's huge, and it looks like there's an ATM machine sitting in the office.

I think what you are looking at here is actually intended for the lower ended crowd. I mean really? $1,375 bucks and you can print your own 3d sculpts indefinitely. Make some molds of the prints, get some polymer resin and you are in business to start your own manufacturing line. But lets not forget about the material costs and maintenance. These machines are prone to breakdown like clockwork.

Also, these images are 3d rendered representations of the product, not the real thing. Depending on the type of 3D printing technology, the 3D print needs post processing to melt off the waxy "support material" that holds the 3d shape of the "build material" while it's immediately cured with a high intensity UV lamp. You wouldn't have some clean, perfect looking plastic product waiting for you on the build platform. It almost seems falsely advertised that laser beams just zap an object into existence in a matter of seconds, when it actually takes several hours to print even small things.

ikesmasher said:

These machines are prone to breakdown to unknowing people.

I dont think anyone here would falsely assume that 3d models take seconds to print or that they are perfect models upon finishing. I don't think im speaking for myself when I say if I had one of these, I would spend days of research and preparation before printing even my first model.

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