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.
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