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Home / News / MakerBot debuts three 3D printers and new apps

MakerBot debuts three 3D printers and new apps

At around £850, the company's fifth generation of hardware includes its most affordable 3D printer yet

3D printer pioneer MakerBot is enjoying a busy CES. Not only has the company unveiled a trio of brand new 3D printers, it found time to launch mobile and desktop apps and two new ways to get your hands on 3D print designs.

Three new printers

MakerBot Mini

Let’s start with the hardware. Coming in at entry-level is the MakerBot Replicator Mini Compact 3D Printer, which as well as being one heck of a mouthful is the company’s cheapest printer yet. While the final price hasn’t been confirmed, the company expects it to be US$1,375 (around £835) when it goes on sale in the spring. It’s a small printer designed to fit easily into classrooms, dorm rooms and homes, and features just one button – other controls are taken care of via the new desktop and mobile apps. It can make objects up to 4 x 4 x 6 inches in volume.

There are two more new printers: the midrange MakerBot Replicator Desktop (which offers 11 percent more build volume than the model it replaces) is on sale today for US$2,899 (£1,765); and the high-end MakerBot Replicator Z18, which offers a huge print volume (objects up to 18in in height) and will be out in the spring priced at US$6,499 (£3,950).

Software and stores galore

What might be even more exciting for creative types are the new desktop and mobile apps. MakerBot Mobile and MakerBot Desktop provide a platform for searching, managing and sharing 3D print designs (which are stored in a cloud library), but more importantly allow you to remotely control a MakerBot 3D printer. The desktop app will be available from February, which the mobile app will hit iOS in the spring and Android before the end of 2014.

And it doesn’t stop there. There’s also a new MakerBot Digital Store, which will sell 3D model designs guaranteed to work on the latest Replicator printers from US$0.99 (you can also buy collections of several designs from US$9.99). All designs can be painted and don’t require glue or assembly.

Then there’s the MakerBot PrintShop, a tablet app that’ll make designing and printing 3D objects idiot-proof (well, near enough). The app will be out on iOS in the spring and Android by the end of the year.

Phew. It’s safe to say that MakerBot (which now, unbelievably, is onto its fifth generation of 3D printers) is making a big push for the mainstream in 2014. An exciting time for amateur and professional creative types everywhere.

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Profile image of Sam Kieldsen Sam Kieldsen Contributor


Tech journalism's answer to The Littlest Hobo, I've written for a host of titles and lived in three different countries in my 15 years-plus as a freelancer. But I've always come back home to Stuff eventually, where I specialise in writing about cameras, streaming services and being tragically addicted to Destiny.

Areas of expertise

Cameras, drones, video games, film and TV

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