MakerBot, the New York-based maker of 3D printers, is releasing its largest model yet: one that can print objects the size of someone's head, but at the same time it's also unveiling plans to bring a smaller, more affordable 3D printer, Replicator Mini, that users can use to make smaller objects.
The MakerBot Replicator Z18, is the larger of the two models being shown off on the sidelines of CES, and it can print objects 12 by 12 by 18 inches large. That's six times larger than MakerBot's standard Replicator. For a machine this size, the price tag is suitably high. The Replicator Z18, which deposits melted plastic dot by tiny dot to create the final 3D image, will cost about $6,499 when it hits retail later this year.
MakerBot's new Replicator line-up
MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis revealed the new line-up at a conference before Consumer Electronics Show. The company also revealed an upgrade to the company's standard Replicator, which will have some new internals and presumably, expanded capacity. It has a new camera, an easily removable magnetic extruder, and Wi-Fi connectivity.
The smaller, consumer-focussed Replicator Mini is priced much more aggresively at $1,375, but its usefulness is limited by the size of the objects it prints. The Mini can supposedly prints objects that are up to the size of a cupcake.
The smaller printer comes with a camera to monitor progress and share images of your half-baked work with friends on social networks,. It can also access a suite of cloud-enabled apps thanks to Wi-Fi connectivity. The Mini will be available in the spring of 2014.