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MakerBot unveils 3D printer cheap enough for your household

Posting in Technology
 
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MakerBot has unveiled a new 3D printer which makes 3D printing more affordable for today's enthusiast.

Speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2014, MakerBot founder Bre Pettis announced the MakerBot Replicator Mini, built to be as easy to run as a "point and shoot camera" and constructed with the consumer in mind. The 3D printer, which can be used to 'print' physical objects via layers of melted plastic and with the help of software programs to create three-dimensional figures, is also aggressively priced -- making the $1,375 printer an attractive prospect for at-home print enthusiasts when it hits the shelves this spring.

MakerBot has sold 22,000 3D printers since 2009, but most of the models on sale are outside of the price range of the average household. For example, the MakerBot Replicator costs upwards of $2,000, but comes with a plethora of features suitable for professionals. Also unveiled at CES 2014 was the fifth generation model of this flagship product, which will sell for $2,899.

The MakerBot Z18, another new 3D printer suitable for professional use, will cost $6,499 when the product begins shipping later this year.

However, MakerBot is not solely focused on hardware any longer. Pettis also discussed plans to tap in to the retail space, where consumers will be able to purchase digital blueprints for 3D models online.

MakerBot was purchased last year by major 3D printing firm Stratasys in a stock deal worth $403 million. MakerBot will run as a separate subsidiary and retain its brand. 

Via: Wall Street Journal 

Image credit: MakerBot

— By on January 7, 2014, 3:29 AM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure