3D printer manufacturer MakerBot is making its biggest effort yet to target the consumer market with the release of a new low-cost model and the opening of a New York store.
The $2,199 Replicator 2 features 100-micron layer resolution - and can make bigger objects than its predecessors, of up to 410 cubic inches in volume. Maximum dimensions are 11.2 by 6.0 by 6.1 inches.
"With our fourth generation product, we have made the best desktop 3D printer on the market, made it affordable to both professionals and hobbyists, and made it cool looking," says CEO Bre Pettis.
It's claimed to be much simpler to use, fast, and uses the renewable bioplastic PLA - the most popular build material in 3D printing because of its strength and ability to make very large prints without cracking or warping.
The company believes that 3D printing is just about ready for the mainstream, and has opened a retail store on New York's Mulberry Street to try and demystify the technology. It'll host demonstrations, and will sell finished products made with the system, as well as the printers themselves.
"The store is designed to become a destination for MakerBot fans when they visit New York City and a place to find unique MakerBot-made gifts," the company claims.
MakerBot's also releasing a more advanced - indeed, experimental - 3D printer, costing $2,799.
"The new MakerBot Replicator 2X Experimental 3D Printer enables the daredevils and trailblazers of 3D printing to explore the frontiers of multiple materials and colors," says Pettis.
Designed for experts, it features experimental dual extrusion, using the petroleum-based thermoplastic, MakerBot ABS filament. It comes equipped with an updated dual-extruder tool and an updated heated build platform.