In the past, MakerBot has received a lot of feedback from customers, on everything from materials, hardware, and software. They took your comments and concerns to heart, and worked hard to make meaningful changes to their products, in the hopes of significantly improving the customer experience. It is because of this feedback that they have worked tirelessly to advance virtually every aspect of their business, both internally and externally.
In 2013, the MakerBot brand was part of an acquisition by Stratasys. In early 2016, the Smart Extruder+ was released, to ensure a more dependable and consistent print performance. And now, in September 2016, MakerBot has just released a few more surprises for you.
It is without further ado, that I unveil to you what has been dubbed “The MakerBot Experience”, a comprehensive restructuring of MakerBot infrastructure, as well as new additions to their hardware, software, and material catalog.
MakerBot Replicator Mini+
The newest addition to the compact 3D printer market, the MakerBot Replicator Mini+ boasts several improvements to the already multi-award winning MakerBot Replicator Mini.
Being brought into the market with several new features, in addition to all the benefits received from the original MakerBot Replicator Mini, the new Mini+ includes:
- A redesigned gantry and Z-stage for improved reliability
- 28% larger build volume
- A new “grip” build surface for improved adhesion and removal
- Faster print speeds
- Factory leveling
Not to be outdone by the Replicator Mini+, the MakerBot Replicator+ boasts several improvements on the Red Dot Award winning original Replicator system, including:
- A re-designed gantry and Z-stage as well
- 25% larger build volume
- The new grip build surface
- 30% faster print speeds
- Compatibility with the new MakerBot Tough PLA filament (details below)
- 27% quieter operating volume, for easier office integration
The Replicator+ brings an improved build volume to ecological footprint ratio, allowing more printing in less space within your office or manufacturing facility.
It is worth noting that both of these new systems are supported under either MakerCare or MakerCare Preferred service plans.
MakerBot Tough PLA
It is no secret that with the multitudes of material in the 3D printing world, PLA may not always be the best choice for a given engineering environment. Because of this, MakerBot has created the new “Tough PLA”, a thermoplastic with combined attributes from both PLA and ABS plastics.
The fusing of PLA and ABS allows for stronger print jobs without warping, shrinking, or poor layer adhesion that may be seen with consumer level ABS. Below are some quick stats for your reference:
|Glass Temperature||60-65°C (140-149°F)|
|Melting Temperature||150-160°C (302-320°F)|
|Nozzle Temperature||215°C (419°F)|
Tough PLA is not just available on the two new systems unveiled today, but also with the 5th Generation Replicator, and the Z18. This material is excellent for printing a variety of Jigs and Fixtures, and is safe to be used in well-ventilated offices or classrooms. MakerBot Print
Arguably the most exciting announcement from MakerBot today is MakerBot Print, a new design-to-print software for MakerBot systems.The goal of this software is the streamlining of any 3D printing workflow, and comes with a plethora of exciting new features:
- Native CAD file support on Windows computers
- Automatic 3D file organization on as many build plates as required
- A guided setup through MakerBot Mobile, an app that connects to MakerBot Print
- Cloud management which allows for unprecedented connection, monitoring, and control of multiple printers
- Newly designed breakaway supports and rafts enabling significantly easier and cleaner part excavation
- A “print preview” feature which allows for examination of individual toolpaths, which can be altered with several troubleshooting options in print settings, the viewing of supports, or raft replacements
- Auto updates, so you are always armed with the most up to date firmware and software by MakerBot
Below is a comparison chart of MakerBot Print and the older MakerBot printer software, MakerBot Desktop:
There are also new developments happening on Thingiverse.com, specifically Thingiverse Education, a free online portal of projects and lesson plans created by educators, for educators that will be updated with fresh content on a regular basis.
Interested in discussing or seeing some of these new developments? Give us a call at any CADimensions location!
For more information on what’s going on in the world of 3D printing, look to other CADimensions blogs, Stratasys.com, 3Dprint.com,TechCrunch, the 3D Printing Podcast, and any other tech-based news outlets you can find – they are all sure to be reporting on this technology for years to come.