MakerBot announces new 3D printers for schools and professionals

Refined and reliable

MakerBot hasn't made many announcements since introducing its complete lineup of 3D printers at CES 2014, but today the replicating giant is back to announce new 3D printers, software platform and 3D printing materials.

While MakerBot has classically been known for producing 3D printers for consumer, the company has announced a new platform for professionals that includes hardware, software, and materials.

MakerBot Replicator

The MakerBot Replicator + is the company's first professional grade 3D printer. It's been completely redesigned from the ground up so the printing arm glides smoothly on a stiffer chassis. The gantry is has also been reinforced with more metal beams to help reduce wobbling during printing and eliminating rattle at the same time.

MakerBot Replicator

One of the biggest changes is the z-stage is now made of a completely sheet of diecast aluminum, so it no longer requires re-leveling or to be reset. Prints are also now make on a Flex Build Plate, which has been designed with a Grip Surface for better adhesion while being bendable for easier print removal. The MakerBot Replicator + also comes with the company's recently introduced Smart Extruder + head.

Overall these improvements give MakerBot Replicator+ 25% larger build area volume while making it 30% faster at printing and 27% quieter.

MakerBot Replicator

All the while, print quality has been improved with reduced under and over extrusion on solid fill areas, more precise arcs and curves, while the outer shell is smoother. Improved breakaway supports also snap away more easily and cleanly.

The MakerBot Replicator + is available today for $1,999 (about £1,530 AU$2,650).

MakerBot Print

Full support

MakerBot Print is a new software platform that helps simplify the 3D printing process. At its core works with 20 different native CAD files and optimizes slicing for better print quality and speed

MakerBot also introduced a new software platform named Print designed to help simplify the 3D printing process. At its core works with 20 different native CAD files and optimizes slicing for better print quality and speed. As a cloud-connected Program, Print also communicates with other 3D printers splitting up builds across multiple devices in the same office or across the web.

Tough PLA

Last but not least, MakerBot also introduced a new Tough PLA that's tough as ABS while being as reliable as PLA making it more flexible and reducing warping. The new material comes in a bundle with three spools and a Tough PLA Smart Extruder + for $379 (about £290, AU$500).

MakerBot Replicator

Schools matter

MakerBot also introduced the Replicator Mini + for schools. Like the Replicator +, MakerBot's smaller 3D printer has been redesigned with more rigid chassis and a new Z-stage platform. The new Replicator Mini + is available also today starting at $999 (about £770, AU$1,325).

Thingiverse Education

On the software end, MakerBot has also introduced Thingiverse Education, a new web platform filled with 3D printing project files and over 100 lessons. What's more, MakerBot Mobile also simplifies the process of loading up spools of material and firing up the printer.

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