3D Printers

MakerBot Launches New 3D Printing Products

MakerBot has introduced a number of new 3D printer products it says will better serve the needs of educators.

Both the MakerBot Replicator+ and the Replicator Mini+ have been overhauled to deal with stiffer materials and provide sturdier construction. They are also expected to be faster and quieter than previous models. Company representatives said the MakerBot Replicator+ is 30 percent faster and 27 percent quieter than the MakerBot Replicator 5th Generation Desktop 3D printer. The Replicator Mini+ is 10 percent faster and 58 percent quieter than the original MakerBot Replicator Mini Compact.

The company also has new print and mobile applications the company said will streamline the step-by-step process for 3D printing and make it easier for educators to introduce their students to the process.

Specifically for teachers, MakerBot has created the Thingiverse Education platform that will allow them to connect with each other and share best practices about introducing 3D printing into their curricula. It has already been loaded with 100 lesson plans contributed by educators and vetted by MakerBot professionals.

The platform will allow educators to filter the lesson plans by subject, grade level and learning goal.

"We believe that implementing 3D printing into the classroom can only be successful if the technology complements a teacher’s goals for their students," said Drew Lentz, MakerBot learning manager.

Finally, a new material is now available for use in 3D printing, a slate gray tough PLA filament bundle that the company said will produce more durable, high-impact strength prototypes.

"We have gone through a cultural shift here at MakerBot over the past year," said MakerBot CEO Jonathan Jaglom. "Our new solutions for educators are based on feedback addressing how we could accelerate and streamline the iterative design process and make teaching with a desktop 3D printer easier and more effective."

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.