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MakerBot broadens its scope with faster, user-friendly Replicator 2

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The MakerBot Replicator 2 is faster and easier to use than its predecessor, but will the $2,199 price tag scare off new comers?

Makerbot Replicator
Makerbot Replicator

With the Replicator 2, Makerbot Industries wants to change the world by bringing 3D printers into the mainstream. Though its $2,199 price tag exceeds the original version we checked out at CES, the Brooklyn-based MakerBot Industries believes that the new Replicator's efficiency and ease of use will help spur adoption for the devices. As part of its mass market push, MakerBot is also opening its first retail location in Manhattan, which it hopes will help highlight its streamlined 3D printing process.

Wired reports that the Replicator 2 is a sleek metal box adorned with colorful LEDs, a stark change from the plywood kits that were previously a barrier for budding 3D printing enthusiasts. It's capable of printing objects up to 11.2 x 6 x 6.1-inches (or 410 cubic inches) in volume, and it will also ship fully assembled. MakerBot Industries has also created a new MakerWare app, control software aimed at simplifying the printing process. While MakerBot remains hopeful that the time is right for 3D-printing, only time will tell if their push for a broader DIY audience pays off.