The Verge reports on a new announcement by MakerBot. MakerBot, which has gone through various stages of tumultuous evolution and revolution over its nine years, is now owned by Stratasys.
Now, the company’s latest 3D printer, the MakerBot Method, has been announced. The device aims “to bridge the gap between its parent company’s expensive industrial machines, which can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the cheaper desktop printers MakerBot is known for.”
Set for an early 2019 shipping date, the MakerBot Method will supplement “MakerBot’s Replicator desktop printer line. The $6,499 price tag is more than twice the cost of MakerBot’s core Replicator+, and the same as the extra-large Z18.”
As one can imagine, the MakerBot Method 3D printer comes packed with exciting features and technologies. However, the DIY makers who made MakerBot’s Replicator line famous and successful in the first place will continue to be disappointed as the Method is another departure from their DIY ethos. Evidently, the company has chosen to go the route of Apple with their machines’ hardware and software: the Method’s “moving parts are neatly hidden, and prints are locked behind transparent doors, instead of sitting in an open frame. Below the printing area, two neat pop-out drawers hold spools of printing plastic. It’s a dramatic contrast to MakerBot’s first printers, which were open-source wooden kits inspired by the lo-fi RepRap project.”
This is the aesthetic MakerBot are shooting for with the Method, however – the company wants the device to be a “reliable, easy-to-use printer, which will be a step up from cheaper desktop machines.” The Method features “a more rigid frame allowing its plastic extruder to move faster without shaking the printer, and MakerBot claims it’s up to twice as fast as a desktop printer. Its build chamber is heated, so the entire print job cools at an even rate. Ideally, this means users can make tight-fitting machine parts without worrying about size variation.”
The Method will also ship with multiple extruders. The company explains this innovative new 3D printer is aimed at designers. However, MakerBot does aim for its more advanced features to eventually “trickle down to their cheaper printer lineup.”
Image and Quotes Courtesy of The Verge