MakerBot Launches 3D Printer; Follows Up With 3D Scanner
MakerBot draws huge crowds at CeBIT with real-time demonstration of 3D printing before finishing out the week with an announcement of a 3D scanner prototype at SXSW.The crowds at CeBIT in Hannover, Germany couldn’t get enough of the MakerBot 3D printer, watching raptly as the machine churned out plastic objects in heavy, durable PLA (Polylactic Acid) plastic. The MakerBot 2 and 2X printers are the leading edge in desktop 3D printing, and can create virtually anything that can be described with AutoCAD or other similar software. MakerBot announced the advanced model 2X just before CeBIT and showed the commercial version of the MakerBot 3D printer at CeBIT. Like all printers, 3D printers work through a computer’s printer software. The device has a 100 micron resolution, and greater build volume than previous desktop 3D printers. The new version of the MakerBot will create objects with a volume up to 410 cubic inches and can create objects as large as 11.2 inches, by 6 by 6.1 inches. The device is capable of making multipart objects.
The Replicator 2 and 2X use PLA filament plastic because it’s very strong, it’s not subject to cracking and it’s a biodegradable bioplastic resin. While the primary use of the MakerBot is to make prototypes of items that will be manufactured, the objects that it creates are quite sturdy. An effort to break a fairly thin plastic chain created by the MakerBot was entertaining, but unsuccessful.