If there’s one thing that MakerBot has learned over the course of its short existence, it’s that you can’t please them all.
While early adopters seeking a well-rounded user experience for 3D printing at home welcomed MakerBot’s push towards a cohesive ecosystem, those in the Open Source–heavy DIY community pushed back as the company attempted to close off what they believed should have been open technology. Also –– the printers didn’t work that great anyways.
But despite the various ups and downs over the years –– including the major low point of shipping manufacturing overseas –– the company has finally gotten one thing right: their market is professionals and educators…NOT DIY enthusiasts.
With the announcement of new products this week –– including two new 3D printers –– geared specifically towards professionals and educators, the Brooklyn-based company is finally coming full circle and answering (or at least attempting to) to the specific needs of their target users:
First up is MakerBot Print, a free software offering designed to optimize the 3D printing process for the professional’s workflow. More specifically, it helps users prepare, manage, share and print both native CAD files and STL files with ease. As a sidekick, the new MakerBot Mobile app lets users tap into these functionalities via their mobile devices –– including the ability to monitor and control a network of 3D printers over the Cloud.
Next up are two new MakerBot Replicators: The Replicator+ and The Replicator Mini+. Similar in appearance to their predecessors, the new lineup has reportedly been tested rigorously for quality control purposes to offer greater reliability and precision. Additionally, the new printers are capable of printing up to 30% faster and with a 25% larger build volume (although specifics are left to each model). Combined with a redesigned gantry and z-stage, this is –– in a nutshell –– the best lineup from MakerBot, yet.
“We have gone through a cultural shift here at MakerBot over the past year, where listening and understanding the needs of our customers are cornerstones of our company. As a result, we’ve gained an in-depth understanding of the wider needs of professionals and educators that has informed our product development process,” said Jonathan Jaglom, CEO of MakerBot. “Our new solutions for professionals and 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.”
Through October 31st, the company is selling the Replicator+ for $1,999 (before jumping up to $2,499) and the Replicator Mini+ for $999 (before jumping up to $1,299). Find out more over at MakerBot.