CES 2014: Makerbot Showcases New Consumer-Ready 3D Printers

Makerbot unveiled its Replicator Mini and Z18, its respectively smallest and largest 3D printers to date. Both are consumer-facing and ready for market. Having firmly established itself as a the brand-to-know in the rapidly expanding 3D printing arena, it has sold over 44,000 universe, and over 48 million digital designs have been downloaded on its Thingiverse. The new devices aim to expand both of those figures. The Replicator Mini is a small, cheap device that Makerbot CEO Bre Pettis calls the “point-and-shoot” model for the Makerbot family, designed for one-touch, plug-and-play functionality with an app store – in other words, an easy to use, cheap, consumer facing baseline at $1,375. On the opposite end of the spectrum is the Z18, the biggest unit to date that’s capable of producing 12″ x 12″ x 18″ printouts (Makerbot showcased a full-sized stormtrooper helmet at CES). It will be available in the spring of 2014, for $6,499. Both devices are a sure sign that 3D printing is here at least for the forseeable future, and that Makerbot is pushing as hard as it can to make 3D printing a conventional consumer product.