Starting February 20th, small and medium-sized businesses will be able to purchase MakerBot’s 3D printers and scanners through the Dell printer store. The goal, for Dell, is to offer engineers complete end-to-end design to prototyping solutions through the Dell store. At the same time, as part of the deal Makerbot will be the only 3D printing solution offered by Dell. The store will offer the MakerBot Replicator 2, 2X, Z18, Mini Compact 3D Printer, Mini Desktop 3D Printer, and the Desktop 3D Scanner. While 3D printers slowly gain a mainstream audience, the avenues for designers to prototype products with 3D printers only grows.
3D printing has been touted (in big block letters, no less) as THE FUTURE (of everything) for some time now, and Makerbot, an American leader in the consumer 3D printing sphere is ready to make the push towards this reality by placing a Makerbot in every school in America. The effort is being funded by a crowd funding campaign at DonorsChoose.org. Makerbot CEO Bre Pettis calls Makerbot “manufacturing education in a box,” which hints at the greater ambitions of the presently small 3D printing industry. If Makerbot achieves its goal and places a printer in every school in America, could we be headed for a greater shift, leading to a full industrial revolution that forever changes how we think about making products?
See IPG Lab’s Makerbot in action, currently making a turkey head (’tis the season): http://instagram.com/p/gYGwQBoeYp/
MakerBot is now taking pre-orders for its MakerBot Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner, a laser-equipped 3D scanner that allows users to convert objects into digital 3D models. The device was initially announced in March at SXSW, and costs $1400, plus an aditional option for MakerBot’s $150 service and support program called Digitizer MakerCare. It works by using two lasers and a camera to scan objects up to 8 inches tall and 8 inches in diameter to turn them into several standard 3D design file formats. According to MakerBot, the process takes just a few minutes, and doesn’t require any design experience. Expect the product to ship in mid-october, and to make the 3D printing of most standard objects a reality.
MakerBot got things started in Austin, delivering a keynote from CEO Bre Pettis. With 3D printing on the rise, it’s not surprising MakerBot was the one to kick things off at this year’s SXSW festival. During the keynote, Pettis reiterated the dramatic changes in terms of access as printer prices have dropped from $100,000 to around $2,000. Also interesting is the release of MakerBot Digitizer, the latest printer that can complete high quality scans in a matter of minutes. The user won’t need any experience with the software to use the scanner, and MakerBot hopes to see it in schools, businesses, and the home alike. All of these developments bring 3D printing into the consumer space, allowing people print just about anything from spare car parts to Happy Meal toys
Stay tuned throughout the 14th for live coverage from SXSW including original interviews from some of the most compelling tech and media companies from this year’s festival.