MakerBot’s new 3D printer was revealed at a event in Brooklyn, NY today, and although the 3D printer isn’t a household item yet, this iteration brings the concept closer to ubiquity. 3D printers lay down PLA plastic to form actual objects from computer files, and since they’ve become small enough to fit in most homes a surprisingly robust community has grown around sharing plans online. These plans range from silly pieces that connect Lego and K’nex to useful replacement parts for electronics. With 3D printers, you can literally fabricate these things in your home.
The MakerBot Replicator 2 looks like the 3D printer to own. There’ve been several improvements, including an increased resolution that now lays down plastic in 100 micron layers. There’s been a nice little increase in printing speed, and you can print bigger objects now, too–about the size of a shoebox. Those improvements weren’t free though, and the price has gone up as well: $2200, as opposed to it’s predecessor’s starting $1799 price point. But considering that it comes pre-assembled and allows you to make anything you want, this is a printer worth dreaming about.