Wired magazine called it “the machine that will change everything,” and, given the hordes of creative types who flocked to the World Maker Faire in Flushing Meadows Corona Park this past weekend, 3D-printed projects in hand, eager to share tricks and swaps stories and ideas, they just might be right. It’s called the Replicator 2, the fourth iteration of MakerBot’s revolutionary, desktop-sized 3D printer, and it’s so compact, so versatile, such an engineering marvel, so totally awesomely cool that, well… you should really see it for yourself.
Which is now really easy to do.
Makerbot Store Opens in NoHo, NYC
Last month MakerBot, the leader in 3D printing, based in Gowanus and founded by the amiable, passionate Bre Pettis, opened up its first retail store anywhere, on Mulberry Street just north of Houston Street in NoHo. I stopped in the other afternoon to check out MakerBot’s Replicator 2–and, also, to see how MakerBot was going to fill up a retail space when they essentially have one product, a challenge that obviously didn’t deter, for example, Apple in 2001–and, while I’m personally unlikely to purchase one soon ($2,200 is still a bit steep for me), I had a great time learning about the machine, its capabilities and limitations, and talking with the friendly, smart, and patient staff about all sorts of MakerBot-ish things. Also: playing with the MakerBot-manufactured marble-slide contraption in the window.
3D Printing Has Come a Long Way — See It (and buy it) at the Makerbot Store
I’ll let the MakerBot website fill you in on all of the technical details about the Replicator 2, how it’s now got a paper-thin, 100-micron layer resolution, with a massive 410-cubic-inch build volume, etc. But after hearing about 3D printing for several years now, and even playing around with some of MakerBot’s earlier prototypes, it was both eye-opening and inspiring how far along they’ve come. And given MakertBot’s start-up mentality and local roots, it’s hard not to root for Pettis and his crew.
Obviously the market for the MakerBot Replicator 2 is still mostly professional–if you’re an industrial designer, for instance, it seems like you can’t NOT have one of these in your home, or office, or home-office–but it’s also more and more clear that 3D printing will make the leap into our everyday lives, and likely sooner rather than later.
The MakerBot store–selling the Replicator 2, offering demos, hosting events, hawking all sorts of small 3D-printed items for about five bucks–is located on Mulberry Street between Houston and Bleecker Streets, and is open Monday to Saturday from 12:00 noon to 7:00 p.m., and on Sunday from noon until 6:00. Tons more info on their website.