Two-headed Makerbot: the Replicator 2X

MakerBot have announced an update to its Replicator 2 3D printer, this one an experimental model with two heads:

Targeting a higher-end market, the 2X features dual heads for printing more-complex objects. “For the daredevils out there, the Doc Browns, the MacGyvers, the test pilots, we haven’t forgotten about you,” says Pettis in a YouTube video released in advance of the announcement. Whereas the Replicator 2 uses PLA filament, the 2X — like the original Replicator — uses ABS filaments. But the 2X is supposed to run more smoothly, and print in multiple colors and even multiple materials.

“There are many ABS filament fans out there that want to keep using ABS, even though it can be a trickier and more challenging product to use,” Pettis says in MakerBot’s press release.

MakerBot Announces More Advanced Replicator 2X 3-D Printer [Nathan Hurst/Wired]


    1. Now that Monopoly is in the public domain, this completely eliminates the need to buy anything from Hasbro ever again!

        1. But you can make your own spin-offs, like Christmas Monopoly, or Nightmare Monopoly.

          Just not A Nightmare Before Christmas Monopoly.

  1. I was really impressed with the MakerBot store in the East Village (NYC).  I would buy one of these in a second if I had any disposable income.  Ever since seeing them in motion I have been considering rapid prototyping as a potential solution to daily problems (such as my ice cream maker doesn’t have a lid, to the desire for a peculiar sized candy box).

    When it comes down to finances, though, the cost of a Replicator has to be less than having my items printed online, and you can have quite a few items printed online and shipped for the $2k my own machine would cost.  Even still, how I lust for you Replicator…

  2. If people think that everyone one day will have a 3d printer in their home, why doesn’t everyone already have a milling machine in their home? Or a CNC machine?

    I am a big supporter of the 3d printing movement, and I have personally benefitted greatly from the availability of 3d printing, both at home (prusa reprap owned by my friend) and as a service (shapeways)

    But the old chestnut that one day everyone will own one of these, to me, is just getting it wrong. This is not the same as printing documents out. Do you need a new part for your ice cream maker? Ok, can you design it in Solidworks? I certainly can’t :)

    1. Because Milling machines tend to be rather bulky when compared to an FFF printer. Also unless they have been outfitted with some (comparatively bulky) CNC controls they also require much more skill to use. Where as 3D printers in general do require a hobby level of skill at present they are much more user friendly.

      A far better comparison would be comparing them to something like common paper printers. Given that, 3D printers are currently sitting somewhere around the dot matrix stage.

      Certainly not saying they will be in “every household”, heck even today not every household has a normal 2D printer. Still far more practical to think they will have a wide scale adoption than milling machines. I wouldn’t be surprised where we complain about waiting for a company to send a replacement part for some product defect (1-6 weeks if lucky), a future generation complains that their printers take “Sooooooo Loooong…..” to print a replacement part (5-20min).

      1. Yeah, this ‘type’ of 3D printer (making small pieces of plastic) may only reach say the fax machine level of home adoption. But I would say that future generations that can print in different materials (organic, metal, etc.) with very little effort might reach microwave or even TV levels of adoption.

      2.  Milling machines, from personal experience, are rather “dirty” machines. They create a lot of noise and waste, in the form of debris from the milling and just dust. In comparison, the worse I’ve seen from 3D printers is the scattered detrius of broken plastic from rafts and the fact that ABS can fume you out of a room if you aren’t careful (and PLA doesn’t have that problem).

          1. Flying car. That’s what I see. I heard you can install a skirt, and fly really, really close to the ground.

    2. It seems to me that saying “can you design it in Solidworks?” is somewhat akin to saying “Everyone’s going to own a printer? Ok, can you cast your own letters in metal and typeset them on your press? I certainly can’t”. 

      The current 3D printing implementations are interesting to a niche, but some future implementation is likely to go (more) mainstream. Just look at what Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, et al. have done to putting up a personal website (no html required!).

    3. aah, but the promise of 3D printers is that printers beget printers. they will multiply and soon cover the earth

  3. ~.~ argh Y U DO DIS BoingBoing?

    I removed my Make bookmark because I was tired of every other 3D printing article they wrote plugging the Makerbot.
    By no means saying their 3D printer of choice isn’t nice because it is, it was just getting a little shameless for my taste.

    1. Seems like a clique of buddies in the new york maker scene, Bre Pettis wrote for MAKE, so you can’t blame them for having lax objectivity. It’s only human to prioritize your friends business interests over presenting an completely fair and objective view to your readers.

      1.  Objective view of what? Reprap printers?

        There are all of three or four companies making large numbers of commodity 3D printers for sale to hobbyist users. There are things that I don’t like about Makerbot but I’m curious who you think BoingBoing is ignoring.

        1. I was referring more to MAKE (which the parent comment was about) than BB. specifically Make’s special on 3D printers. Makerbot Replicator 2 printers are not targeted at hobbyist users, more universities and semi professional designers. Increased cost is well beyond the majority hobbyist user I’m sure you’ll agree.

          MAKE (not BB) ignored the FORM1 entirely in their all encompassing review of all printers. and clearly favored the Replicator 2, giving it credit for innovative features common to all 3D printers since reprap (like cold pause mode), it was a complete copy/paste job from a makerbot press release.

          1. But the Make special report on printers (which I have right here) covered Type A Machines’ Series 1, Printrbot’s Printrbot, Afnia’s rebranded Up! Plus, the Solidoodle, and many other non-Make commercial printers. Type A Machines won the best of the midrange and I think the Afnia printer won the best overall.

  4. The original idea was to design a 3D printer that could print its own part, hence replicating itself, thus Reprap was born. That motivation is very much alive and growing. 

    Makerbot however grew on the open source design and took it to commercial user friendliness. Why hate them for it? Anyone can still source the bits and bobs and build a Reprap 3D printer, it is just not that straightforward. Lulzbot sells a completely open source version of  the Reprap 3D printer based on MendelMax 1.5, ready to print out of the box, if that is what you want…

  5. If it’s anything like my Makerbot 2, it’ll be twice the frustrating disappointment for only 20% more cost! A bargain! :P

    Seriously. Only get into this if you’re ready to fight with the goddamn thing constantly. Makerbot makes a nice looking machine, but I think that they are still two to three generations away from “It just works” stage. 

    I blew two and a half grand on my Makerbot 2, and it has managed to successfully print all of 14 things. Whoever designed that godawful filament feeder should be shot. You will never, *ever*, get it to work long enough to do more than small objects. It *will* jam the feed and fuck up. 

    I really wanted to like my Makerbot 2. I tried really hard. I adjusted and readjusted, aligned gantries and maintained and greased and assembled and disassembled and reassembled and cleaned and… jesus. I could have bought a car for this price.

    Anyway. Yeah, you should probably eventually buy a Makerbot. Probably something like the 5 or 6, whenever they float out. Maybe by then it will “just work”.

    Because it sure as hell doesn’t right now.

    PS: On the upside, I’ve gotten really good at helping others on their user forums diagnosing the same tough problems. So I guess I’ve learned some useful skills, right? Right. Right. 

    1. Have you encountered censorship, while posting negative opinion about your makerbot experience on youtube or thingiverse?

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