MakerBot's Thing-O-Matic 3D printer is totally worth it. We already established that. How can the company improve on its homemade toy-printing potential? By making it bigger and more powerful. That and giving it a cool name like "The Replicator."
The Replicator improves on the Thing-O-Matic in almost every way. MakerBot's newest 3D printer prints objects that are 300 cubic inches (about the size of a loaf of bread) and has an little LCD slapped on the front that lets you track the printing progress.
In addition to the LCD, each machine comes with a gaming-like controller that lets you control the printer without using a computer. We didn't get to see that feature demoed, but MakerBot reps ensured us that you can use it to access models from an SD card with the controller.
That, and the the Replicator can print TWO colors instead of just the one. Honestly, it's catchup work for Makerbot, as other 3D printers have been able to do two colors at once.
$2,000 will get you the entire 3D printer all set up and ready to go. You can also buy a single printing Replicator for $1,750.
MakerBot's taking pre-orders right now on its website, with product shipping in about six weeks.
Posted on location at CES 2012 in Las Vegas.
All photos taken by Raymond Wong for DVICE.