The 2014 Line Of MakerBots


With the Consumer Electronics Show over, it’s finally time to take a look at the new line of MakerBot printers (here’s the press release). Unlike MakerBot’s previous offerings with a one size fits all business model, they’re branching out with a product line that can only be described as, ‘regular, small, and large’.

The new MakerBots include an updated Replicator that’s just slightly larger than the previous version. It includes Ethernet, an option for WiFi, an on-board camera, and a control panel with a 3.5″ LCD and rotary encoder. This new Replicator will retail for $2900, $700 more than the current Replicator (single extruder).

The other new MakerBots include the stripped down and small Replicator Mini. It’s a no-frills machine with a build volume of 10 x 10 x 12.5 cm (~4 x 4 x 5 in) with 200 micron resolution. Also in the new lineup is the Replicator Z18, an impressively large printer with a 30.5 x 30.5 x 45.7 cm (12 x 12 x 18 in) build volume, 100 micron resolution, plastic sides for a heated build volume, and all the bells and whistles on the new Replicator. The Mini will sell for $1375 and the Z18 is expected to sell for $6500.

The updated Replicator is available now, and the Mini and Z18 will be available sometime in the next few months.

85 thoughts on “The 2014 Line Of MakerBots

      1. this is the first time I have ever said, not a hack. but really this is just marketing garbage. at least with the open-source printers you can note clever design changes.. with a closed source printer you just say, well it does things. I am not sure if this is true but there are rumors that if you use non makerware filament you void warrentee

      2. As Camerin said, this is not a hack, but Makerbot sure is. They’ve more or less stolen their business from the FOSS community and then MASSIVELY overcharged for it while in some ways limiting people to a “happy little box.” Basically, they are to 3D printing what Apple is to computers. You get an (arguably not) decent product, at a huge price, that looks fancy. When anyone with any real knowlege, experience, and hack-iness sees you the only advantage is the instantly know you’re a tool.

        1. I don’t know man, the argument is sound for a desktop computer- everything just plugs in and works, even if you build it yourself, It’s plug and play.

          A 3D printer though? That seems like the kind of thing where… tolerances… might make achieving a high-quality output difficult if you build it yourself. Not impossible, not even difficult for many people- but probably still really difficult for someone without tools or knowledge.

          Something not true of desktop computer builds, since all the information you need is literally on the store page and anyone with common sense can buy parts that match and just figure it out from there. I wouldn’t know where to start building my own 3D printer, nor would I want to- as it’s a mechanical device and I don’t have the capacity or tools to do so.

          It’s less expensive than I expected, but definitely over-priced. They’re taking advantage of a lack of competition. When they get competitors they’ll come down in price some. Pre-built 3D printers will probably never drop that low though, they’re a niche product without a practical use for most consumers.

          1. Printrbot simple. out of box it worked. i have only releveled my bed after modifying it, i need to turn a set screw every few days but hey, it is 300 dollars and is held together by fishing line

  1. I pretty much have to agree, these guys going crazy trying to take down any parts on thingverse that might be able to be connected to their earlier stuff and countless other items that you can agree or not to be taken down i’m done with anything they do.

  2. It seems that 3D printers are one of the few products that, rather than get cheaper with popularity, are getting dearer – perhaps the manufacturers have now had time to judge what price the market is willing to bear…

    And yes, with articles like these Hackaday is starting to remind me of those 60s and 70s DIY electronic magazines that, by the 90s, were just consumer electronics review rags…

  3. Blah. Proprietary, IP bound crap. Get this stuff off HAD. Also, makerbot is pretty antagonistic towards actual open 3d printers and open hardware. HAD should be shunning them, not promoting them. (Same with Adafruit, who not only sells and supports the reprehensible makerbot, but also sells and supports Oracle!)

    1. Eh, business is business. I can’t fault Adafruit for pursuing business deals that are favorable to its bottom line.

      There are worse things in the world than being a Makerbot distributor. I buy from Adafruit now and then, and I simply ignore their 3D printing related products. Pettis (probably) doesn’t get a profit off your purchases if you don’t buy his crap.

      1. Sorry, but when you purport yourself to be all about open hardware, open software, and open hacker culture, it absolutly is the fault of Adafruit for associating with the likes of Makerbot and Oracle. It reveals that they don’t care about those values and ethics at all, just money like the scum they reveal themselves to be. Adafruit even has a special ‘Adafruit edition’ of the Makerbot printer, touting ‘their friends at Makerbot’

        1. I don’t think that is correct. First of all Adafruit isn’t being the litigious bastard here. Secondly, ethics is the practice of reasoning on morals and values, not the morals and values themselves. To be unethical is to not bother with contemplating morals and values. Seeing as Adafruit is also heavily into openness paradigms, I doubt that they are unethical. It just seems that they have no moral problem with selling third party closed source products, which seems on par with 99% of the sane world.
          whether or not you would distance yourselves from a company that has dubious litigious methods is up to you, but I don’t think you can really maintain that not doing so automatically is bad, as bad or worst than being such litigious bastard itself. If you think it does, you’ll have a great big problem buying any kind of phone, computer or any given product.

          1. Fine, wrong choice of word if you’re going to ppedantically pedantic to a useless degree. Adafruit then is without morals or values, or scruples. They are supporting in a very direct monitarly way multiple litigious bastards. Even partnering with them. It is absolutely their fault, and proves that they are not really into any openness paradigms, just money like the scum they are. (And that 99% which you claim is ‘sane’, isn’t. Just useless MBAs that have convinced and tell themselves that what they do is okay and even reasonable, and that mentality has clearly infected Adafruit).

          2. I think making assumptions and statements on ethics, morals and values without caring about their proper definitions or not understanding them perfectly is a bad thing. The fact that you claim a lack of morals and values on Adafruits part shows that you are talking out of your arse and are probably a hypocrite.
            I doubt that you truly live a 100% open, patent free life with product from companies not only adhering to your rigorous ideals, but that also only do business themselves with other companies who share those ideas, even only for one tier.
            Do you have “open” electronics with Samsung or Philips components inside? Nvidia or AMD perhaps? Do you own optical equipment with proprietary coatings? The device on which you are posting your nonsense is probably completely incompatible with your views on “inherited evil”. The list is virtually endless of the ways in which you tie yourself to companies who tie themselves to companies that do no meet your dogmatically strict set of morals and values, which you claim if deviated from is no better then a complete lack of morals and values, which is frankly bizarre.

            Fine, you don’t like makerbot for their business practises, I don’t fancy them either, but to lump in any reseller/user/owner of their products as equally tainted and evil is idiotic in the truest sense of the word.

        2. I have to concur with voxnulla.

          Being a proponent of open source hardware is a lot like being vegan. It’s impossible to go 100% pure, no matter what effort you put into it. You just do the best you can wherever you can. Selling MakerBot hardware is like growing vegetables with cow shit. The end product is still technically vegan, but cows were exploited in the process.

          Your rhetoric is actually pretty much identical to that of those die-hard vegans that absolutely refuse to eat at vegetarian restaurants that serve dairy. Never mind that those restaurants are trying to do a good thing, and that the dairy industry doesn’t profit if you don’t pay for it.

          If you really gave such a crap about open-source hardware and free/libre software, you’d be going batshit about the Beaglebone and the Raspberry Pi being sold on Adafruit, and half the electronics tools being sold there too. Last I checked, the Hakko FX-888 isn’t open-source either.

          And how far are we going to regress on this? Individual electronic components aren’t typically open-source. Are you going to bitch about Maxim Integrated not releasing the schematics for their MAX7219 and MAX7221 chips? Are you going to fault Adafruit for carrying those chips? How about Digikey?

          Actually, taking this further, why are you even on Hackaday? I don’t recall the backend for this site ever being released to the public.

          Now, as I understand it, the NYC maker scene is pretty tight-knit. I would bet very good money that Limor Fried and Bre Pettis are friends. And I can’t speak for everyone, but if any of *my* friends did a dick thing, I wouldn’t just turn my back on them and tell them to screw off, right off the bat. That’s a very good way to end up alone, and it’s a very good strategy to run a business into the ground.

          1. being 100% vegan is not impossible, it’s just difficult, it’s more effort than most are willing to put in, (and having had friends who have tried it, I’m not surprised that most don’t bother or last).

            >Selling MakerBot hardware is like growing vegetables with cow shit. The end product is still technically vegan, but cows were exploited in the process.

            Actually it’s a lot more like selling bacon in a vegan food shop.

            you don’t get to claim to be all about vegan and sell bacon.
            you don’t get to claim to be all about open source and sell Maker bot and Oracle products.

            it’s not that Makerbot have never done anything for the open source community, it’s that their parent company holds a lot of patents and are using them to “beat” the competition, I mean beat as in beat down, not best them.
            Oracle are the same…

            Maker bot took directly from the open source industry, Built a business, got bought out and now actively target, litigate against and try to hold back the open source community.

            It’s not that people should “turn their backs” on their friends.

            If Bre was my friend (like actual friend not just some business acquaintance) then no I wouldn’t turn my back on him, I’m sure he’s just as nice as he’s ever been to know as a person.
            If I had been stocking open source Makerbot items in my all about open source shop, then damned right I’d stop stocking those items. -but I’d be turning my back on a company, whose business practices were no longer compatible with my own, not turning my back on an individual.

          2. Being vegan is a rich persons perogative really (i had this discussion not long ago in a different venue) It is expensive to live in a way that isnt mainstream whereever in the world you are. and it is certainly not cheap being picky about what you allow into your food (both money and time-wise, but like most things it becomes easier and cheaper as you spend the time finding good alternatives).

            I do not see why vegans would complain that a place (also) sells bacon (assuming it is not prepared in the same place), that way I who love meat can have dinner with a friend who is vegan. It is only the most fanatic believers (in any subject) that also want to push their choice of life on everyone else. monoculture is boring. I have never complained that my local pizzaplace also offers the _choice_ of a vegetarian pizza, i just never bought it.

            A related issue is that those who try to do this, instead of slowly changing the world and other peoples perception (accepting mixed resturants, allowing non-vegans the option to see what it is all about, perhaps converting some in the process), they expect everyone to change their worldview overnight because they say so. (regardless of their worldview in reality being “better” or not. Most people do not like to be told what to think, or pushed into a way of living)

            And don’t forget; Plants are people too!

          3. @dan
            Well no. Adafruit never claimed to be all about open-source. They appreciate it and sell a lot of open source hardware, some of which they’ve designed themselves, but they’ve never taken a hard stance on it.

            If it’s comparable to anything, it’s like a restaurant that serves plenty of bacon, but also claims to be vegan-friendly, because hey, they do have a wide selection of vegan dishes.

            And no, you can’t be absolutely pure with veganism. The mere fact that you are alive, consuming resources, and living in society means that some animal somewhere is suffering thanks to you. You may wish to do some research on the subject. Even the staunchest vegans accept this reality, and it’s naive to think otherwise. And I’m speaking as a former vegan myself.

            And Adafruit only started stocking Makerbots after the Replicator 2 came out. There never was an open-source printer in their store.

            Done right, a vegan diet and lifestyle can actually be much cheaper than one that includes animal products. That’s even with the disgustingly huge subsidies the dairy and meat industries get from the US government to artificially drive down prices. But, it does take some work to get right.

            And plants neither have nervous systems nor are so specialized that they can’t grow back from pruning.

        3. Oh Come’on you don’t think that ANY of these people who claim to give any kind of crap about OSHW Are actually doing it because they really want to improve the community, (as in OSHW community) their own community (local) or the world do you?

          OSHW support is all about conning people into giving up their money. saying that your company supports the little guys, whilst at the same time releasing designs for a product that require a million dollar machine to make.

          Here, have an open source design, but you must use this part with a minimum order qty of half a million. -i.e you CANT make it yourself, so just buy from us.

          We gave you the design now give us your money.

          And the companies that build open source, they are no better than some random ex-farmer out of china finding designs on the internet and bringing them to mass market with an OSHW badge on it. -but nobody gets a warm fuzzy feeling buying from china they same way they get that feeling with “Made in [insert your country here]”

          most, (if not all) OSHW “branded” companies care very little about geek love what they really want is geek dollars.

          this is hardly breaking news.

          1. Half-millon minimum order quantity? Direct from manufacturer *maybe*, but most every component is available in small quantities from wholesalers. Seriously, what planet do you live on?

  4. Yeah, get this crap off of here.. Show some of the new printers from still open source companies/individuals instead. I saw a makerbot in person and it’s no better then my solidoodle after I’ve added a couple hundred worth of mods to it.

  5. I can’t believe the prices being charged for what are relatively simple machines, these guys are bold. I’ve built three 3d printers. Two 6x6x6″ printers each less than $350 in parts, and an 8x8x8″ printer that was less than $450. All of them can print just as well as a $3000 craplicator.

    1. The prepubescent youngster in me had a giggle when reading “craplicator”. The marginally older, but apparently similarly sick-minded hacker in me started to contemplate an 3D printer extrusion principle that actually would work with various types of excrement.

      1. I’d stick to the crap of large grass-eating animals, like horses or cows. It’s actually rather clean, and rich with fine cellulose fibers to give it better structure.

        With some baking to kill any parasites and some milling to ensure a uniform consistency, it might actually be a viable 3D printing material. If not alone, then with some clay for sure.

        A craplicator might be a viable idea, if people could get over their fear of manure.

  6. Now with new stab a maker in the back feature! At a higher price! I would have at least mentioned some of the cool features that they copied from other technologies. I will say the mobile integration and remote camera is cool. But I will never buy one. They really took hold of the black Dark Side thing. Have you SEEN an Ultimaker 2? Yep, all white, and open-source. Interesting.

      1. Not intentionally, but we certainly like it that way ;-)

        Some info people forget about Ultimaker, we have no external funding. OpenSource is important to us, and because of the “no external funding” we have no problem in keeping OpenSource.

        Cheers from Ultimaker.
        (Daid, main Cura developer)

    1. Sorry to tell you, but the UM2 is not open source. Some people in the company intend to, but thus far they have only released some uncopyrightable schematics for the electronics (no artwork or layout). The original ultimaker was open source, until they moved design into solidworks and are unwilling to share those _source_ files. (probably made them with a cracked SW copy?)

      1. I’ll admit that they are slow at releasing the details but we have been promised that it will all be available. From Erik himself: “it will be filled up in at most 6 months from the UM² release date. Right now the electronics are released.”

  7. Wow so many haters of capitalism on HaD. Just kidding yes MBI did move to the dark side but everyone has their moral price. Just so happens that MBI’s price is $400 million. That being said let me tell you what upset me about HaD posting this. It’s not because they talked about MBI but they made no editorial opinions about it. So this article becomes direct advertising. So either someone was lazy at HaD or MBI sent them a check.

    There is plenty to report on about MBI’s new printers that would be interesting to 3d printing in general as well as open source 3d printing and all of it could be wrote in such a way not to offend the check writers. There’s the heated build chamber on the Z18. That alone deserves a great article about patents and the ones involved that cover the chamber and the how/why MBI can do it and the ways other printers are getting around it. Also for people just getting into 3d printing there is plenty to talk about the benefits of having a chamber and what their options are. Next there is the new LCD’s screens, ethernet, camera additions. How great would an article be that talks about the new features and the hacks to get the same features on your printer? Finally the new digital store they launched. It shows a great article entitled: The rise of DRM 3D printing. However if they still wanted to report on the 3 new printers that could be done with a focus on the company and where they started and where they are. Telling a story about the company moving from the hobby market to the prosumer market. What was lost, what was gained. All of these things would be considered news worthy and not advertising or just posting a press release.

    You will notice that I didn’t say anything about the new filament proprietary spools. Basically making an article about that would lend itself to just bashing a company about what would be considered standard business practice. I may not like it but there isn’t anything good HaD worthy unless someone comes out with a hack to get around it.

    That being said I hope this doesn’t become a trend on HaD moving forward.

    1. Makerbot didn’t suddenly go closed-source when Stratasys stepped in and made them an offer.

      Let’s not forget that Bre Pettis ousted Zach Hoeken, released the Replicator 2 (which was ultimately derived from the RepRap project) as a closed-source object, changed the terms on Thingiverse to give them legal ownership of everything uploaded there, and *then* sold out to Stratasys.

      People came to really loathe Makerbot well before the Stratasys deal.

    1. I like the idea of an Open-Source “MakerClone”. This would give people new to 3D printing another cheap & free (as in freedom :D ) alternative, and simultaneously pull the rug out from under MakerBot.
      I’m imagining this “MakerClone” released on KickStarter as a way to raise funding for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Free Software Foundation, or to help Afinia defend themselves and the entire Maker community against the Stratasys lawsuit. (That last one might be against KickStarter’s Terms of Service, I don’t know.)
      Lastly, I’ll echo what seems to be a common sentiment: Shame on HaD for essentially advertising for MakerBot. If you simply have to report on it, then focus on how we could hack together features like these, or provide links to hackers who already have. Although I generally prefer to see more constructive criticism, I’m glad that HaD community is so vocal about this.

      1. Afinia isn’t free/libre or open source, and they are playing the patent game. Let’s get our panties in a knot and start talking of offering assistance when someone with close ties to the RepRap project gets slapped with a lawsuit. Until then, let’s let the faceless corporations slug it out themselves.

  8. Jesus, what a load of whiners.

    Everyone seems to ignore the fact that a large number of people would much prefer a standardised, out-of-the-box printer, rather than farting about making their own. Yes, you can build one cheaper, but if your aim is to get on and start printing things, then this is the way to go.

    Having recently bought a 3D printer (which sadly is still in the box, haven’t got around to assembling it yet), I got thoroughly pissed off at all the different “varieties” of open-source printer available. Prusa, Mendel, i3, Mendelmax, whatever the hell they all are. Yes, I’m sure you can figure them all out, but I had no time for this so went and got the cheapest Chinese copy I could find. The beauty of a “prettified” product like Makerbot’s is that it’s a “standard” offering and you know what you’re getting.

    Something else that really gets me angry is how people seem to think that they should be selling the printer for a lot less than they are currently. Now, I agree that some products (such as western-model laser cutters) are vastly over-priced. However, having personally been through the experience of getting from the “pretty good prototype” stage to a final, polished product, I can say there is a yawning gulf between the two. A product which may have £150 of parts could end up retailing for £600, once you factor in the time involved, not only with hardware but software as well.

    It all comes down to the two camps of those people who want a printer for the sake of tinkering with it and modifying it, and those people who don’t give a damn and just want to get on and print stuff. Personally I have less time for the former!

    1. How is open-source in any way at fault for the things you complain about in your tirade? There are cheaper printers, fully assembled out-of-the-box, that outperform Makerbot’s crap. You don’t need to use a straight-up RepRap derivative. Ultimaker is open-source, and it has a well-tuned, standardized little box for sale, just like you crave.

      Moreover, I don’t understand how you could get so upset over variety. This is a (relatively) free market, not a Soviet ration line. If someone has an idea for a printer that offers improvements over the competition, let them have at it, and let market forces level things out. If you don’t have time to figure out a 3D printer, you don’t have time for 3D printing.

      As for Makerbot, it stole from the open-source community and changed the terms for Thingiverse in a very underhanded way. It’s a scummy way to conduct business. Nobody should turn a blind eye to that. And for the price its printers are being sold at, they can’t even be called good. You want people to spend more on printers? Okay, then make the printers at least worth the damned price.

      If you think you can just plug in a Makerbot and start printing, no fuss, no muss, you’ll be very sorely disappointed. Its extruder mechanism is prone to slippage and therefore sucks, and its resolution leaves much to be desired. There is a heap of work you have to invest to get good prints on one of those pieces of crap. If you want a good printer that “just works”, you will not find that in a Makerbot.

      And good luck with your budget Chinese clone printer. Not only do you hypocritically contradict yourself about paying a fair price for parts and labor, you’ll be worse off than just buying a decent printer kit in the first place. (Not that I have anything against Chinese companies. RepRapDiscount is a good place to look for parts.)

    2. You’re on a site called Hack-a-day, it isn’t supposed to be about using propritary crap right out of the box, like you seem to crave. Go to a different site like Ars or Giz if that’s what you want.

    3. Just commenting on your comment about western laser cutters being overpriced. If you break it down there are some understandable reasons why Epilog laser cutters are more expensive.The laser tube is usually air-cooled instead of water-cooled and also includes a pretty good warranty that covers service. If I was DIYing a laser cutter I think I would see if I could find a air-cooled tube myself. In my limited experience they seem more reliable, and less fragile, than the water-cooled ones.

  9. Well, this makes the choice for a 3D printer a lot easier. Not Makerbot! Now to inform the maker community at large about these litigious bastards and drive them out of the 3D printing market altogether.

  10. Another disgruntled HaD reader here to express dismay that this has been posted so uncritically. Whatever MakerBot may have been in the past, they are clearly now the polar opposite of the hacker community.

  11. Anyone watch the interview video with Bre from CES? When he started talking about the new Replicator he got all giddy about the knob on it – saying they put a lot of time in the knob to get it feeling just right. What a tool.

    I think most people get pissed about Makerbot because of how pro-open source they used to be. Then suddenly BOOM everything’s patented and closed and yadda-yadda.

  12. Really disappointed with HaD. Given the 3D printer exhibitors at CES, HaD spewed up a press release with the same crap published everywhere else. At least mention some of the other new 3D printers: ceramic 3D printer – CeraJet and the 3D food printer – ChefJet

  13. Wifi, a 3.5″ lcd, and a camera? I can understand the wifi, but what the heck are you going to do with a camera? Upload selfies? It would be nice if they tried to make a cheaper version that you just plug into your computer and it uses the computer’s wifi, lcd, and camera. Maybe I’m just old fashioned.

  14. I saw in their press release that they finally redesigned their extruder now – to be removable. Does that mean rather than fixing the numerous problems with the old design, they just made it disposable?

    Also, I think its lame when people go “rawr not a hack!!!” but I’m really at a loss as to why this is here – it doesn’t show anything of substance about the product, nor does it showcase clever work done by independent people by the grace of no authority than their own. Or is this an ad? :P

        1. There are many ways of being “paid”, and it is a serious issue indeed if HaD is featuring an article that is only there because it represents an income stream – but that is not my main objection – I think the Makerbot product has evolved out of the realm of anything of interest to the majority of the readers (and hence supporters) of this site and that represents a disturbing trend…

  15. As much as I wish MakerBot stayed open source you have to think of 3D printers simply as a tool. For example, if anyone was so open source loyal then they wouldn’t own a mill, band saw, etc because the last time I checked, you couldn’t go to their websites and download all the CAD files. The perspective you take can change your belief about MakerBot.

    1. But surely HD is a place for 3D printer builds or mods – NOT a place for an ad/review for a very expensive commercial version? – would you accept ads/reviews for other tools? If so there is a flood gate ready to be burst open…

  16. The day that there is an accurate report that Hackaday is actively, shunning this or that, most likely is the day hackaday start it’s slow fade into history. This article doesn’t aid Makerbot, nor harms the “open” community to any measurable extent. The title was clear enough that anyone could had scroll past they didn’t was to read it.

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