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MakerBot reveals next-generation Replicator 2 3D printer

MakerBot has unveiled its next-gen 3D printer, which CEO Bre Prettis said will produce professional-quality models.

The MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer is the company's fourth-generation 3D printer, and provides 100-micron layer resolution and a build volume of 410 cubic inches. That means the height of each layer of material is 2.5 times finer than the layer height of the previous MakerBot, Prettis said. Items will also emerge without the need for sanding or post-production work.

The Replicator 2, which resembles a large toaster oven, does not require any assembly; "you'll be making in minutes," Prettis said.

Inside, the volume of the build area is 37 per cent bigger than the original MakerBot, allowing you to place an entire project with multiple pieces on one build plate in order to save time.

Prettis said that prior to the Replicator 2, enthusiasts had to use really expensive equipment or sneak into academic institutions to access fridge-sized machines. The new printer, however, brings the technology to the desktop, and is designed for engineers, researchers, creative professionals, or anyone who loves to make things, he said.

The revamped MakerBot also includes a software update for faster and more consistent printing.

The printer is available now via the company's website, distributors, and the company's new flagship store in Manhattan for $2,199 (£1,350).