3D printers are getting better and cheaper every day, and one of the most exciting players in this field is the MarkerBot Replicator. And now they’ve announced the second generation machine, with some much needed improvements. Chief among them is the resolution. While the first Replicator was cool, it was tuned to print objects with layers 270 microns thick. That created objects that needed some sanding in order to look smooth. At 100 microns, the MakerBot Replicator 2 has increased the resolution nearly threefold, printing 3D objects that require much less post processing. You’re also able to print larger things, with 37% more volume space to fit your creations, reaching now 410 cubic inches. The use of PLA (Polylactic Acid) in the print material also means that the entire process will be less smelly than before, while the use of powder-coated steel in the frame of the machine allows it to increase speeds without compromising its structural integrity.

Overall these all look like some great steps forward, more than justifying the $2,200 asking price. Of course, you’re just seeing the early days of a new market segment; the coming years should bring that down significantly.

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