An easy, low-cost way to get into 3D printing

January 7, 2014

MakerBot Mini (credit: MakerBot)

If you’ve been thinking about getting into 3D printing, the compact MakerBot Replicator Mini 3D printer, just introduced at CES, could make it easy and affordable at $1,375 (available spring 2014).

It’s limited to printing objects around 4 x 4 x 4 inches, but the company claims it’s easy to use, with no 3D skills needed. You can download models from the free MakerBot Printshop and Thingverse, or the MakerBot Digital Store.

MakerBot PrintShop, a free tablet app, lets you send the models wirelessly to the Replicator Mini printer to be built.

MakerBot is also introducing professional models for larger objects: an updated version of the MakerBot Replicator ($2,899) and the MakerBot Replicator Z18 ($6,499), which can print multiple objects at once, up to 18 inches high (spring 2014).