Software

3D printers: 10 machines for home manufacturing

MakerBot Replicator

The ace up the MakerBot Replicator's sleeve is its ability to print in two different colours at once.

The $1,749 printer is able to build objects in more than one colour or from more than one material, using its dual extruder head.

The MakerBot Replicator can be controlled without a computer, using its LCD panel and videogame-style control pad. The screen provides build statistics and monitoring information.

3D models, stored in the STL or G-code format, can be loaded into the printer via an SD card, using the printer's built-in slot.

The machine, which ships fully assembled, can print objects as large as a loaf of bread measuring 12.6 x 18.4 x 15 inches, in either ABS or PLA plastic.

Photo: MakerBot

By Nick Heath

Nick Heath is a computer science student and was formerly a journalist at TechRepublic and ZDNet.