Skip to main content

The revolution will be 3D printed: Makerbot brings its latest machine, the Replicator 2X, to CES

makerbot at ces3D printing has gone from niche hobby of the ultra-creative to breakthrough technology that is increasingly approachable, and is revolutionizing the design and production industries. At the helm of this revolution is Makerbot, which took home the award for “Best Emerging Tech” at CES 2012. And Makerbot is back – and bigger – this year. Despite the company’s massive growth and 3D printing prestige, the team is sticking to its roots.

makerbot bre pettis“Makerbot is an innovation company,” CEO Bre Pettis tells us. “We innovate ourselves to empower other people to innovate. Our mission is to jumpstart the next industrial revolution.”

Part of that mission will be accomplished by the Makerbot Replicator 2X, the company’s latest release. To offer a little perspective, Pettis says that while the Replicator 2 (the company’s previous release) is super accessible and user-friendly to anyone with product design dreams, the Replicator 2X is for the mad scientist types out there, ready to really dive into 3D printing.

makerbot replicator x2The 2X uses ABS Filament, a plastic designers’ favorite, but is more difficult to work with than PLA (which the Replicator 2 uses). The X2 features a heat-capturing hood that makes sure that the plastic doesn’t curl or crack while its cooling. Other improvements include a re-engineered extruder that makes loading easier and the ABS-feeding process smoother, causing less wear and tear on the unit.

Also worth noting: the X2 allows you to load two different colors. Things just got real. The 2X will begin shipping in mid-March and cost $2,799 (the Replicator X costs $2,199, for comparison).

The 2X isn’t all that Makerbot brought to CES. A new addition to its Thingiverse platform, where people can share their creations or find things to make, is being opened up to the public. The brand is also unlocking its Thingiverse API to allow developers to create apps for the Makerbot ecosystem. “It’s a little Inception-like,” Pettis said. “We have an API for our platform that allows people to create applications to create things… and then we have the new Customizer App that allows users to customize those things.” For instance, if you want to create an iPhone case you see on Thingiverse, you can choose how thick the lines on the triangles you have patterning the case are. This is product personalization to the Nth degree.

So, to connect all those dots, Makerbot is allowing you to make things that help you make things that you can then make into very specifically customized things. And around and around we go.

As to the supposed hardware slump CES and the electronics industry is said to be in, Pettis says it’s all part of a cycle. “When things change, people freak out, and one of the things we’ve seen at CES in the last four years is that big players are losing touch with being able to connect with their customers and consumers. But you’re seeing all these small innovators coming out – this is the year of the entrepreneur at CES.”

“People want to kick off the next industrial revolution – but that won’t work unless you make it easy for people to change the world.”

Molly McHugh
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Before coming to Digital Trends, Molly worked as a freelance writer, occasional photographer, and general technical lackey…
Get this HP 17-inch laptop for $300 instead of the usual $660
The HP 17-inch laptop against a white background.

Seventeen-inch laptops toe the line between portability and size, making them more expensive than your average laptop. Some of the best 17-inch laptops can easily cost you thousands of dollars. Luckily, there HP has come up with a very budget-friendly solution in the form of the HP laptop 17z, and while it's not one of the best laptops on the market, it is an excellent budget-oriented choice for a 17-inch laptop. Even better, HP currently discounts it down to $300 from the usual $560 price tag, which is a significant $260 off.

Why you should buy the HP Laptop 17z
As the name implies, the HP Laptop 17z has a large 17.3-inch screen running a 1920 x 1080 resolution and can hit a peak brightness of 250nits, which isn't a lot, but it's good enough for a well-lit room, especially with its anti-glare coating. You could potentially upgrade to a touch version of the screen for $30, but since it would knock the resolution down to 1600 x 900, it's not worth it, especially with a larger 17.3-inch screen. What will be worth the upgrade is taking the networking option from the Wi-Fi5 and Bluetooth 4.2 standard up to the Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5 standard for an extra $20, which will make sure your laptop has a strong connection for streaming or doing online meetings and will be future-proof for at least the next 5-6 years.

Read more
Get a lifetime of 1TB cloud storage for $160
Using Koofr cloud storage on a phone.

One thing about most of the best cloud storage services that you're sure not to like is having to pay for them. Again and again, month after month, they ask for money to continue holding your files. It makes sense, in a way, as their servers take constant real estate and electricity to maintain. Now, though, you can get a lifetime of terabyte cloud storage on Koofr for just $160. The usual price would be $810, so this saves you $650 in total. And, naturally, Koofr's cloud storage has special features that you'll want to know about, too. So, go ahead and tap the button below to find the deal — it'll only be going on for a limited amount of time — and continue reading to see why we like this deal and what makes Koofr special.

Why you should buy cloud storage on Koofr
While Koofr is an advanced cloud storage system, with advanced file management and accessibility from nearly all of your devices, there are two primary reasons to purchase this deal: Security and value.

Read more
The 5 best things you can do with Copilot Pro right now
Microsoft Copilot Pro.

Copilot Pro is Microsoft’s AI subscription service that costs $20 per month for individuals and is integrated into the brand’s Microsoft 365 suite. The paid service offers unique features to Microsoft users, provides faster and more consistent AI performance with priority access to the GPT-4 and GPT-4 Turbo large language models (LLM) during peak times, and also brings the AI technology to the brand’s most popular PC applications -- and that's where things get really interesting.

Here are some of the best features on Copilot Pro and how they work.
Create custom GPTs

Read more