MakerBot announces a new Replicator: a connected 3D printer for $2,899

You heard all about the new Replicator Mini, right? Well, MakerBot's got a new "prosumer" machine to go along with it. "We didn't call it the Replicator 3," CEO Bre Pettis explained about the device, which breaks with the naming conventions of its predecessor. The build volume has increased by 11 percent over the Replicator 2, and the printer can create objects with resolution as small as 100 microns. As with the Mini, the new Replicator was built for PLA plastic. When you run out, the Replicator will actually send you a message to let you know. There's a 3.5-inch color LCD on the printer and a dial to navigate around it that was "modeled on high-end stereo equipment." The display will tell you, among other things, how much time you have left to print.

There are connectors for USB and Ethernet, as well as built-in WiFi for printing from third-party devices. As with the Mini, there's an on-board camera for sharing build pictures. Both devices also feature the "Smart Extruder," which snaps on and off magnetically. The build platform, meanwhile has a light that indicates when it's leveled during the setup process. The third Replicator is up for pre-order right this minute for $2,899. It starts shipping next month. You can find an officially video announcement after the break.

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