Makerbot just made a more reliable 3D printer head

Hahaha, "extruder" is a funny word.

Makerbot unveiled a new extruder for its 5th generation 3D printers today. The component, dubbed the Smart Extruder+, reportedly offers superior performance, longevity, and reliability than the current iteration. The company improved the extruder's thermal management system and added more accurate print sensors to further boost performance.

"The advances we made with the MakerBot Smart Extruder+ are a big step forward and set a new benchmark in 3D printing," Jonathan Jaglom, CEO of MakerBot, said in a statement. "The extruder is the most critical part of a 3D printer and it is a part that wears out after a certain period of time and needs to be replaced." To ensure that the new part is sturdy enough, Makerbot reportedly put its prototypes through more than 160,000 hours of simulated testing wherein they printed 1.44 miles of plastic.

The Smart Extruder+ is currently available for preorder and will begin shipping on January 18th. It will retail for $200 though existing customers (or new customers who buy a 5th gen printer) can pick one up for $100.