We were lucky to have a few minutes to sit down with Bre Pettis of Makerbot. The company just announced an interesting improvement to the Replicator 2, called the Replicator 2X, that is tweaked to work with ABS plastic rather than the rigid, organic PLA. This new version is for experimenters who are looking to print in more materials. The extruders – the things that squirt out plastic – are also less temperamental.
Bre also talked about the new Thingiverse API and the Customizer feature that now allows you to edit objects right in the browser by tweaking parametric settings. For example, you can edit this object right in the Customizer and then print it in the size and shape you want.
While some would say 3D printing is still in its infancy, it’s this kind of work – the difficult job of building out the software infrastructure needed to create a thriving community – is vitally important to 3D printing and this stuff is some of the best.