The expectations on the 3D printing industry have made desktop 3D printer industry leader MakerBot seem like a struggling company. While it did run into issues because of the limited reliability of some of its 3D printers and extruders, the company has sold over 90 thousand 3D printers worldwide. To ensure it reaches 100 thousand as soon as possible, it is releasing the new interchangable Smart Extruder +, which, after a combined 160,000 hours of print time, should do away with any remaining reliability issue.
To make sure that the extruder is finally up to its industry leading potential, MakerBot actively collaborated with its parent company Stratasys. Extensive testing was done with the support of two independent teams. One of these teams was based at the Grosse Pointe Public School in Michigan, which has been a major adopter of MakerBot’s platform for education. It is one of over 5,000 educational institutions in the US that have turned to MakerBot’s Education Resource Center 3D Ecosystem.
18 Years (of Printing) in the Making
During the equivalent of 18 years of 3D printing a total of 5,800 3D prints was carried out by the tow groups, some of which also involved over 700 hours of continuous printing. According to the press release, the equivalent of 2.32 km of MakerBot PLA Filament was used. About 90 percent of the test units successfully printed even after more than 1200 hours of use. Although the wear rate is based on many variables and depends on the extruder’s specific settings, MakerBot is now fully confident in the quality of the product and is thus doubling of the warranty period of the Smart Extruder + to six months, with no restrictions on usage.
“With the development of the MakerBot Smart Extruder + we have achieved significant progress and set a new standard in 3D printing,” commented Jonathan Jaglom, CEO of MakerBot. “The extruder is the most important component of a 3D printer and is a part that wears out after a specified period and must be replaced. We have designed and tested to increase its reliability, increase its performance and extend its lifetime. We stand behind this product and, therefore, double the warranty period of six months.”
The new interchangeable Smart Extruder + is priced at $199 and €179. It can be pre-ordered now. Delivery is expected to begin on January 18th, 2016 in the US, with the EMEA territories following by the end of January/early February.
To strengthen the relationship with its existing customers, MakerBot is making the new extruder available to them at the special price of $99 and €89.
Buyers of a Fifth Generation MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printer will also have access to this special offer. If you’re interested in the technical specifications, please download this PDF from the MakerBot site.
We’d love to hear your comment – what do you think of MakerBots new Smart Extruder+? Is this the gadget Makerbot fans have been waiting for?
License: The text of "MakerBot Launches New SmartExtruder+" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.