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MakerBot Replicator Dual Extruder 3D Printer, Maker Shed, $1,749

Even now, some three months since the Replicator 2′s launch in September, the original MakerBot Replicator remains the premiere consumer-grade 3D printer in many ways. Unlike its successor, the original Replicator has a heated bed and can build models from both ABS and PLA, and is equipped with two extruders so it can print objects in multiple materials. One extruder, for instance, could be loaded with rigid PLA, while the other is equipped with water-soluble PVA, enabling the extrusion of complex structures (such as Tony Buser’s Hilbert Cube) in which PVA is used to fill voids and support overhangs that would be otherwise impossible or very difficult to produce.

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I write for MAKE, serve as Technical Editor for MAKE magazine, and develop original DIY content for Make: Projects.


In the Maker Shed

2012 Holiday Gift Guide – 3D Printers