MakerBot, the company once synonymous with open-source desktop 3D printing, has spent the last year repositioning itself as a leader in educational 3D printing and as an alternative to more expensive professional systems. With parent company Stratasys‘ stock at a 5-year low and having weathered high customer dissatisfaction with the MakerBot Smart Extruder and subsequent lawsuit by stock holders, MakerBot seems poised for a resurgence. MakerBot reports that the revamped Smart Extruder + has an 87% customer satisfaction rate. CEO Jonathan Jaglom’s gamble to farm out production of MakerBot 3D printers to contract manufacture Jabil seems to be paying off. Tuesday’s unveiling of the MakerBot Replicator + and Replicator Mini +, and their improvements over that previous models, is a testament to the new focus of the company.
The MakerBot Replicator + was designed for professional users and at the product launch MakerBot showcased how the printer has helped companies prototype their products. Among the companies featured at the event was Canary, a NYC-based home security system company. Canary gave a preview of their newest product, the Canary Flex, at the MakerBot product launch before making their official debut of the HD security camera at Canary’s product launch Tuesday night. The Canary Flex display at MakerBot HQ gave a good idea of how the new MakerBot Replicator + aided in the prototyping process, but at Canary’s launch event it was even more evident how large a role the desktop 3D printer played in developing the Canary Flex.
Canary Flex is marketed as “the first and only indoor and outdoor, weatherproof, HD security camera that can be used wire-free or plugged in.” It has a number of mounting options. The 360° magnetic swivel base is pretty ingenious. Simply stick the swivel base on a flat surface, snap into place, and twist in any direction you want. The secure mount can be permanently affixed to an interior or exterior wall, or other surface, and the Canary Flex attaches to it with a standard camera screw mount. The twist mount can wrap around or hang from a suitable perch with the Canary Flex secured inside its rubberized housing. Finally, the stake mount can be used to place the Canary Flex in a pot with your houseplants or concealed underneath the garden shrubbery. The Canary Flex body and all its accessory mounts were prototyped on the MakerBot Replicator +.
The Canary Mobile app makes it easy to monitor what is happening at home while you’re at work. The Flex’s HD camera has a 116º wide angle view, motion detection, high-quality auto night vision and high-quality microphone with built-in speaker (two-way talk enabled, coming soon). The Canary Flex can be used plugged in or can run on an extended-life rechargeable 6700 mAh lithium-ion battery 100-240v power supply. It has dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connectivity, and security and data protection; dedicated encryption chip, AES 256-bit data encryption, encrypted cloud storage and secure web transfer (SSL-TSS). It also comes with a 1-year limited warranty when purchased from Canary or one of their authorized resellers.
The Canary Flex is available for pre-order for $199.00, with an expected delivery of November 2016. Accessory bases for the Canary Flex range from $19.99 – $29.99. There is also a 4G LTE mount for Canary Flex that connects through Verizon Wireless, pricing and availability has not been announced.[Photos taken by Michael Parker for 3DPrint.com]
Below is a video on Canary’s use of the MakerBot Replicator + to prototype the Canary Flex and a promotional video for the Canary Flex: