It’s incredible how much has changed within the desktop 3D printing space over the last two years alone. Today there are so many options available when an individual decides to decides to purchase a new machine. A mere two years ago, when Bre Pettis and company announced their MakerBot Replicator 2, it stood out as quite a capable 3D printer, packed full of options with very little in terms of competition (at least when compared to today’s environment).
Here we are, two years post-launch and the MakerBot Replicator 2 is still one of the more popular 3D printers on desktops, both in homes and in offices. It’s a well built machine, and has provided users with very little in terms of problems to convince them to upgrade to a newer machines. That’s why you see so many in use today.
One man named Colter Fragale, from Wheeling, WV, wants to extend the printer’s utility even further, updating it with some interesting features, while providing some unique customization options at the same time. He has launched a Kickstarter campaign, seeking to raise $3,000 by November 24 to produce kits which allow owners of MakerBot Replicator 2’s to add colored panels to their machines, full front and side enclosures, and even a hood.
Many 3D printers on the market today are fully enclosed, almost like a microwave oven. This allows for pristine printing conditions, keeping dust and other possible debris from entering the build chamber, and also preventing fumes and heat from escaping the chamber into one’s home or office. Fragale is looking to turn this already very useful Replicator into something even more incredible.
The Kickstarter campaign offers several different kits at varying price points. For a pledge of $50, backers can pre-order a front panel, and two side panels in any of the following colors: black, white, blue, red, yellow and green. These panels will allow users to customize their printer, as well as widen the window opening on their machines.
For a $120 pledge, backers will receive a hood for their Replicator 2. This only includes the hood, and no other enclosures, for those of you who have already enclosed the rest of your printer or intend to by other means. The hoods can me mounted onto the 3D printer with brackets which can be printed in any color you desire at home. They are extremely transparent, and are verydifficult to scratch.
For a $160 pledge, backers will receive a front door as well as two side windows and all the mounting hardware needed. Note that this does not include the side panels.
Finally for those seeking to purchase the entire kit, they can do so for a $200 pledge. This includes the hood, the side panels in any color listed above, as well as the front door and side windows. This is by far the best deal and would totally transform any MakerBot Replicator 2 into a fully customized, completely enclosed 3D printer.
Fragale expects all kits and partial kits to ship sometime in February of next year should his campaign goal be reached. Let us know your thoughts on these kit, and whether or not you have backed this project. Discuss in the MakerBot Forum on 3DPB.com.