Back at CES 2014, MakerBot announced three new 3D printers: one small (Replicator Mini), one huge (Replicator Z18), and one that’s about the same size as the one they’ve sold for years (now just the “Replicator”). With a new smart leveling system and built-in webcams for monitoring prints, these new models pack a few tricks that the older Replicators don’t.
Since that announcement, though, only the standard Replicator has actually gone up for sale. If you wanted the baby-bear or papa-bear model, your only option was to sign up for more info later.
Good news! Sort of. If you were waitin’ for the Mini-model, pre-orders just opened up. At $1,375 (before shipping and taxes and whatnot), it’s the cheapest 3D printer that MakerBot offers by almost a grand.
The catch: they’re still not 100% sure when these things will ship. They pin their launch window sometime in “Spring”, but don’t get any more specific than that. For people (like me!) who are terrible with seasons: assuming they mean Northern Hemisphere Spring, that’s sometime between March 21st and the end of June.
If you’re just looking to dabble in 3D printing but the upfront cost is a prohibitive factor, the Mini looks like a pretty damned solid option. Just know that the maximum build volume is 3.9×3.9×4.9″ — so if you’re looking to print anything much bigger than a coffee mug, you’ll need a bigger box.
You can find the pre-order page right over here.