MakerBot reps claim that 1 in 10 3D printers in the market today are MakerBots, and considering how easy to use and attractive the Replicator 2 is, that may very well be true. Since MakerBot is also one of the only personal 3D printer manufacturers with a physical store, in New York nonetheless, the company is truly a powerhouse of 3D printing. Another company that’s making huge waves in the 3D printing sector, despite producing no printers, is Autodesk. By supplying powerful and intuitive modeling programs at every price point (including free), Autodesk enables users to create what they want to print. In order to further the 3D printing trend, MakerBot and Autodesk have teamed up.
With their powers combined, the duo can offer 3D printers and modeling software memberships at discounted prices. The deals pair the 123D suit memberships with special edition Replicator 2s. The suite has been growing too, now including Catch, Creature, Design, Make, and Sculpt. They’re all free to use so far, and a few online in a browser, such as Design and Catch. The memberships get you extras though; all premium memberships come with a free 3D print every year, 10 premium models per month, a one-year (two-year if two-year membership) Instuctables Pro subscription, expanded capabilities in 123D Design (create 2D layouts), and a discount on the special edition Replicator 2. The premium membership bundle comes with a special edition Replicator 2 and extra filament. The Replicator 2 retails for $2,199, and the two-year bundle is only $100 more than that, so it’s a damn good deal considering it comes with 3 spools of filament plus all the aforementioned.
Autodesk and MakerBot will be demonstrating at the same booth (120) for the Bay Area Maker Faire on the 18th and 19th. Their working together is good for the maker community, as it’s already lead to 3D print functionality and optimization in the 123D suite. If you’re at the Faire, go have a look.