MakerBot Hopes You’ll Buy The Kids This Mini 3D Printer And Download Toys

The new Replicator Mini from MakerBot.

The new Replicator Mini from MakerBot.

When I was a kid and Disney’s Aladdin came out, I was extremely perturbed by the genie’s rule against wishing for more wishes, because it completely ruined the entire premise of the genie strategy that I had been working out since infancy. After much thought, I pivoted by deciding to wish for the means of producing whatever I wanted. This brings me to MakerBot’s new Replicator Mini. It’s basically a tiny toy factory, the object of my power-mad childhood dreams.

The box, one of three new machines debuted by MakerBot at their CES press conference, is “one touch” and WiFi enabled. Simply download some 3D models from MakerBot’s new iTunes-esque toy store. Founder Bre Pettis explains, “You connect it to your smartphone or computer, and then there’s just one button. You’re ready to go.”

A ready-to-print 3D model goes for $0.99, or $9.99 for a whole set of related designs. The toys range from pets to dragons to trucks to a whole town full of cute fishmongers and bike repair specialists.

But does it make financial sense to 3D print your toys? At $1,375 plus the cost of the model and film (used to actually craft the objects), no, it doesn’t. To be fair, however, you can use the machine to print more than just toys, and presumably the digital store will be expanding into other types of ready-to-print models in the future.


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