3D printing was among the industries at the nexus of CES 2014, and Brooklyn-based MakerBot stole the show. Onstage Monday of last week, during MakerBot's first-ever press conference in five years of attending the event, CEO Bre Prettis unveiled not just one but three new 3D printers. While many ohhed and ahhed at the mini-fridge-size Replicator Z18, the crux of the announcement was MakerBot's most inexpensive device to date, the $1,375 Replicator Mini.
It's certainly not cheap. But the Mini's price tag is low enough to rouse the ever-present speculation looming over 3D printing: the timing and form factor of the one product that will be first to encapsulate the potential of the entire industry and hand it to everyone in an understandable package. When will we see that device, the one that matches an appealing price point with enough functionality to unlock the mainstream market? … Read more