All the recent hires at MakerBot have obviously been put to good use: this week MakerBot released not one, not two, but three important new products.
The first is the MakerBot digitizer, their first non-3D printing device. We've covered this item previously, and this release was expected. But now you can actually order one if you have USD$1,550.
The second is a new release of MakerWare. MakerWare is the software used by the company to drive their printers by preparing and converting 3D models into print instructions. The new release includes significant improvements in color handling, which is generally awkward for most color-capable 3D printer manufacturers recently.
The new MakerWare generates support structures that match the color they support. This prevents color contamination in your prints. The software also provides a detailed color print preview so you can understand what's going to happen before committing to a print. Finally, the software includes support for new materials.
The third release is two new materials: a Flexible Filament provides the ability to print bendable objects. The Flexible Filament becomes bendable at 60C, permitting you to heat and reshape a printed object. It's not clear if this material can be printed with ABS or PLA, however.
The other new material is a dissolvable filament. You can use it as a support material for very complex ABS prints, as the print can be submerged in limonene for a day and all the supports will disappear. This filament replaces their previous "PVA" material and is now named "MakerBot Dissolvable Filament".