Is MakerBot positioning to release a new 3D printer? We think maybe.
A few weeks ago we speculated on the idea that MakerBot was readying a new equipment release based on some indirect evidence, namely: their new CEO has been fixing up internal processes; MakerBot has dramatically altered and expanded their retail and distribution operations; they’ve offered the Z18 and Rep Gen 5 machines at steep discounts.
We even received an offer to purchase a refurbished 5th Generation Replicator for only USD$1,450. That’s literally HALF the stated retail price.
We’ve also seen offers of free shipping on orders, as well as discounts to existing new equipment.
To us this signals their strong intent to clean out inventories of machines to make way for something new. Something that might replace both the large-format Z18 and Replicator 5th Gen. But curiously, the older Replicator 2X has not been mentioned in any of these offers. We suspect that the Replicator 2X has not been manufacturered for some time and they’ve simply been selling inventory for a while now. At this point, their stock of 2X’s is probably low - although even that model has been knocked down to USD$2,499 from USD$2,799.
When will we see an announcement? We really have no idea, but let’s speculate a bit: The discounted sales apparently end on September 30th, so we’re looking at a date after that.
Typically MakerBot announced new machines annually at the Las Vegas CES event, but this past year MakerBot did not make any machine announcements. Perhaps that will change this January when MakerBot once again appears at CES.
We’ve got our tickets to Las Vegas already and will be present for an announcement. If it happens.