Personal 3D printer manufacturer MakerBot has announced their popular Thing-O-Matic 3D printer will no longer be offered for sale. They have, of course, replaced it in their product line with the much more capable (and fully assembled) Replicator device. Today you’ll find only spare parts for the Thing-O-Matic.
The Thing-O-Matic was a breakthrough device when it came out. It was far beyond its primitive predecessor, the CupCake, MakerBot’s very first product. It incorporated several inventions pioneered by experimenters on the CupCake, including a heated build platform, end stops and upgraded electronics. But, following MakerBot’s pattern, experiments and experience on the Thing-O-Matic led to its successor, the Replicator.
In time all of today’s personal 3D printers will become museum pieces, but that is the price of progress.
This development signals one more important point: There are no 3D printer kits marketed by MakerBot.