One of the first big-time winners in 3D printing Kickstarter campaigns was the Printrbot, which raised a then-record USD$830,827 (with an original goal of USD$25,000). We suspect it was Printrbot's success that led to the explosion of subsequent 3D printer launches on the crowdfunding site.
We chatted with Brook Drumm of Printrbot at the London 2013 3D Printshow and found an entirely new Printrbot in the works. The "Plus" model is not only larger but includes two extruders. While the original Printrbot was pretty basic, the Plus significantly improves reliability and capability by using more robust parts.
For example, milled metal extruders and other parts are coming. The Plus includes upgraded rods to handle the weight of the dual extruders. A cast aluminum bed, milled for flatness should make prints more reliable.
The Printrbot's heritage is its classic wooden frame, but that may be changing. We understand work is underway to develop a laser-cut, powder coated, folded steel frame that should make the Plus a very attractive piece. This could be announced within the next few weeks.
The Plus should sell for approximately USD$1000 for a kit and USD$1300 for a ready-to-go assembled version. But it has not yet shipped.
But is the Printrbot still popular, given the avalanche of similar competing machines? According to Drumm, they doubled their production volume in October alone to keep up with orders. They also sell on Amazon, where entire shipments are sold within a day of availability.
So, yes, it's still very popular.