The 3D Systems blog is a typical corporate blog which serves to give out information in a formal and peaceful manner. At least that’s what I thought until I read this post titled “3DTouch Prints ‘Bigger’“. Looks like the folks at Marketing have decided to go hammer and tongs after Makerbot’s Replicator. And I’m beginning to like their fire. 😉
It all started at the recently concluded CES 2012 in Las Vegas where CNET did a face off (see video) between the Cube and the Replicator. Frankly, I believe the comparison wasn’t fair to both sides because the machines as well as their target audiences are completely different. The Cube is designed to be used by consumers. Whereas the Replicator is meant for the makers and DIY crowd – folks who like to tinker around, build their own hardware and hack stuff.
I left this comment on Rachael Park’s blog post mentioning the face off:
“You hit the nail on the head. Makerbot should be compared to the 3DTouch, not the Cube. And you are right. It’s not just the looks that will sell the Cube or any other real consumer printer. A lot depends on what a consumer is expected to know or do before he gets his first 3D print. How much he needs to mess around with the device? Does he need to in the first place? Does everything just work out of the box?”
The 3D Systems blog post I mentioned above drives this point in. It goes to say:
“And while we applaud the recently released 300 cubic inch build volume of the MakerBot Replicator™, the 3DTouch™, which was launched last year, beats the MakerBot Replicator™ hands down. The 3DTouch™ is easy to use, comes with a choice of one, two or three print heads and was the first 3D Printer to offer an intuitive touch screen user interface.”
3D Systems Marketing didn’t lose the opportunity to take a shot at the looks of the Makerbot:
“The clean lines, acrylic frame and internal electronics means the consumer won’t have to hide it – they can proudly display their 3D printer for all to see.”
Looks like the gloves are off. 😉
3D Systems 3DTouch
Frankly, if I had to put a 3D printer in my home I would prefer something like the Cube. Maybe I would consider the 3DTouch. But definitely not the Replicator. It looks hideous. Period.