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MakerBot looks to expand its 3D printer ecosystem at CES 2015

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Instead of releasing another 3D printer, vendor MakerBot has announced at the Consumer Electronics Show this week it is expanding its ecosystem through new partnerships, materials and services to make the technology more accessible to customers.

Among the announcements, the company revealed PLA Composite Filaments made with composites of metal, stone and wood that aim to provide a more realistic look for products made using the fifth-generation MakerBot Replicator 3D Printers. New MakerBot Replicator Smart Extruders will also be developed to match the new materials.

Sabertooth MakerBot Demo

A sabre-toothed cat skull made from the MakerBot Studio

Next, MakerBot also announced 3D Professional Services in an effort to bring the company’s expertise to customers.  Services offered include consulting, education and design, as well as printed products and software applications for organizations that wish to incorporate the technology, according to an official statement.

Furthermore the company has announced mobile remote printing and monitoring, a design sharing and downloading application in partnership with software company the Foundry, and even further collaborations with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.

According to MakerBot, this year will see an expansion of Martha Stewart collections on the MakerBot digital store.  The company plans to offer a glimpse at the collaboration process at CES this week.

“CES 2015 is different for us in that we are purposefully not introducing new 3D printers at CES this year. Instead, we are focusing our efforts on creating the most comprehensive MakerBot 3D Ecosystem to support our customers,” said Jenny Lawton, CEO of MakerBot in the statement.