Replicator 2 brings 3-D printing to consumers, schools

ON OUR BIRTHDAY WISHLIST: Hear why Wired editor-in-chief Chris Anderson is raving about the MakerBot Replicator 2, a more affordable ($2199 for entry level model; $2700 for high-end) 3-D printer some believe will usher in the era of desktop manufacturing. This new machine is reportedly much more consumer-friendly, with an easier setup, more affordable printing material, and shorter delivery times. And Anderson is pretty bullish the machine will unlock the next generation of creativity:

"Much as the first generation of software entrepreneurs were kids like the young Bill Gates, who grew up with the first machines and intuitively grasped their potential, so the next generation of 3-D-printing innovators may be children. High schools would be smart to bring back shop class but rename it design class, a shift that really would entail just adding a few MakerBots to the school’s existing computer labs. How many students wouldn’t rather design and print real things than mock up yet another PowerPoint presentation?"

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