You can get a 3D printer for just a few hundred dollars now, but machines that can print in multiple colors remain relatively expensive. Monoprice, an online wholesale marketplace, is now offering a 3D printer that can print with two different materials for $1,199–a price that won’t shock anyone, but is still relatively low for a dual extruder printer.
Simply known as Product Number 11614, the printer uses two extruders to be able to print two colors in the same print job. Most 3D printers have one extruder, limiting objects to one color or forcing users to make a tricky switch between the type of plastic filament that is feeding into the printer in the middle of a job.
It prints at the same 100 micron resolution as MakerBot’s line of printers. But its build volume is smaller, measuring in at 8.9 x 5.7 x 5.9 inches. It has an LCD screen and can print via a 4 GB memory card (included) or USB. That means it can’t be controlled over Wi-Fi from a mobile device, which is an increasingly common feature.
Still, it is clear that the printer is aimed squarely at people interested in the MakerBot Replicator’s design and function. It closely resembles MakerBot’s old experimental Replicator 2X, which included two extruders. Even MakerBot’s cheapest printer costs $1,375, so the Monoprice machine’s $1,199 price tag makes it an interesting alternative.