MakerBot branches out from 3D printing with MixTape

Just remember, "Stairway" goes last.

MakerBot's MixTape 3D printer MP3 player.
MakerBot's MixTape 3D printer MP3 player. MakerBot

MakerBot is best known for its 3D printers. Would you have predicted an MP3 player for its newest product?

The MixTape is available in two iterations. The $25 MixTape Kit, aimed at those who already own a 3D printer, includes the guts of a basic MP3 player. Simply print out the enclosure using the plans on MakerBot's Thingiverse site, plug in the electronics, and you're ready to upload your music.

For those without a 3D printer, MakerBot will sell you a pre-assembled MixTape for $39.

Print out the case yourself and the MixTape Kit provides the MP3 player guts.
Print out the case yourself and the MixTape Kit provides the MP3 player guts. MakerBot

The actual specs of the MixTape MP3 player are modest. It has 2GB of storage capacity, and a 4-hour lithium-ion battery that charges when you connect it to your Mac or PC via the included USB cable. The MixTape also conveniently functions as a standard thumb drive.

The printed MixTape cassette, available for free download via MakerBot's Thingiverse.
The printed MixTape cassette, available for free download via MakerBot's Thingiverse. MakerBot

The affordable price and low-fi design both fit in well with MakerBot's intention that the product helps you "rediscover the magic of making a mixtape." The kit version offers even offers arguably more personalization than old-school mixtapes, since you can tweak the physical design of the case by editing the 3D design files.

It's that tweakability that makes the MixTape Kit a rather perfect MakerBot product. In itself it performs a useful function. And if you have another idea for an object that might benefit from an embedded MP3 player, all you need to do is buy a 3D printer and you can make that design a reality.

 

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