Arduino is at the heart of do-it-yourself electronics, and now the company wants to make inroads into additive manufacturing with its 3D printer: The Arduino Materia 101.

As Arduino explains in a blog post, the PLA printer is being built for the purpose of "simplifying access to the world of 3D printing and rapid prototyping." This is a similar goal shared with the dozens of 3D printing Kickstarters and Indiegogos announced almost weekly and also the industry's accessible 3D printing forebear, MakerBot.

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But this democratic mission isn't the only thing the two companies have in common. The Arduino Materia 101 has a similar design to MakerBot's open-source Cupcake CNC and even has a similar build area. The printer will be powered by the Arduino Mega 2560 microcontroller board and is created in partnership with Sharebot, a 3D printing company also based in Italy.

You'll only be able to buy the unit directly from Arduino for around $800 as a kit or $1000 for a pre-assembled printer. But with Arduino's legacy for tinkering and open-sourced projects, this printer can pretty much be whatever you make it. [Arduino via TechCrunch]