MakerBot Replicator 3D Printer Review

Source: Gigaom
MakerBot Replicator
  • Print
  • Print Performance
  • Filament
  • Printer Design
  • Help & Support

Summary

MakerBot Replicator is perfect for home and educational use. So, if you are new to 3D printing and want to get your first 3D printer, MakerBot Replicator 5th Generation would be a great choice. However, this is more expensive compared to other 3D printer models.

3.8
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The 5th Generation Replicator is one of the easiest and most comfortable 3D printers to use. This device is designed with your convenience in mind. In fact, MakerBot Replicator 5th Generation includes a variety of connectivity including WiFi, USB, and Ethernet. It also includes a mobile control support and an onboard camera. Learn more about this 3D printer in the next passages.

What is MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D printer

MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D printer is one of the easiest and most versatile 3D printers that you can find on the market. It has a large build volume that accelerates rapid prototyping and model making. It is also equipped with a 100-micron layer resolution for a professional-quality, high-resolution prototype, and complex models. It also includes an easy to use interface, user calibration and camera monitoring.

MakerBot Replication 5th Generation Specs & Features

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We understand that it is difficult to be impressed without closely examining the product. So, here’s a list of features that MakerBot Replication 5th Generation offers to help you find out if this product is what you are looking for.

Smart Extruder – MakerBot Replicator’s smart extruder is easy to replace and swap, thereby, minimizing your downtime. It also detects when you run out of filament and automatically stops the printing job while sending you notifications on the MakerBot Desktop and MakerBot Mobile. More importantly, you can upgrade this to Smart Extruder+ for better reliability and superior results.

Offers a variety of connectivity – MakerBot Replicator recognizes your need to work with the 3D printer in various ways, so it offers several connectivity options for your comfort. This 3D printer offers WiFi, USB stick, and Ethernet connectivity to ensure your seamless production workflow. It is also cloud-enabled to allow you to connect to MakerBot Desktop, MakerBot Mobile and Thingiverse without problems.

3.5-inch Full Color LCD Display – To help you enjoy this device, MakerBot Replicator comes with an onboard user interface and intuitive dial for a smoother operation. The interface also allows you access to your object library and see previews of your 3D model files. It also includes onboard utilities for setting up and maintaining the 3D printer.

Onboard Camera – The camera has a resolution of 320×240 and automatically takes reference pictures of final prints and saves it into your cloud storage library, which is accessible through MakerBot Desktop and MakerBot Mobile Apps.

Additional Details:

  • Power Supply: 100–240V 100W
  • Weight: 16 Kg
  • Build Volume: 252x199x150 mm
  • Materials: PLA
  • Printing Speed: Unlisted
  • Resolution: Up to 100 microns
  • Temperature: Between 15 ºC to 26 ºC
  • Print technology: FDM
  • Open Source: No
  • Filament Diameter: 1.75mm
  • Nozzle Diameter: 0.4mm
  • Extruder: Single
  • Environment: MakerBot Desktop Software
  • Files : STL, OBJ, THING, MAKERBOT
  • Connectivity: USB, WiFi, Ethernet
  • Compatible Operating System: WINDOWS (7+), MAC OS X (10.7+), LINUX (UBUNTU 12.04+, FEDORA 19+)
  • Price: $ 2,499
  • Warranty: 6 months

Pros

  • Uses MakerBot PLA filament which is uniformly round for consistent flow and smooth and even layers
  • Supported by MakerBot 3D Ecosystem that integrates seamlessly for a satisfying user experience.
  • Compatible with MakerBot Smart Extruder+
  • Perfect for educational and home use
  • Produces professional quality and high-resolution prototypes and models
  • Reliable Support – backed by an extensive Quality Assurance operation and technical support to ensure success when 3D printing

Cons

  • Overpriced compared to other brands like Zortrax M200
  • Extruders are critical but not reliable
  • Not easy to fix
  • Noisy

Customer Reviews

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MakerBot Replicator 3D printer has its fair share of happy and not-so-happy customers, most products usually do. To help you decide if this 3D printer is worth your purchase, you can find some of the customer reviews for MakerBot Replicator 3D printer below.

“great product – I’ve used MB 3D printers for years and even when there were issues, I was able to get them fixed quickly,” one Amazon Buyer wrote about his MakerBot Replicator 5th Generation experience.

“This has become our go to printer. The software is simple to use, the print quality is superb and the print cost is low,” another satisfied MakerBot Replicator customer wrote.

“It is a solid entry level printer that takes very little time to get setup and running. The Smart Extruders have gotten better but when I first started using them I had a VERY high failure rate on them. The one issue I have consistently had; and cannot fix, is stringy prints. I will run 10 prints of the exact same thing and 4 of them will be useless randomly because of over extrusion,” one customer wrote.

Rating: 3.8 / 5

Conclusion

MakerBot Replicator 5th Generation 3D printer is quite costly compared to other brands on the market. However, it also offers more. For instance, it comes with a Smart Extruder, onboard camera, a variety of connectivity options and is cloud-enabled to allow you an easy access to MakerBot Desktop, MakerBot Mobile, and Thingiverse. However, it is not as easy to operate as other 3D printers. Also, other users find its extruder unreliable but some others have no issues with it.

If you want a flexible and versatile printer, and if your budget allows, we suggest MakerBot Replicator Desktop 5th Generation.

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