Product DescriptionGet one step closer to downloading a car with the revolutionary desktop 3D printer. This professional quality printer integrates with the easy to use ... [Read more]
Top ReviewsBought the Makerbot Replicator 2 and have been very satisfied.
by Steven J. Harper (5 out of 5 stars)
May 7, 2014
I see a ton of bad reviews here about the Makerbot and have to say that in reading them I see why they are mad. Many of the issues are related to billing problems and issues with remote support. Billing issues for institutions are hell and I would not even begin to address that as I feel Makerbot's pain there. But to the issues with remote support I want to make a few things clear to people like me that bought this equipment to "play" with the concept of 3D printing.
1. This technology is new. It is complicated. It is intricate and completely reliant on absolute precision.
2. Makerbot and others in the field have taken a technology that was until very recently only available to large institutions and businesses and brought it to the masses at a price point 1/10th of what it was just 3 to 5 years ago.
3. Complicated equipment like this has traditionally been shipped and then "installed" by a representative from the company as is the case with the systems that cost 10X the price of the Makerbot. To make this system available to the masses it has to be stripped of many of the pleasantries that the larger systems offer such as on site installation and calibration, auto calibration, mobile service techs that come on site to facilitate repairs, and so on..
4. This is not an inkjet printer. If you have no clue about technical equipment then you MUST have access to someone that does. If you don't, this is not the device for you. It is still too soon. the day of the $99.00 3D printer with cartridges will come, it's just not today.
All that being said. I bought this replicator 2 a bit over a month ago from Amazon.com and have printed on it for about 50 hours now. Most of my prints have been over night and have been intricate and large structures. My success has been amazing if you listen to the other reviews as I have only had 2 failed prints and both were my fault completely.
One was due to my not having the platform level enough for the type of precision needed for the ultra fine print I was attempting. Just before it i had printed somthing on normal quality on a raft, then i tried something at fine with no raft.... very different needs...
The other was due to my not checking to make sure the spool was not tangled (it was) when I changed the filament during a print to make a print 2 toned.
I would call this printer extremely reliable and repeatable.
As for the results: Hands down my prints look far better that almost anything I see on thingiverse.com or elsewhere on the web.
At standard resolution prints are awesome and clean. I have almost zero issues with stringing and only have to do a quick cleanup on ludicrously complicated and detailed prints. If you print at high quality (100 microns) the resolution is simply put, amazing. You can hardly see the layers and with a light sanding with some 400 or 800 grit paper it looks like it was injection molded. I have shown parts to friends and been asked where I bought them as they looked like a finished product.
(I have used Makerbot PLA (white, blue and natural) and a generic PLA (black) I bought at my local Microcenter)
I have no delusions and I know that this thing will break one day, but when it does I know that I can fix it. It may take time as I will have to trouble shoot it over the phone with a friendly person in Brooklyn, NY. Or tweet them for help. (This works great by the way. They answer questions on twitter in minutes.)
Makerbot has issues that any market leader in a new market would experience. They cannot grow support, production, management, and marketing fast enough to keep up with the ravenous demand of their rapidly growing customer base.
One day this will be a mature industry and if you want a support call to go something like:
"Sorry for your issue, return it to Wal-Mart today and exchange it for a new one today" then your time is coming! It's just not today.
If you are okay with a call that may go a bit more like "that is an issue we have not encountered before. Lets try a few things and if all else fails I am going to send you a few parts that you will have to install yourself to get you going again" then hop in the saddle and enjoy the ride on this bleeding edge product.
Excellent workhorse and hobby machine
by Alex (5 out of 5 stars)
September 28, 2016
This is an amazing 3D printer, arguably one of Makerbot's best. My office bought one and it's been an absolute workhorse. It has been so great to work with that my office is buying a another (a MakerBot Industries Replicator Desktop 3D Printer - Fifth Generation - MP05825, Standard I hope to review shortly) and I bought a second Replicator 2 for personal use (when it was heavily on sale).
The machine is pretty much ready to go out of its very large box. Interface is easy to navigate, preparing prints is intuitive, calibrating the build plate is easy, and results are phenomenal. You can be printing a sample print within 30 minutes of opening the box. There's a lot to be said for kit printers and what they've done for the industry, but if you don't want to spend hours upon hours tinkering and tweaking to get good results, a fully assembled Replicator is well worth the cost, especially for a business - perfect results with no hassle.
There is room for improvement - the stock buildplate is plastic, and prone to not being perfectly flat. I've upgraded both mine and the office's with a glass plate - you can get them on eBay for ~$50 - and its well worth it. For smaller objects like chess pieces, little models, what have you, the stock plate works, but if you want to take full advantage of the 6"x11" build area, you'll want the upgrade. You do NOT need a heated bed. It's primarily for ABS, and the Replicator works best with PLA, which also has the bonus of being non-carcinogenic. Just throw down some blue tape (which most printers use anyway - this is not a shortcoming of the Replicator) and you'll be good. I've gotten full-size prints off this machine that were perfectly flat.
Some people are saying they've had tons of problems with the Replicator 2, and they're probably legit. Even Toyota produces a lemon from time to time. But in my experience, neither of ours have ever jammed, in over 500 hours of heavy printing. Some prints fail, sure, but this is often due to filament spools getting tangled or other easily fixed problems. We make sure we carefully lubricate all the major moving parts every 50 hours, and are careful with the extruder/hot end mechanisms. Treated well, this machine is a beast though.
More trouble than it's worth
by Mark (1 out of 5 stars)
June 11, 2018
I bought this printer as a backup because it was on sale. It's entirely unreliable, difficult to dial in, and nearly impossible to repair/upgrade. I really only use this machine to print parts for my TAZ 5 when something critical wears out.
Your only option when something fails (and parts fail often) is to contact support and wait for the part to be mailed to you. MakerBot support is great, it's just unfortunate that you'll need to spend so much time with them.
I'd highly recommend considering a Marlin-based printer at a similar price point, and avoiding MakerBot products all together.
3d printing is still in beta.
by Frugal Shave (4 out of 5 stars)
December 3, 2013
Works pretty good. But, it is important to understand that 3d printing is still in beta. Don't listen to anyone who tries to tell you different.
They are decades away from the reliability of an HP Laser Printer.
You will have to learn how to pull it apart and put it back together. It will clog, air print, warp and many more annoying things.
The software takes a bit of learning as you tweak settings. That is once you already have a 3d model created in the first place.
If you need rapid prototyping it is a valuable tool.
this is a great entry point into 3D printing
by T. Healy (4 out of 5 stars)
April 25, 2016
This is my second Rep2 - my other model has over 1000 hours of print time on it. I was a little skeptical when I noticed the retail price had been marked down on Amazon, but I chanced the order and (happily) discovered that this is an authentic Makerbot Replicator 2. At $800, this is a great entry point into 3D printing. As long as you know the limitations of FDM printing with PLA, this is an easy and reliable machine at 0.2mm resolution. Now mind you, printing a file at the highest quality (0.1mm) requires a little tweaking of the settings using Makerware. You should also be prepared to learn how to disassemble and rebuild your extruder when it's time to replace the nozzle or clear a nasty jam, which shouldn't happen all that often. I'd recommend this over a 5th gen Replicator any day.
Great results so far
by Epicenter Engineering (5 out of 5 stars)
August 29, 2013
We've had the Replicator 2 for about a month now, and give it an unequivocal two thumbs up.
The software is super easy to use, and a breeze to get the build set up. In our builds, the best results are obtained from using the optional raft. This seems to eliminate problems with needing perfect adhesion between the first layer and the build plate, as well as any imperfections in the build plate or the precise leveling of it. I like to use the blue painters tape, which makes getting the raft / model off the plate easier, as well as prevents scratching up the plate.
The machine is much quieter that expected and there is no discernible smell--both of which I was expecting. I was originally planning to have the machine in the lab, but after realizing how civilized it was, I made a home for it in a bookcase in my office. With the bookcase doors closed, the machine is only mildly audible when in operation--it's no problem to have a conference call using a speakerphone in the same room, so that's a nice bonus that I didn't expect.
Some minor issues: We have occasionally seen some odd support geometry that left some cantilevered sections without proper support, and thus with a droopy layer or two. This problem is easily fixed by reorienting the model a bit, or simply a bit of sanding, depending on the model. I would prefer to be have some visibility and control over the support structure, but now that I've had a bit of practice I know better what to expect, so with a bit of thought in the build layout/orientation, the models usually come out very clean.
We did find that there are some differences between filaments. Using the SainSmart black material, we had a number of builds that failed due to extrusion issues, especially when using the high resolution settings. We mostly used the default temperature / speed settings, so it's possible that with some optimization we would get better results. However, using the Zen white material, we have gotten consistently great results at every resolution. The parts look better, they don't fail, they are easy to remove cleanly from the raft, and the supports come off cleanly. I recall hearing somewhere that the color may make a difference--I haven't tried Sain white or Zen black yet, so at this point I'm not sure if it's color or brand that is the key variable.
The bottom line is that with the right material and a bit of care in setting up the build (mainly for models that require supports), we are getting consistently great looking models with no hassle. We are super pleased with the Replicator 2 and highly recommend it.
10 Month ownership observations.
by Tom Rothbauer (4 out of 5 stars)
July 31, 2014
Bought one of these with the 123DFaceplate in October 2013 and saved a little cash because they were in stock and Makerbot had a 3 week lead time plus they were about $150.00 more for the same item.
Having owned it for almost 10 months now, let me tell you a little about it. Currently mine has over 2,000 hours operating time and is running 24 hours a day printing. Some of the issues I have had are:
(1) At the 200 hour point, I had to replace the wire for the "X" axis motor because it is constantly flexing as the motor moves the gantry from front to back. I modified mine a little by installing a quick coupling cable connector that I could easily swap out a high flex wire cable if it breaks again.
(2) The heater block has died once on me and luckily it was within the warranty period, after a couple of phone calls Makerbot replaced it and I ordered a spare just in case. I just used my spare at the 2,000 hour point due to failure, so expect about a 1,000hr life from the heater cartridge.
(3) The supplied build plate is irregular and not completely flat making it hard to get a large build on it. I bought the Aluminum plate online and it solved that problem. And because the aluminum plate is heavier, I had to buy the support arm strengthening brackets. I've had good luck using painters blue tape and every couple of days, hit it with a very light mist of hairspray.
(4) I have had the extruder clog about a dozen or so times, it is an easy fix, it just takes a few minutes to disassemble the extruder assembly and remove the clogged piece of PLA.
(5) Word of caution about dissembling the extruder assembly, the Fan is very easily damaged when your hex key slips inadvertently into the blades, I am on my 3rd fan because of that.
(6) Because I am using mine so much, I have figured out the rate at which it uses PLA. A brand new 2.2kg spool will print for 90 hours continuously at the standard resolution.
Customer support from Makerbot is still lacking, I created a support ticket to order a spare heater assembly, took them 9 days to get back in touch with me by email which directed me to call their helpline. I had tried to call their helpline on 3 different days, being on hold for an hour and a half on 2 and the other I was on hold for 55 minutes before they closed, then I get a prompt to call back during operation hours. Support, I give 1 star, Product I give 4 stars.
All in all it is a good piece of equipment, so much so that I now own 3 of them. Expect the occasional build fail, usually at about 95% completion, but it does vary. After researching all available 3DPrinter alternatives, I think the Makerbot is the best albeit overpriced for what it is.
links and shark) and all printed quick and easy and they looked great
by Amazon Customer (4 out of 5 stars)
April 11, 2016
Received the printer yesterday and was fairly simple setting up maybe an hour start to finish. Printed a couple of the test models (bracelet, links and shark) and all printed quick and easy and they looked great. I use Rhino and RhinoGold CAD software for jewelry design and really wanted to have a printer at home to mess around with without any real expectations of using it in a professional capacity. After printing the tests I downloaded the software and made a few basic models in Rhino to see what I would get. I printed a signet ring that came out complete but a little rough around the edges. Had a couple of failed attempts at trying to print a bracelet so went through the steps to level the building plate again (it did seem off after the first few prints) and went with an easier bezel solitaire ring which came out fine and was a much better quality than the first ring. All in all I was pretty impressed with out of the box results. I made 5-6 prints with the machine and was able to use a pretty advanced CAD software program to get pretty decent models. I am curious to see what else I can do with it. It was a good choice for a beginner printer and if it continues to perform I would definitely upgrade to something more advanced.
A Great Value and Easy to Use - everything we were looking for!
by Veronica Duczek (5 out of 5 stars)
April 30, 2016
We had been waiting to get a 3D printer for a while so when the Makerbot came up at 60% off, we jumped at the chance. The free shipping was quick and we started printing the included comb and chain files within an hour of opening the box. My daughter had been playing around with Blender (3D design program) and had done up a friend's Pokemon-style character - about 15 minutes to figure out how the downloaded Makerware software worked (including the auto supports) and it was printed off - in process photo attached. We have printed off other things from Thingiverse with no issues. We have heard about possible extruder durability issues but at $1200 off, we will likely pre-order an extruder just in case.
A Great Value and Easy to Use - everything we were looking for!
Great 3D Printer for the Money
by Chris (5 out of 5 stars)
April 17, 2016
This is one of the best 3D printers I've come across so far. It's fast, the software is user-friendly, and the print quality is great too. I had used the Replicator 2X in the past, and had problems with build adhesion, but this printer uses PLA plastic and basically eliminates that problem. I've also used the UltiMaker 2, but they're incredibly slow. I'm somewhat experienced with 3D printers, but I've had this for about a week, done dozens of prints, and not had a single one fail. I think that this is one of the best printers out there for what it costs.
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