The Makerbot Replicator Plus is a sturdy 3D printer that does more than the conventional budget printer. In this Makerbot Replicator+ review, we look at the specs, features, quality of print, and price of the 3D printer.
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MakerBot Replicator+ Review
In 2016, MakerBot announced that they would be shifting their attention to producing products for business and education customers instead of the home consumers. This review is of their latest product, the MakerBot Replicator Plus, which confirms the company’s focus on the enterprise market segment
The Replicator Plus, or Replicator+, is the latest PLA printer produced by MakerBot. Some of the noticeable features of the printer include improved speed (30% faster than its predecessors) and the 25% increase in build volume, which is now at 11.6 x 7.6 x 6.5 inches.
Inside the MakerBot Replicator+, the mechanical improvements provide better accuracy. The printer is also more reliable compared to some of its rivals.
You can use this 3D printer in your office as it is quieter than the preceding non-plus models. Printing noise is drastically reduced thanks to the sound-damping that is bonded to the big metal surfaces of the printer.
MakerBot Replicator+ Specs
|Print Technology||Fused Deposition Modeling|
|Build Volume||29.5 L X 19.5 W X 16.5 H CM
[11.6 X 7.6 X 6.5 IN] / 9,492 Cubic Centimeters
[573 Cubic Inches]
|Layer Resolution||100 microns [0.0039 IN]|
|Material Diameter||1.75 mm [0.069 in]|
|Material Compatibility||MakerBot PLA Material – Large Spool, Small Spool
MakerBot Tough Material – Large Spool
Additional materials such as bronzefill, copperfill, and woodfill (visit MakerBot Labs)
|Extruder Compatibility||Smart Extruder+
Tough Smart Extruder+
|Nozzle Diameter||0.4 MM [0.015 IN]|
|Print File Type||MAKERBOT|
|Ambient Operating Temperature||15-32°C [60-90°F]|
|Storage Temperature||0-38°C [32-100°F]|
Size & Weight
|Product Dimensions||52.8 L X 44.1 W X 41.0 H CM
[20.8 X 17.4 X 16.2 IN]
|Shipping Box||61.6 L X 52.4 W X 57.9 H CM
[24.3 X 20.7 X 22.9 IN]
|Product Weight||18.3 KG [40.4 LBS]|
|Shipping Weight||(Includes Accessory Kit)
22.8 KG [50.2 LBS]
|Construction||PC ABS with Powder-Coated Steel Reinforcement,
Aluminum Casting and Extrusions for Motion Components
|Build Surface||Grip Surface|
|Build Plate Leveling||Factory Leveled|
|Stepper Motors||1.8° step angle with 1/16 micro-stepping|
|XY Positioning Precision||11 Microns [0.0004 IN]|
|Z Positioning Precision||2.5 Microns [0.0001 IN]|
|Software Bundle||MakerBot Print Software,
|Supported File Types||STL, OBJ|
|Operating Systems||Windows (7, 10)
Mac OS X (10.9+)
|Power Requirements||100-240 V, 50-60 HZ
|Connectivity||USB, Ethernet, Wifi|
|Camera resolution||640 x 480|
MakerBot Replicator+ Features
MakerBot Replicator Print Size
The Replicator+ has been upgraded to have 22% more build volume and 30% faster printing speed than its predecessor. The machine has a print volume of 11.6 x 7.6 x6.3 inches, which gives a total of 555 cubic inches.
The print size is quite large but still smaller than what the TAZ 6 offers.
MakerBot Replicator Plus Heated Bed
The days of using a knife (i.e. palette knife) to remove prints might soon be over inasmuch as the tool is still useful. If you’re concerned about damaging the heated bed surface, you can protect it using painter’s adhesive tape.
The MakerBot Replicator+ has a removable sliding print bed. Therefore, you can remove your 3D prints without having to be cautious about the delicate parts of the printer.
With this MakerBot 3D printer, you no longer have to worry about filament jams. The printer not only automatically detects them but also does the calibration by itself. This is achieved through reliable ‘Smart Extruder+’ technology.
You can also swap extruders in the printer. Therefore, you can be less worried about downtime and focus more on producing good quality models.
Unfortunately, you cannot service this printer by yourself. The good news is that MakerBot provides servicing at a fee.
MakerBot Replicator Plus Filament
The Replicator Plus supports PLA filament and some third party materials. However, the company wants you to use its proprietary filaments if you’d like your warranty to stand.
For a 0.9Kg spool of PLA, expect to pay from $50 to $70. The PLA filaments come in over 30 colors and finishes, including a glow-in-the-dark option.
You can connect to your printer through USB, the SD card slot, Ethernet, and WiFi. Moreover, you can use MakerBot’s desktop and smartphone applications to connect to the printer.
The Replicator+ has a webcam near the building area on the inside. Through the webcam, you can keep track of what’s currently printing. You can also see the webcam footafe through the computer or mobile application.
With the webcam, you can be mobile while keeping track of your printing progress.
This printer is definitely a class leader and requires no setup required from your end. You can simply plug it in and print right away, thanks to features like automatic bed leveling and calibration.
The colored screen, together with the navigation wheel, provides a user-friendly intuitive experience.
According to MakerBot Replicator reviews on Amazon, you should get an accuracy of around 11 microns on the XY axis and around 2.5 microns on the Z-axis.
However, sometimes the printer tends to over extrude the filament, leading to ‘whiskers’. However, this won’t affect your print at all. You will just have more clean up work.
You can use your slicer software to modify the retraction settings so that the printer does not over extrude the filament.
While the Replicator+ is a lot quieter than its predecessors, it still gives some noise. This is because it lacks rubber grips (feet) at the bottom to insulate some of the surface sounds produced during a print run.
MakerBot Replicator Plus Best Settings
If you notice your MakerBot prints are not of high quality (e.g., you are getting errors while running the supports through Meshmixer or your shapes are coming out too organic), you should play around with your MakerBot settings.
The first thing to do is to make sure you are using MakerBot’s software for slicing. The printer does not play nice with any other slice tool other than the proprietary Makerbot software. For instance, you can export from Meshmixer to an STL or OBJ file and them open it up in the Makerbot print manager and generate your print files from there.
Check the video below for some more tips on MakerBot settings.
The bottom line is that the Makerbot Print doesn’t offer a lot of options for optimization. Therefore, you should be conservative with what you want your Replicator+ to do.
This is a great printer out of the box for beginners. However, when you experience issues, such as warping of the prints, there isn’t much customization you can do to compensate for it.
From a home user’s perspective, the Makerbot Replicator+ might be an expensive printer that is reliability. Adding some additional print beds and grip surfaces will ensure consistent production cycle. Moreover, the software enables you to monitor up to 3 printers simultaneous.
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