Makerbot Replicator+ Review

Makerbot Replicator+: The Ideal 3D Printer for Enterprise Use

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MakerBot announced in the last quarter of 2016 that they would be shifting their attention to producing products that can be used by business and education customers instead of the home consumer market they previously focused on. This review of their latest product, the MakerBot Replicator+, confirms their focus on business and educational market segment.

The Replicator Plus, or Replicator+, is the latest PLA printer produced by MakerBot. The company is known for producing PLA printers, and that applies to this model.

Some of the noticeable changes in the printer include the ability to print 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 printer, the mechanical improvements provide better accuracy. The MakerBot Replicator+ 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. The sound produced inside the printer is drastically reduced through the sound-damping that is bonded to the big metal surfaces of the printer.

Features of the MakerBot Replicator+

Flexible Bed

The MakerBot+ has a grippy surface, which is as flexible as the build surface of the Sindoh DP201. The flexible build surface makes it easy to remove your final products because it helps when it comes to the adhesion of your first layer. The days of using a knife (i.e. palette knife) to remove your prints might soon be over inasmuch as the tool is still useful. If youíre concerned about damaging your surface, it’s better to continue using painterís adhesive tape.

The MakerBot Replicator+ has a sliding print bed that is easy to remove. Therefore, you can remove your 3D objects without having to be cautious about the delicate parts of your printer.

Smart Extruder

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 the reliable ëSmart Extruder+í technology. With the ability to swap extruders, you can be less worried about downtime and focus more on producing good quality models.

Keep in mind that the swappable extruders is an additional accessory for the printer and comes at about $199. (check current price at Amazon). The cost is a lot more than what youíd pay with other printers on the market. However, youíll have no worries when it comes to reliability.

Unfortunately, you wonít be able to service this printer by yourself. However, MakerBot provides servicing at a fee.

 

Connectivity

You can connect to your printer through USB, the SD card slot, Ethernet, and WiFi. Moreover, you can use MakerBotís desktop and smartphone applications to connect to the printer.

Webcam

The Replicator+ has a webcam near the building area on the inside. Through the webcam, you can keep track of whatís currently printing. You can access the videos from the webcam through the computer or mobile application.

With the webcam, you can be mobile while keeping track of your printing progress.

Usage

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 ëwhiskersí. The good thing is this wonít affect you 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.

Moreover, while the Replicator+ is a lot quieter than its predecessors, it still gives some noise. This is because the printer doesnít have rubber grips (feet) at the bottom to insulate some of the surface sounds it creates when you put it down.

Verdict

Looking at this printer from a home userís perspective, the Makerbot Replicator+ might be an expensive printer that provides great reliability. Adding some additional print beds and grip surfaces can lead to an almost constant production cycle. Moreover, with the software provided by this brand, you can monitor up to 3 printers simultaneously.

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