The MakerBot Replicator+ 3D Printer (6th generation MakerBot) is a vastly improved version of the 5th generation Replicator. It comes with a higher printing speed and volume promising to do a faster and high quality job. This 3D printer is also quieter than the first version, comes with a high performance software package and it does do a great 3D printing job all day long. Because of the ease of use and many professional features, this printer is good for people looking to produce prototypes on hobbyist or professional levels.
MakerBot Replicator+ 3D printer Features & Technical Details
The Replicator+ packs more features than its predecessors. The most outstanding feature is the print volume, which is 11.6 x 7.6 x 6.5 (L x W x H) which amounts to about 573 cubic inches. This is a 22 percent increase of the printing volume and even though you will not likely use all this volume, it still makes you feel good. Combined with 30 percent increase in printing speed, this makes the printer a great investment for hobbyists as well as professional 3D printers.
This printer comes with a Smart Extruder+, a fix-on part whose work is to melt and to push the filament out to mold the print. Unlike its predecessors, the Extruder+ is not apt to failure by jamming but it is a costly affair when it eventually does need to be replaced.
On top of the Replicator+ is a small LCD screen, which enables the user to control all the operations of the printer. In addition, there is also a USB port and a memory card reader in case you want to print directly from a USB stick or a memory card.
There is more to connectivity because the printer has Ethernet and Wi-Fi connectivity so that you can connect the Replicator+ to your PC or Mac, or even your smartphone. With a small webcam that is pointed directly to the printing space, you can be able to supervise the printing even when you are away from the printer.
At the back of the Replicator+, you will find a tray where the filament for printing is kept. This is neater and much safer.
The features of control include the aforementioned LCD screen with a couple of buttons and dial combination at the top, and you can control the printing from your Mac or PC. On Mac and PC, you will use the MakerBot desktop program and on mobile platforms (iOS and android) you will use the MakerBot app. With the Replicator+, you will have mobile control.
Feedback From Existing Owners
Within 20 minutes of getting the Replicator+, I had it out of the box, all set up and running for our school. Two months down the line, it has been doing an excellent job. Ron Sheldon
This printer has been running perfectly but I feel afraid that the Tough PLA could send me back to the shop sooner than necessary to look for a replacement extruder head which is apparently just designed to run 3 rolls of Tough PLA filament. 3D Enthusiast
Initially I thought the price was too high (I still think it is) but after using it for about five months, I feel like I will get value for my money. I love the Wi-Fi feature. What I don’t like is its noise when printing. Yusuf Shamir
Pros of MakerBot Replicator+ 3D printer
- The MakerBot Replicator+ 3D printer is easy to set up and use, taking a pro less than 10 minutes to unbox it, set it up and have it running.
- It produces high quality prints at high speed and high volume – good for a pro printer
- With Wi-Fi, Ethernet and mobile connectivity features, the Replicator+ has a small learning curve for beginners.
- Can use the software suite on many devices at once thus making the Replicator+ good for teaching a class
- This printer is safer than others because the extruder is set to the back of the machine where it is a bit inaccessible.
- This printer can withstand some heavy work, it is made to take all the rigors of 3D printing.
Cons of MakerBot Replicator+ 3D printer
- The Replicator+ is an open printer, which, despite the extruder being set at the back, still makes it pretty hazardous to have around children who could have their fingers burned.
- It is expensive to replace the Smart Extruder+
- High resolution print quality might not be consistent
Who Should Buy MakerBot Replicator+ 3D printer?
The Replicator+ is a good investment for 3D printing and modeling schools. It is also good for CAD and CAM enthusiasts as well as beginner hobbyists because it is easy to use. Although the manufacture has made this printer for professional use, it is still easy enough to be used by casual enthusiasts. Access to the MakerBot Thingiverse grants you millions of 3D printing materials that you can download to your computer. If you are a business owner, an individual 3D printing enthusiast or a trainer, the Replicator+ is a good investment for you.
Conclusion and Recommendation
With a larger build volume and fast printing speed, the Replicator+ is a professional 3D printer that comes with a strong package of software that will enable you to run multiple devices. This machine is however made for people who do not mind using the recommended Tough PLA (polylactic acid) and does not offer support for other printing materials. If you do heavy design and printing work, this machine is perfect for you since it can print all day long without any hitch.