Makerbot Replicator Mini Review: Specs, Features, Pros & Cons

10Expert Score
Makerbot Replicator Mini Review

Go through the detailed review of Makerbot Replicator Mini including Features, Specifications, Pros, Cons and more to help in your buying decision.

Print Quality
9
Affordability
2
Compact and Size
10
Quality
9
Speed
8.5
Capability
7.5
Pros
  • Overall print quality is Good
  • Has Great customer service.
  • Printing via USB and Wi-Fi using a PC or Mobile
  • Offers User-friendly software.
  • Removable build plate
  • Auto calibration and Auto bed leveling feature.
  • Smart extruder plus offers many advantages when printing.
  • It offers Easy out of the box set up (in a few minutes).
  • Compact and Safer in build for a 3D printer using open-frame.
Cons
  • The build area is quite small.
  • Filament is quite expensive.
  • Lack of Display or Touch screen.
  • Lack of dual Extruder.
  • Compatible only with PLA.
  • Cannot print at high temperature.
  • 100 microns precision not adequate with price point.
  • Negative

The MakerBot Replicator Mini is likely to impress people due to its simple process and reasonable pricing.

This MakerBot Replicator Mini Review is intended to provide the honest feedback gathered from various users. This machine has all the perfect features to keep everyone engaged, regardless of their level of competence. It is a good fit for those looking out for creating unique models or educating students in school.

To get the 3D printer in action, all one requires is a few minutes once unpacked out of the box.

MakerBot Replicator Mini
Image: MakerBot Replicator Mini | Source: Makerbot

The manufacturer has factory-built settings that work like charm. The user has to only accept the settings and get going. The fact that this model is so compact is getting it a great fan base.

There could be improvement in some features of the 3D printer. Users are looking for more features for the price they are paying for this printer.

This is the machine for you if you’re searching for a simple to use 3D printer. Yet, for the same price range, you may get a 3D printer with a layer height of less than 100 microns. 

Setting up Makerbot Replicator Mini

The process of setting up the Mini is simple. To get the Smart Extruder installed, unbox the 3D printer and push the extruder on the back of the extruder carriage.

The extruder is magnetically fixed in its location. After that, you place a filament spool in a slot on the back of the printer, which unclips a feeder tube from the slot’s side. And then snake the filament through it before reattaching the spool.

Now peel off the back of a sheet of blue tape (already included), stick it to the construction plate, and slide it in place. 

Use the USB cord to connect the printer to the computer. Plugin the printer to the power supply and turn it on. 

Finally, download and install MakerBot Desktop software from the MakerBot website. Use the Setup Assistant wizard to finish the setup.

Filament

The filament used in the printer is MakerBot’s tiny (0.5-pound) spools of 1.75mm polylactic acid (PLA) filament.

This is available from the company store at $18 for the ordinary PLA filament and $25 for the specialty PLA filaments (such as neon and translucent).

This is far less expensive than MakerBot’s more massive spools for the Replicator Z18, and earlier models.

These go for $48 for ordinary filament and $65 for specialized filament. Even the larger spools are on the more expensive side of the PLA scale.

MakerBot sells PLA filament only for the Replicator Mini at the moment. There is also a line of composite filaments available since 2016 (according to their business plans). In this, PLA is blended with non-plastics (such as iron, maple, limestone, and bronze) and might mimic some of the properties of these materials.

A magnet, for example, will attract an object printed from the iron filament, whereas an object made of maple and sanded and stained. A new extruder will need purchasing on the introduction of the new filament to make both compatible.

Specifications

Makerbot Replicator Mini comes with the following standard specifications:

  • Print Technology : FDM
  • Filament Type : PLA
  • Filament size : 1.75 mm 
  • X-Axis / Y-Axis accuracy : 0.011 mm 
  • Maximum Build size : 101 × 126 × 126 mm / 3.98 × 4.96 × 4.96 in
  • Maximum Build volume : 1.60 L
  • Minimum thickness : 0.1 mm / 0.004 inches
  • Dimensions : 295 × 349 × 381 mm / 11.61 × 13.74 × 15 inches
  • Weight : 9.3 kg / 20.5 lb
  • Nozzle diameter) : 0.4 mm / 0.02 inches
  • Power : 0.76-0.43 A @ 110-220 V 50-60 Hz AC
  • Closed frame : Yes
  • On-board camera / 
  • Mobile app / USB /Wi-Fi
  • Operating System : Microsoft Windows / Mac OS

Price of Replicator Mini

The MakerBot Replicator Mini is available for $1299. Though this is not the lowest in the price for a 3D printer, there is a good reason for the difference. 

The printer not only has amazing quality, but it also has a lot of extra benefits, such as responsive customer service, warranty terms, and so on.

First Impressions

When you receive the Makerbot Replicator Mini do not expect a huge crate on your door.  Expect the delivery box to be 15.75 L X 17.9 W X 20.6 H dimensions.

The compact size of the 3D printer model is in plain sight the moment you make contact with the printer. On unboxing the printer, you’ll notice the compact packaging of the parts for safe transportation. Removing the machine is quite simple. 

A factory-leveled 3D printer, a smart extruder, power cord, and USB cable are part of the bundle. The filament tube, a build plate, and a sample PLA spool are also provided.

You’ll also get a manual to help you set up the 3D printer. Other than this, you won’t need anything extra to get the printer to start printing in a few minutes.

Also Read our other reviews: Creality CR-10 S5, XYZprinting Da Vinci Jr. 1.0 3D Printer, Artillery Sidewinder X1

MakerBot Replicator Mini Review: Salient Features

Let us review the salient features of the Replicator Mini. The amazing popularity of this 3D printer makes one curious if there are some hidden cards up its sleeve. 

So, let’s have a look at the features and learn more about this 3D printer.

1. Compact

The machine’s compact size is the first thing you notice about it, making it so transport friendly.

This also makes it easy to install in a small corner at home or educational institutions. 

A lightweight 3D printer is so much easier to maintain and handle. All one needs to do is slide it out and clean it.

2. New and Unique Smart Extruder Plus

With its revolutionary Smart Extruder Plus, Replicator Mini, unlike other machines, the 3D printer is a big success.

If you’ve worked with the MakerBot Replicator 3D printers, you’re familiar with how well the extruder performs. The revolutionary Smart Extruder Plus comes with an automatic calibration feature. 

Additionally, the automated jam detection feature makes it more appealing.  If the extruder jams, the printer halts the process immediately thus saving a lot of trouble for the user.

3. Filament Out Sensor

What is fantastic about the filament is the pause and resume feature. If the filament spool runs out of material during printing, the printer will halt the process and store it to resume once refilled. 

4. Auto Bed Leveling

The three distinct sensors offer efficient bed leveling with the equipment. A hassle-free setup eliminates the need for manual intervention and zero mistakes in the process.

The features assist in keeping your bed completely balanced at all times. 

5. Redesigned Z-Axis

MakerBot has unveiled its improved gantry, as well as a revamped z-stage. This keeps the printer stable when printing and eliminates vibrations.

This also aids in increasing the 3D printer’s speed making the Replicator Mini a notch above its competition. 

6. Removable Build Plate

Most users are awestruck by the excellent print quality of the Replicator Mini using the printer’s normal settings.

The removable bed makes it easy for anyone to scrape objects off the plate. This keeps your models safe when attempting to remove them off the build plate.

7. Remote Monitoring

The MakeBot Replicator Replicator Mini comes with an inbuilt camera. This enables remote monitoring of the progress of the prints even when one is not at home. This is an eye-opener for getting the attention of most users.

Users can view everything that happens within the printer using the Makerbot software and WIFI connectivity.

Using the WIFI connection to remotely operate the models is just so exhilarating. 

8. WIFI Connectivity

Even with more expensive 3D printers, the Wi-Fi connection isn’t a standard feature. Thus the fact that the Replicator Mini comes with this feature is amazing in itself.

Using the Wi-Fi connection, the user can have cord-less control of  the printer’s operation. This makes it so much easier for makers to manage their stand-alone machines.

Setup

If you don’t want to deal with the hassles of setting up a 3D printer, the MakerBot Replicator Mini is a great option. It’s not only absurdly easy to set up, but it can get you up and running with your first print job in minutes.

To begin the setup, you must first download the Makerbot app to your Smartphone. The application offers a step-by-step guide for the complete installation process.

Be sure to plug-in the extruder before the installation. Just insert the extruder in, and it will fix itself to the printer with the help of magnets.

Start by loading the filament using the filament guide tube. This will have the roll fit inside a case in the machine’s back. Next, place the build plate inside the printer by pushing it in, and it will click into place effortlessly.

You may then download the Makerbot print software from the website and get your 3D model ready to print. Everything works smoothly by tapping a few buttons.

Print Quality

The print quality at 100 microns isn’t perfect, but it is adequate for students and designers.  The simplicity of operating the machine is what appeals to owners to use it for 3D printing.

And still, it is clear that for the price point of the Replicator Mini, there are better options available with finer printing specifications.

Software

The MakerBot Printing Software application is very easy to use. Using this software, you can manage your prints easily and the app works well with both Windows and Mac operating systems.

Additionally users can upload the CAD files to the software, skipping the need to create STL files. This will reduce or eliminate the introduction of any errors.

Makers can also preview their creations before printing. This will allow making adjustments to settings if required.

The software offers users to check the results in advance and thus reduce the risks of error or misunderstanding.

Makerbot Replicator Mini Extruder

One of the salient features of the Makerbot smart extruder plus is its filament detection and alerting capability. If there is not enough filament, the extruder stops printing and alerts the user through notifications on their PC or mobile device.

When using the PLA filament, this extruder provides dependable and consistent performance with exceptional results. From start to finish, the upgraded components and sensor system provide simple, reliable 3D printing. It has improved homing, greater communication, and far less clogging and jamming.

This extruder is simple to operate and swap. This saves time between prints. The Smart Extruder plus is designed and tested for optimal performance and for long-lasting usage.

The simplicity of the extruder to operate and replace can reduce downtime between prints.

The Smart Extruder plus is also engineered and tested for improved performance over a longer length of time.

Customer Service

Makerbot offers reliable customer service with experts knowledgeable about the product. Thus they are well equipped to handle any of your inquiries when you need their help

Further, the website offers a knowledge base of guides and directions that cover every imaginable question.

Few Cons More:

The Makerbot Replicator Mini also does not come with a Heated print bed, Heated build chamber, Automatic calibration, Dual extruder, Independent Dual Extruder, Full color, LCD screen, Touch screen, 3D scanners, CNC mill, Electronics 3D printing, Laser engraving, Conveyor belt, Air filter, Pellet extruder, Bluetooth, SD card and Ethernet connectivity.

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