The MakerBot Replicator+ is a 3D printer made for students, beginners and educators. The features of this 3D printer greatly helps for classroom 3D printing. Read our review for more details.
The MakerBot Replicator+ comes with a list price of $2,499. It is a desktop 3D printer that can be thought of as a beefed-up version of the original Replicator.
It comes with a significant increase in build volume, speed, and design over the earlier model.
The inbuilt workflow features are more beneficial to 3D Professionals. It is also much quieter than the previous edition and targeted to the higher end of the 3D Printing market.
Salient Features and Design
Because the all-black MakerBot Replicator+ is so huge (16.2 x 17.4 x 20.8 inches HWD), it’s best kept on its own bench or table.
It is 35 pounds and 6 ounces in weight. It has open sides, top, and front with a sturdy yet open frame. This allows viewing of ongoing printing as the print bed is easily accessible.
Its build volume is 25% greater than its earlier model, measuring 6.5 x 11.6 x 7.6 inches. It also prints faster by up to 30 percent, as per MakerBot.
MakerBot sells 1.75mm PLA filament in spools weighing 2 pounds at $48 for the standard colors with the MakerBot Replicator+.
And at $65 for filaments of colors such as translucent, neon and some custom specialty colors.
The price is at the top of the PLA price range, though it’s comparable to what one pays for the Ultimaker’s 3mm filament that is thicker.
MakerBot’s new Tough PLA is also compatible with the MakerBot Replicator+. This is a composite type of PLA sold in 3 spools along with Tough PLA Smart Extruder+. The cost of this bundle is $379.
Tough PLA is a robust but flexible material that is ideal for professionals such as engineers and specialist designers. They expect more durability and consistency in printing.
To load the filament, slip in the end part of the filament into the extruder’s top. Make sure the extruder is hot enough and then press the Load Filament button on the control panel. Gears will get hold of the filament and drag it ahead once it’s far enough inside. The unloading process is much simpler.
Magnets keep the extruder in place. Hooking or unhooking the Smart Extruder+ is a breeze to install and remove.
What distinguishes the Smart Extruder+ from other extruders? For starters, it identifies when the filament material has run out. The printing is paused; otherwise, one would have to discard the output.
Notifications are pushed to both the MakerBot Desktop program. A copy is also sent to the MakerBot Mobile Apps for both iOD and Android devices.
Connecting to Printer
The MakerBot Replicator+ comes with a decent selection of connecting options. With the MakerBot Mobile software installed, one may print from a PC through W-Fi, USB, or Ethernet.
Users can also connect and print using a tablet or phone over Wi-Fi. A USB pen drive, which slides into a port to the LCD’s right side, can also be used to print using files. No other 3D printer has so many connectivity features.
Printing and Control Software
The new MakerBot Print app may be as simple or as complex as you like. Just open a print file and start printing.
Users can also save their multi-faceted projects and print files to USB drives or other storage. This way Users can manage the print process as they want to.
By default the resolution is about 200 microns. Yet, one can fine tune it to Higher (100 microns) for better quality.
MakerBot Mobile includes a built-in CAD feature. This allows users to control print projects from their tablets and smartphones. The app is required to set up the Replicator+; connecting the printer via the p2p protocol. Though it is not easy to try this, once one gets a hang of it, it is so much useful.
Printing using the Makerbot Replicator+
With the MakerBot Replicator, the print quality can vary from good to exceptional all through. It can geometric objects for testing better than usual, with the only small defect being a minor bowing at the base.
One can get misprints when printing from a USB pendrive. Though printing the same over a wired connection is not an issue.\
Noise Levels and Safety
There is a safety issue with open-frame printers when using the extruder. One can get burned if by mistake touch the extruder when it is hot.
The issue does not exist in the Replicator+ as the nozzle of the extruder is located at the back of the extruder frame.
It is difficult to reach it from most sides, the carriage that grips and moves the assembly of the extruder prevents access from the top as well. This design adds an element of safety to any open-frame printer, and ensure all users can safely use it.
The Replicator+, like most other 3D printers, emits a variety of sounds, from strange electronic tunes to the revving of its motors. Yet, it’s a lot quieter than the previous Replicator models.
The MakerBot Replicator+ comes with enhanced speed, quieter operation, and an expansive build area. The amazing software apps allow managing projects as well as print files from different platforms.
Thus, this makes this model a fitting successor to the Replicator Desktop. MakerBot’s novel Tough PLA filament is compatible with the Replicator+. As a top-end general-use 3D printer built for Professionals, it’s still easy enough for hobbyists and individuals.
The Replicator+ defeats other high end 3D printers in terms of sheer convenience.