• Pasha Alpeyev

    Thank you for a balanced and nuanced piece. As a newcomer to 3D printing who started with the Rep 2, I found myself nodding in agreement a lot.

    One more thing should be included: the Makerbot community.
    While MBI chooses to use Google Groups instead of running a proper forum, the people who congregate there are genuinely helpful. Personally, if it weren’t for their kind support I would have long since given up.

    This is also an important point when considering the alternatives, especially those fresh out of the Kickstarter campaign.

  • http://www.facebook.com/glenn.walters.391 Glenn Walters

    I have to say that my experience with the Rep 2 has been almost identical. We’ve had one in our shop for four months now and have about 250 hours of build time on it. It took about two weeks to get acceptable builds out of the device and the level of hacking it required was not something the average newbie would feel comfortable with. Makerbot has incorporated several poor design decisions (the extruder debacle is just the most widely publicized) and the printer we received was defective out of the box due to careless assembly.
    It has definitely been a love/hate relationship — awesome builds interspersed with inexplicable failures followed by unacceptable downtime. Unlike Moheeb, my experience with Makerbot tech support has not been ideal. Once I am talking with someone, they are helpful. However, I went a week with no response to an online request for help, called in, was assured a repair part would go out by the next day, and it still hadn’t shipped a week later. In my opinion, Makerbot should just call all of their products “Experimental”. The average person who is getting into 3D printing because of the media hype will very likely be disappointed by the experience.
    I’m just waiting to see the discarded Rep 2’s start showing up at garage sales so that I can scoop them up for the parts!

  • http://www.facebook.com/printo.steak Printo Steak

    Thanks for your first huge overview you and MB R2 it´s read you had a lot of fun :) .So the package is very,very poor (technical) for more then 2.100 USD ) When you search a 1/2 hour then i found this : 4 x Nema1 Motors @45 € , 4 x Top Motordriver + last edge of a 2013 1 x Controlboard @300 €, Mech.Axe,Beltdrive ,div.Top small Parts as Microswitch ,Cooler ever t´Titan screws andonised and wireing @250 € , a 20 x 30 bed hot / Mirror as bed , and the latest 2013/3 nice Hot End @200 € , 12/24 Powersupply for constant curr. > over 24 h , Print Body MK7 and Mainprinthead ReRap parts or Download , Body-Frame lets say Aloy or similar @100 € = more or less max. all in Top Hardware >>>900.- € >>>no P&P inkl.Tax/Europa for what they charge 2100 USD ? .Old Hardware Controller Bord and the fun out of it is just a single nozzle.. run qiut well , don´t dream for 2-nd Nozzle for color or thinner Material to support contruction , steering cooler / heater , see if error occurs on div. power circus end few more useful things…and you can build a secure and very open FDM Printer for future need.
    If MBI (in this case) is the reference Maschine and works like the Play dough from Mattel then go for Mattel´s play 3D printer its much cheaper and makes fun:) .
    As far i see there are a handful out of the shelf FDM Printer up to 2.000 USD which it is worth to follow . A good concept of RepRap FDM Printer and a mechanic well chosen from the shelf works good if there printed Objects are quit small not very much on details and single color….but who needs x pair of 8 cm Flowerpots …

    so far on this Print-O-Steak

  • CornGolem

    I have an R2 from may 2013 and the first day it printed 8 models perfectly and 1 with some strings caught in the layers. What impressed me was that it extruded perfectly right after reaching the temperature while with the Ultimaker I had to attempt 2 or 3 times before I got a good extrusion the PLA quality might be in cause I don’t know yet. Of course there are many things that I don’t like about it. It could easily be much better.

    • http://twitter.com/virgilvox Moheeb Zara

      I suspect this error occurs because the ultimaker has a larger nozzle (wider dispersal of heat) and a bowden extruder drive. With the Ultimaker at our lab we run into issues where the bowden clamp comes loose or there just isn’t enough tension to push it. Its a funky design. The PLA quality is fairly on par. Though the ultimaker uses 3mm, so that may be a factor.

      You’ll eventually need it so…I’m still gonna go ahead and suggest you get/print that extruder upgrade. Especially since Makerbot offers it for free now :)

  • Jake Dambergs

    As a recent Makerbot 2x customer, I would agree with Moheeb’s review. Possibly the most accurate assessment of MB products I have read. The big selling feature for me was the massive active online user community and MB’s Thingiverse.com website which they continue to develop actively. Their printers are not the best by a long shot, but the community surrounding them makes up for this to some degree. MB is also as far as I know the only printer manufacturer offering one on one telephone support (if I’m wrong on this I’d be very interested in hearing who else does).

    Excellent review Mr. Zara.

  • Sharon Brackett

    Thanks for the plug for the top mount spool holder! Made my day! I have a second tier mount here http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:94691 which more than doubles the capacity.

  • C8H10N4O2FTW

    Thanks for the overview. I experienced the exact frustrations you described with respect to the TOM and I’ve been hesitant to commit to the R2X. How many prints are you able to do before you have to shutdown for maintenance? Was the print quality comparable after maintenance? About how much time did it take to run through maintenance?

  • http://joshjingles.ca Josh Ingleby

    Mentioned above is a secondary fan for the blower…Is this a second blower fan upgrade or simply the 2 fans that come with the rep2?

    I’ve heard about adding a second air cooling duct but have not found an upgrade. Do you have a link to an upgrade like this by chance?

    Thanks. Good honest description of the printer above. I agree with your points.

  • http://www.highpowersecurity.com Daniel DeMerchant

    I have done a few mods to make my Replicator 2 much better than what I started with. When I first got the machine, I had a problem early on with like the fourth print that I did on it… one that let to an improvement that vastly improved the unit. I thought that I could run the printer unattended, which later I found out that this really is a pipe dream mainly because of filament tangles. Despite this, during the fourth print, I created a big blob of plastic to be gummed up all around the print nozzle as I was not there watching it. I thought that I had really damaged the machine and it took a few hours to clean it all out of the nozzle and using a hot air desoldering gun, I was able to remove all of the glob. During the removal I ended up ripping off and wrecking the insulation around the print head. After this, I tried printing without the installation, and nothing was stable. So I ran down to Home Depot, actually purchased some real, aluminum foil covered insulation, and after a few trials was able to cut a piece with a pair of scissors that fit perfectly around the print head. This insulation is thicker and has a higher R factor than the factory installed installation layer. I used some wire to tie up the installation an keep it in place, then re-assembled the print head assembly. I was shocked to find that the print head heated up way faster, was entirely more consistent and the temperature never drops during prints, which used to happen even with the factory insulation installed. During prints with the factory insulation I would loose like 5 degrees or so during printing. After the upgrade, it stays consistent at the set temperature. My friends and employees are amazed at the consistency and productivity I am getting out of the machine after this mod. A couple of other small tips, take off the stupid fan grill that is over the front of the fan on the front of the print head. This grill is only held on by two screws and really does not fit properly, it looks like amateur hour at the factory. They should have made this a better fit. You will have to put a thick washer in both places once you remove the grill but the airflow is probably better. Another tip, light oil on guide rods and turning pulleys… they get dry after a while and the machine starts squeaking during printing. Always print at a slower speed than default and consider lower temperatures for smaller items and higher temps for larger well supported prints. Lastly, never print in fine resolution, I just could not seem to make the printer perform well at .10mm levels. Now if I can just solve the filament problem so that it does not tangle, then I could run unattended… really a drag. Even after building multiple filament holders, I am find out that you need to wind small amounts on narrower spools to prevent tangling… I can’t really believe that Makerbot has the Rep 18X where they advertise unattended printing and even give you a camera to view your messed up print with no improvement in filament feeding system… good luck!

  • Mike Scott

    What printer would you recommend for a newbie?