First Impressions: MakerBot Replicator vs. MakerBot Replicator+

By Samantha Bild on

MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D PrinterDo you have a MakerBot 3D printer that you’re ready to put to use? Or are you considering purchasing a MakerBot desktop printer in the near future? We tagged along with our engineering intern Chris Brewer to compare his experience using the MakerBot Replicator with features from the newly released MakerBot Replicator+. Here’s what we found:

Before we compare the two versions, here’s a video to familiarize yourself with the original 5th Generation desktop printer, the MakerBot Replicator.

Set-Up Experience

While Chris highly recommends all new users read through the Quick Start Guide and User’s Manual to understand how to set-up a print, he said “Setting up an account was super simple. Anyone could do it!” With one press of a button to confirm set-up, the MakerBot Replicator was ready to go. Makerbot replicator fifth generation vs replicator 2

Both the Replicator and Replicator+ manual makes preparation very simple with easy-to-follow instructions and diagrams as you go. However, the Replicator+ has bonus features like an all-new guided wireless setup, paired print and mobile software for an accelerated set-up experience.

Printing Experience

Next, it was time to print! At first, Chris wasn’t having any luck with prints adhering to the build plate, making for a less-than-great first impression with the Replicator. After the second had failed print, he changed the settings and turned on the raft option. Utilizing the raft added an extra twenty minutes to his print time, which was well worth it as he experienced no problems with adhesion from that point on.

Fortunately for Chris, MakerBot’s new Replicator+ has refined technology that solves this problem. With the new Flex Build Plate and grip surface, Chris will have an easier time adhering prints. Not to mention the new MakerBot Replicator+ also has 30% faster print time and offers a 25% larger build volume. Overall, the printing experience with the Replicator+ will be more reliable, precise and ensure better performance.

See the MakerBot Replicator in action as it builds the New York City skyline, and imagine how new features from the Replicator+ would enhance this process even more

Pause/Resume Experience

Finally, Chris tested the ability to pause and resume his Replicator print at any point during the job. He thought these were helpful features, especially since he shared an office space.

Not only is the MakerBot Replicator+ quieter than the previous version, which will help limit distractions in the office, but it also has improved pause and resume features. Thanks to MakerBot mobile and cloud-enabled control, the new desktop printer can be controlled remotely.

Tips Moving Forward

Here are a few things to consider when choosing between the MakerBot Replicator and the MakerBot Replicator+:

  • Build Volume and Build Plate
  • Print Time
  • Connectivity
  • Workflow Tools
  • Software Features

Final Thoughts

Overall, Chris said that his experience with the MakerBot Replicator was a surprise. 

“The MakerBot Replicator really aided my design workflow. It was nice to print out multiple iterations at my desktop instead of sending prints directly to a Stratasys 3D printer,” said Chris. 

See the all-new MakerBot Replicator+ for yourself, and you be the judge.