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130 of 140 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makerbot Replicator 2...a creative persons dream machine....
I actually purchased the 2X for work (2 head, 2 color) 3D printer for work. It was such an incredible tool I bought a Replicator 2 for my house. What can I say? This thing can make almost anything. Well, there is a learning curve to do that. First, this is a revision 1 machine and that means it comes with all the problems a first release will have. Some issues can be as...
Published 15 months ago by Jay E. Raxter

versus
625 of 636 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bleeding Edge Technology (Review Updated 8/2/2013!)
First, if you buy this thing, understand that you are not buying a fancy coffee maker or tablet PC. In order to be happy with it, you need to have correct expectations. This is cutting edge technology, and it will both delight and disappoint you. Life with a 3D printer is filled with highs and lows. The highs are very high, and the lows are very low.

When I...
Published 14 months ago by P. McWhorter


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625 of 636 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bleeding Edge Technology (Review Updated 8/2/2013!), May 29, 2013
By 
This review is from: MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer
First, if you buy this thing, understand that you are not buying a fancy coffee maker or tablet PC. In order to be happy with it, you need to have correct expectations. This is cutting edge technology, and it will both delight and disappoint you. Life with a 3D printer is filled with highs and lows. The highs are very high, and the lows are very low.

When I unboxed my new Replicator 2, the first thing I did was level the build platform, load the spool of filament, and then clicked print from the button on the front panel. I printed out the bolt and nut demo. It printed perfectly. I was overjoyed . . . a perfect plastic nut and bolt printed from a 3D printer. Then I printed the chain and the little bust statue of the woman. Life was good, and I was excited about the new possibilities that this printer would add to my electronics projects and other hobby projects.

My euphoria was short lived. First thing I noticed was that when I did my first design, it printed one out properly, but on the second one failed in the middle of the print. Then I started having difficulty with parts not sticking to the build plate, and peeling off during fabrication. Then I noticed that it could not print ANY designs in certain colors of filament (orange was the worst for me). Then at about the one and a half month point, it simply would not print anything.

Luckily, there is a very active user community for this printer, and if you get on the google user group for this printer, you can find the known issues, and solutions to keep the printer running. The print head is improperly designed, and it is not uncommon for it to fail in the first few months (as mine has). You can order aftermarket print heads that solve the problems. Another major issue is that the build plate is acrylic, and is not flat enough. The solution is to order an aftermarket glass build plate. Other people have had issues with flexing in the cables connecting to the drive motors leading to failure, and other issues as well.

The bottom line is that if you are a tinkerer/builder/maker type person, you will probably love this printer. You need to view this device as a Project, not a Product. It takes work and research and tweaking and tinkering to keep it working, and to get it to do what you want. When it is working, life is good. When it is spitting out air prints, you rue the day you ever bought it.

For me, it works well enough, enough of the time for me to give it a thumbs up. Just make sure to keep your expectations in check if you order it.

UPDATE 7/13/2013

I have performed several upgrades to my printer. Makerbot has redesigned the print head, and provided me with an upgraded version, which I have installed. I also have installed the aftermarket ultra-flat build plate which I purchased from ebay. The combination of the redesigned printhead and the flat build plate have the printer up and running again. I am able to build designs which I was not able to before the upgrades.

Another development that has resulted in improvements in this product is makerbot's release of Version 2.2.1 of makerware, the software that runs the printer. This new version of makerware is a major upgrade, with several tangible benefits to the user. First, it preps the files for high resolution printing MUCH faster. Second, it has improved the performance of its high resolution print capability. I have been blown away by the smoothness of parts printed with this new software set on high resolution mode.

So, I am pleased that the printer is back up and running, with improved build plate and redesigned print head, but I am still experiencing fairly routine failed prints. Potentially my print head is clogged. I will need to disassemble and diagnose the problem. As I stated in the original review . . . this device is a project, not a product. I enjoy it as a hobby, but I would hate for it to be in my critical path on a real project.

I will say that if you are contemplating a 3D printer, this is definitely the unit to buy. Stay tuned, and feel free to ask questions in the comments section.

UPDATE 8/2/2013
I am sorry if this review is turning out to be a running saga of my ownership of this printer, but here is the latest info. I started getting failed prints again, due to sudden horizontal shifts in the printing. I was able to diagnose the problem as a failure in the ribbon cable going from the motherboard to the X-axis stepper motor. This cable is constantly flexed as you print, and the cable is not one designed to be constantly flexed. Makerbot support was helpful and has sent me a new cable. The printer is working again, although the other issue I had was a clogged print head, which I was able to get cleaned out.

Let me pause and summarize for you here what I have learned so far, and hopefully this will help you if you order this printer (which I do still recommend)

1) Make sure you have the upgraded extruder arm on your Replicator Two print head. I got mine from Makerbot, and I am hopeful that they are shipping the Replicator 2's with the redesigned head now, but if you do not have the new extruder arm, this is a MUST.
2) Order the aftermarket glass build plate. I got mine off ebay. To get models to stick to the build plate, spray the build plate with aquanet hair spray, let it dry. Now, your builds will stick to the plate, and you can get big builds without error.
3) If you have prints fail in the middle of the print because all of the sudden material does not want to extrude, and if you have upgraded the extruder arm, your problem is probably a clogged print head. This happens periodically. You can clear it by heating the head using the load/unload filament menu, and digging from the topside with a toothpick, and running a small pin, wire, or tiny drill bit up from the bottom side while the head is hot. This clears things up for me no trouble.
4) If you start experiencing failures because or horizontal offsets in the printing midprint, you are probably getting a failure in the x-axis ribbon cable. This has happened to many folks and happened to me. Makerbot support was great and sent me a new one. When I installed the new one (simple five minute job), I did not neatly tuck the cable away, but let it "dangle" from the stepper motor. This virtually eliminates the flexing in the cable, and I hope will make this cable last a lot longer.

These are all tips I learned from other people, but thought it would be helpful to summarize them in one spot.
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130 of 140 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makerbot Replicator 2...a creative persons dream machine...., May 3, 2013
This review is from: MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer
I actually purchased the 2X for work (2 head, 2 color) 3D printer for work. It was such an incredible tool I bought a Replicator 2 for my house. What can I say? This thing can make almost anything. Well, there is a learning curve to do that. First, this is a revision 1 machine and that means it comes with all the problems a first release will have. Some issues can be as simple as not leveling (tramming) the build plate correctly to machines that are DOA. This is a complicated device with both electronics and mechanical devices that can be knocked out of alignment because of rough shipping. They (Makerbot) were also having teething issues with both machines. Loose screws, random items installed incorrectly, an extruder with a problematic tension system. Here's the thing that I found out when I got mine. Some people have a problem with "X" and yet other people never have a problem with "X"....the only thing that was repeatable was the Delrin Extruder needed to be upgraded..it was so apparent that Makerbot now sells the upgrade (but aren't putting in the machines yet probably because they need to get rid of parts inventory). There is also a learning curve on the software. You need to be able to use basic CAD. That's the reason you want a 3D printer right? Various CAD out there..some free (Google SketchUp OpenScad) but I like Cubify Invent. $50 is cheap for a full CAD and Invent is great because it was built from the ground up for 3D printing...not designing houses or modify Ford engines. Then you have to have a mechanical bend to you....you can't just sacrifice a chicken and cool parts fall out of the printer.

Now, after all that you're probably thinking "Wait..he gave it 5 stars?"

Sure did...I own a machine shop with large CNC equipment...but the Replicator is an entirely new way of producing goods. Not only that but I work with CAD all day...so, for me, it's easy to sit down and design art...or print out scanned works of art...or make small parts for around the house...you are (almost) only limited in your imagination. There is also soft rubbery filament you can get, wooden plastic filament, and nylon (STRONG!) filament you can buy. Even though this tech has been around since the 80's and there are professional machines out there that can do incredible things, only within the last few months has their been a product/price point like this. Yes, the kits have been around for a while (2?3? years?) but I wanted something I could take out of the box and learn on. My 2X was making parts from the minute I turned it on. I have sold 2 jobs at work on it and produced in house test jigs for several products we make.

Again, this is not a magic box that you wave a wand at and loving goodness falls out. This is a tool every bit as useful and complicated as a minature CNC machine. You need a certain skill set or the willingness to learn. If you're an artist you'll need to learn some mechanical skills but I know of 3 people on Google Groups who are already selling original artwork from theirs.

"Tea, Earl Gray, Hot" (if you get the reference you need to go order one right now....)
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Mini-Review, March 19, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer
I’ve been itching to get into 3D printing for some time now but had never taken the plunge previously due to the high cost and high maintenance required to keep a 3D printer in spec.

That said, my purchase of the Makerbot Replicator 2 was an impulse buy. I just got a wild hair up mabutt and clicked the “Add to Cart”, then removed it, then added it back several times during the day. Once Amazon’s site displayed the message, “Order in the next 6 seconds and get it by Friday 14 March 2014”, I went ahead and purchased it because at that point, it was less a desire for a 3D Printer and more of a battle to see if I could add it to my cart and check out in 6 seconds. (I succeeded, BTW. Curse you Jeff Bezos for making it so easy!)

Fast forward to Friday the 14th of March when it arrived.

Unboxing:

The unit arrived in a well-packed cardboard box. The first thing one sees when opening the box is the Owner’s manual. It sits in a recessed cut-out in a large cardboard piece that sits on top of everything else in the box. Removing that cardboard “layer” exposes the 3D Printer itself. There was plenty of protection for the unit, and its internal parts (the rods and belts and gears) were secured via plastic, snap-on bars and several large, thick zip ties.

Assembly & Setup:

Since the first thing you see when opening the box is the owner’s manual I got the distinct impression the manufacturer wanted me to actually read it prior to assembly and setup. How dare they insult my geekiness! (I did follow the instructions because breaking a $2500 printer trumps gaining a few geek points) Assembly of the unit was painless and straightforward. The manual covered just about every step of the process with the only exception being “when” to connect the USB cable from the printer to the computer. (This is, btw, just an option…you do not “need” to ever connect it to a computer)

Note on PLA vs. ABS Plastic

PLA plastic is a biodegradable plastic filament made from corn or some crap like that. Printing with PLA plastic is a bit easier than ABS since its melt behavior is a bit more predictable, or so I gather from reading on various sites. It is also stronger than ABS Plastic but there is a drawback... it’s more brittle than ABS Plastic. When ABS parts are repeatedly "bent", they flex back and forth until they eventually fail. PLA Plastic will snap rather than bend and eventually fail. I’ve heard it said by people with more sensitive noses than mine that PLA Plastic, when printing, smells faintly like pancakes. ABS plastic smells like, well, nasty, old burning plastic. We all know that smell so if I’m going to spend 5+hours printing out some complex part I’d rather smell flapjacks than some toxic, puke-inducing ABS smell any day…

Initial Power Up:

Powering on the unit for the first time runs what I call the “First Run Start-Up Script”. It walks you through the process of leveling the build plate (where the printed items sit) and feeding in the filament to the extruder head, and printing a test piece.

Leveling the Build Plate:

Leveling the build plate is the single most important part of owning a 3D Printer. If you screw this part up, you’re going to have a bad day, mmkay? Go back and read the previous sentence again. Twice. Leveling the build plate ensures the extruder head prints the PLA Plastic in just the right amount. If the build plate is too close to the extruder, the PLA plastic cannot be extruded. If it’s too far away, the printed plastic is too “stringy” and does not adhere to the layer underneath. There is also another reason it is so important to level the build plate. The build plate is created from Acrylic. Even though it is relatively thick it can, and will, warp over time from being heated in one area while remaining cold in others. Some may see this cost saving step as a detriment, but I do not. It’s simply the laws of economics. Some corners had to be cut to keep the cost affordable. This was one of those cut corners. There are glass build plates available for ~$99-$109 depending on where you buy it and I do recommend purchasing one if you’re going to put the printer through heavy use cycles. I also recommend using the mfg.-supplied blue painter’s tape on the build plate. It makes removing parts easier and protects the surface of the build plate. I also recommend purchasing about 20 of these strips (less than $30 at the mfg.’s site)

Printing your first piece:

Printing one of the designs from the included SD card the printer ships with is probably the best way to see if the printer is properly setup and operational. I recommend the forever bracelet and the nut & bolt. Both put the printer through its paces and provide you with an idea what they are capable of doing.

Mfg-supplied Software:

The software is not included. You must go to the mfg site and download the software. It is basic print-only software. It does not allow you to “create” or “edit” files. You can print it or save it in a different format.

3D CAD Software:

There are many different kinds of free 3D CAD software out there so I will not cover all of them. I haven’t touched a CAD program since 1990 so I am approaching this as someone who is brand new to CAD and just wants to get started making things, rather than getting an engineering degree before I even power the printer up. I will cover only the ones I tried, and I my “rating” of them is, at best, subjective and based on my personal learning curve…YMMV, obviously, depending on your experiences with CAD software.

1 – Blender (Freeware)
Pro: Very powerful! Tons and tons of options and capabilities!
Con: Overly complicated for the “Novice” user, in my opinion. To me, it was a PITA compared to the other CAD programs, TBH. I could print everything I ever wanted to print using the other programs below before I could master this software enough to design & print 1 item.

2 – 123Make/Design (Free online version. Design stuff right in your browser!)
Pro: Surprisingly easy to get started with and create stuff quickly.
Con: It sometimes doesn’t want to let you download what you created. It’s not so much a case where it wants you to upgrade to the premium account…the wwb site just has some "eccentric" idiosyncrasies you must deal with, though they are tolerable enough that I often use this program.

3 -- TinkerCAD(Free online version. Design stuff right in your browser!)
Pro: Also surprisingly easy to use and also able to quickly get stuff created.
Con: Not “quite” as powerful as the 123 software, though it is close enough that I use it as much as the 123 software. I use this about 50% of the time and the 123 software the other 50%. Often times, I'll create in this program, then "tweak" the design in 123 since it allows a little more fine-grain control.

CAD Software Summary:

In case you haven’t guessed by now, I use #’s 2 & 3 most often. When I’m done with what I’m designing, I save/download the file as a .stl file and import that into the Makerbot print software. I could also copy the .stl file to the SD card and put it into the SD Card reader on the printer and print out the part without using the computer at all. (In case I want to get some gaming in while watching my print)

Failed Prints:

I have had 2 prints fail. In each case, however, the failure was my design, not a defect in the printer.

Failure 1 – In the first instance, I started printing a part and realized that, because of my poor design, there would be an un-supported section that would most likely fail, so I stopped the print. (Think of “printing” a wall with a doorway…if you printed it lying down, as a flat surface, it’d look like a flat square with a missing section, where the doorway is located. If you print it oriented vertically, the “arch” of the doorway is not supported and the plastic would dip down and ruin the print, so I stopped the print process about 1 minute into the print so I could design in support for the archway of the door)

Failure 2 – In the second failure, it was due to my forgetfulness. I have an Ultra USB 3.0 USB to SATA Adapter so I created a USB 3.0 Docking Station to put it in so I can hot swap my spare SSDs. In the design phase, I realized it needed an internal width of 1mm larger than I initially drew it... When I went back into the program to widen it, I got sidetracked with adding some bells and whistles to the design and completely forgot to widen it, lol.

Sources of 3D Objects:

Thingiverse is a major repository of 3D Designs you can access and download to print or modify. There are thousands and thousands of designs available and you may find what you want to print has already been created, thereby saving you much time and effort. Additionally, there are many conversion programs available that convert one file type into another so even if the item you want is in a different format, you may be able to export or convert it to a language the Replicator 2 can print

My impressions after having used it for four days:

I’m happy with the purchase thus far. And, I’m also cognizant of the fact these printers require maintenance and replacement parts on a fairly regular basis…which increases their cost of ownership. It’s something you should keep in mind as well unless you have $2500 to just throw away.

I’m having a lot of fun designing and making things, and I’m learning CAD skills as I go along. The more stuff I make, the more I think, “Gee, I want to make one of those XXXX too!!!”.

I started with only the goal of printing some fan grills, case parts, and air ducts for my computer. My list has grown to 60+ items I now want to make, and the list keeps growing and growing and growing…This is a good sign because it means I plan on using the heck out of this printer…and I’d better be using the heck out of this printer for the price I paid…
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97 of 117 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Warning: Poor printing. Poor service. No returns., June 25, 2013
This review is from: MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer
This was my second makerbot. I had a cupcake CNC so I wasn't new to 3D printing. This item printed horribly from day one with a major Y-axis problems. After over 1 week of me servicing the item and 15 hours later, the printer still didn't work. Makerbot in 99% of cases does not accept returns. They will refurbish a new $2000+ item and mail it back to you at your expense both ways. This is the extent of their support.

They did finally agree to a return with me again paying shipping both ways and charging a 4% stocking fee. Look at their terms at makerbot.com. Do not support a company with these policies or you may be out a significant chunk of change for a broken, unsupported item.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Looking for somebody that likes puppies, long walks on the beach...and has lot of patience:), August 13, 2013
By 
some guy "Jason" (Mesa, AZ United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer
OK. This is just too big and complex of a purchase not to put some words down for potential Replicator 2 owners.

First let me say, I am in tinkerer heaven with this machine and somewhere in technological and logistical purgatory.

A bit of background might be in order. I am more from the designer/filmmaker background and not so much of a technological person. I love to tinker, but learning new software and reading manuals is tough on my brain. I have been designing houses and products in Sketchup Pro for years and am having some growing pains trying to get into higher level 3d programs and more intense CAD programs.

Why is this important? Because with all of my challenges and the temperamental nature of 3d printing, I'm having a great time with the Replicator 2. I have been printing the spools off of this thing and my kids are having a great time.

Much of what I started with were the simple gadgets and gizmos that came on the included SD cards, but I have since moved on to things printed off of Thingiverse using the Makerbot software. I had a few hits and misses, but went back to Standard settings and just using default settings and things have been working out really well. I would say I'm at about an 80% success rate. Not all failings are the printers fault as well. Part is due to my impatient nature.

Mostly I bought this printer so that I could start my wristwatch company again and get back to working on design prototypes without paying thousands to have an industrial designer help out and then send them off to a print service. I'm HAPPY to report that I've printed many copies of my first watch from SKetchup and was even able to add working parts to it in order to make it a working prototype. That alone has made the whole purchase worthwhile. A couple more projects like this and the printer will have paid for itself (even though, I still think it could be a little less expensive, because of the competition coming from other companies). That said, you get what you pay for and it seems that I've gotten a lot in my opinion.

Right now, as I type this the Replicator 2 is churning out another watch band for my ipod nano. I had one break on me, when I was trying to remove the rafts (learn what this is and use it) after the print was complete.

As for problems, there have been a few, but were easily fixed...even by me:) Tech support has been good at getting back to me and the PDF manual has tons of good stuff. Also, there are so many videos and such to help out when you get stuck.

I had the print head freeze up already. After freaking out for a bit and cursing the thing back to hell, I settled down, found some info on what might be wrong and set about taking off the fan and extruder. Just as was thought, there was some built-up plastic jamming things up in the extruder. After a couple minutes with needle nose pliers, I was able to put it back together, plug it in and get back to having fun. NOTE: Having to take it apart once actually gave me a better feel for how this thing is built and less scared to take it apart in the future.

So, why the 4 stars and not 5? Well, nothing is perfect and this thing is far from it. HOWEVER, when it's working and I'm paying attention and showing patience it is doing almost everything that I ask of it. It's not going to make very salable products for me, but when it comes to design prototyping and making the kids happy, it is all worth it.

RANDOM TIPS AND NOTES:

-Take the time to read every page of the owner's manual.
-Find as much other info as you can.
-Print the sample files first, just to get a feel for print speed, resolution, etc.
-Use Rafts as much as possible. Especially on long, low objects.
-If you buy JustPla filment you will want to print the holder that someone has posted on Thingiverse.
-Download a boat load of stuff to print from Thingivers and practice.
-JustPla's filament seems to work fine. The quality is fine, but it can be a bit inconsistent. I've had a knot of sorts mid-way through a spool and my latest spool has a few feet that are fairly wobbly and kinked, but it's easy to get and affordable and seems to print fine. I have four colors from them and all seems ok. Again, they wont fit the factory spool for the replicator and neither will the Sainsmart(?) I sent that back because of the cardboard spool.
-DeltaMaker filament seems pretty good. I've used it a lot. It fits on the stock spool holder, but what I don't like about the stock spool is how far it sets the spool out from the printer. I don't think it really does anything bad, but it just seems odd to me.
-pay attention to load and unload the filament properly and save yourself headaches.
-I use the blue Scotch tape sheets on all my prints after having various problems with either side of the print platform.
-Makerbots filament seems like the best so far. I've never ordered extra from them, so I can't speak to the shipping speed that others spoke of.
-Keep the machine away from cats if possible:)
-Canned air is your friend.
-If you're printing in a carpeted room, discharge your static electricity before playing around with the printer. I've had no problems, but have had a couple of tiny zaps from static. Doesn't seem too harmful, but since there's an SD card and such, why take chances.
-LEVEL THE PLATFORM from time to time. It stays pretty level most of the time, but just for good measure I go through the two minute process every few prints, just in case. It's a pain to get through and hours print and not have noticed that something is bunged up, because the platform wasn't leveled.
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106 of 135 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dud out of the box with very little support from Makerbot., June 20, 2013
This review is from: MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer
My company had a requirement for some light prototyping and thought this product would be a perfect fit. We purchased the unit with the extended warranty and set it up last week. The unit will print for the first couple of minutes and then just stop dispensing material. We have not been able to get a complete build as of yet. I can tell that we have spent well over 16 hours troubleshooting (myself as well as other engineers) this machine. Since it was a a brand new machine I would of expected Makerbot to just replace it but instead they drowned us in pointless step by step troubleshooting instructions that were given to us over the course of 3 days to no avail. We have done everything from take the print heads completely apart to update the software to a new 7.3 version. Now we are spending more time taking the heads off the machine and sending them back to Makerbot to rebuild. This is all on a brand new machine!!
BTW there is no exchange or return policy if you open the box you are stuck with that machine. There are other companies out there that have better return polices and product support. Look Elsewhere!!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Top Notch Support Team!, August 7, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer
The makerbot rep 2 suffers from reliability issues. I speak of this first hand as I am the owner of 2. First unit arrived with a motherboard failure and it was sent back to their NY HQ for replacement. Then the endstop switch broke, print head went out of alignment and so forth. We were in the middle of a project, so we decided to pick up another one in the meantime. The printer arrived brand new from Amazon sold by Makerbot, and after printing just one part, it quits with heating failure #4. Nevertheless I am deeply disappointed to say the least. I wouldn't recommend the Makerbot Replicator 2.

Updated: Round 2 of new problematic Makerbot.
First up I need to give credit to where credit is due. David Kim is an excellent tech and is extremenely helpful. However it doesn't diminish the fact that this is a sub par design with fallible parts right out of the box. My new makerbot would not extrude and the filament is jammed. I was instructed to preheat and push the jammed filament out. It turns out that the filament is caked on good and won't even budget with heat. I even tried to push the caked on filament out with a hex tool and no luck. Now I have 6K worth of machines dead in my office.

Final update:
Parts arrived and the faulty bar mount was replaced. Thanks to a YouTube video, replacing the bar mount was pretty painless. Happy to report that Makerbot has been printing non-stop for 3 days now. Like a champ!
I've changed my initial one star to four stars for one sole reason - Makerbot support team is top notch and very helpful. They even overnight the parts to us just to make sure that we got the parts in time. Would I still recommend the Makerbot Rep 2? A cautionary YES. You just need to be prepared to take the unit apart and fix it on your own with the help of their support team. It is still much like a hobby machine where much tinkering and tuning are needed to make it run 100%. If you are not willing to get your hands dirty so to speak, this machine may not be for you.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Heating Error #4, November 12, 2013
This review is from: MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer
So Ive had the machine for a week now and it will not successfully print anything. Ive watched youtube videos and adjusted thermocoupler wiring, updated firmware, and restored factory settings all to no avail. I contacted Makerbot support and their best guess is that the wiring the machine was shipped with is bad. They want to send me new wires and have me rewire my brand new $2200 machine... WTF... They dont even know for a fact that will fix it but they said that theres a 90% chance. I knew I was rolling the dice with this product and its really my fault for thinking maybe the company had fixed all the little bugs and issues from some of the earlier negative reviews Id read. Guess not. If their support team comes through and surprizes me with a fix and the machine works great after this I may update my review but as of right now I have an expensive paperweight that Im regretting purchasing. Please dont buy this product...
UPDATE 11/14/13
After speaking with Makerbot support this morning Ive decided this printer is not for me. If this part is failing right out of the box imagine whats in store 6 months down the road. I figured itd be best to cut my losses now because I realize this company is more than happy to help you fix your printer as long as you are willing to continue to pay. So the guys over there said theyd take back the printer that never worked but I have to pay a restocking fee and Im out the very expensive insured shipping charges... when I spoke with Shikira in support she explained to me that the wiring they ship the machines with is not as good as the wiring that they will send you to fix your machine so my question to this company is why ship your machine with substandard crappy parts to begin with? I dont want to become a makerbot repair wizard. If you want a project printer that doesnt work out of the box this is your machine. Im not the only one. Trust me. Just watch all the youtube videos and read the reviews. DO NOT BUY!!!!
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst printer., November 15, 2013
This review is from: MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer
Now, to prefix I've build 20+ printers, I own two, and I'm designing my own. I know my printers. This has got to be hands down the worst printer I have used.
It comes out of the box fine and prints great. Initially you will be impressed, but then the trouble starts.

The extruder jams constantly. CONSTANTLY. This is due to more bad design choices that I care to list. I have tried everything to get this to go reliably from custom addons-to oiling the filament before it goes in, and I have just learned to accept that I will have to try three or four times to get a print.

The XY stage is terrible. The printer might have a steel frame, but all the parts that actually move are injection molded plastic of the absolute lowest quality. I mean, there is a visible 1cm sag on the Z stage molding. So what happens is that you. A. have to oil it constantly due to the cheapest brass bushings you can imagine. and B. it wobbles like that song about wobbling. It shows on the prints, surfaces are never uniform like you'd expect.

Terrible electronics. The ribbon cable that drives the X-carriage will break. It will, this is a fact. You will have to repair this after about 100 hours of printing. Then after another 100 hours, you will have to repair it again. The way it holds the cable in place flexes it thousands of times a print in one spot. This wears the cable out and breaks it. It is also the incorrect type of ribbon cable to use in this situation to begin with. I don't get the impression that the makerbot engineers have the slightest idea what they're doing anymore. The main control board is also frighteningly easy to fry. Hope you bought makercare.

The interface is nice, the software is okay.

The machine looks cool, but honestly I get the feeling they spent more money on the appearance than they did the mechanics.

Support is great if you have makercare. They are sometimes just extraordinarily slow.

Don't buy this. Get a Makergear M2.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More like a stripper then a porn star - doesn't actually put out but still nice to look at, October 20, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer
I am an architecture student and my classmates have recently bought about ten 3D printers. Makerbot is the most common but there is a good variety. I rated the makerbot replicator 2 at 4 stars because when it works other printer owners comment that my prints look so much better then theirs and because it works out of the box. Plug it in, follow a few simple steps and print a sample included! Awesome. By the time my sample was finished I had the software downloaded (they call the download "A package of Awesome" and I totally agree) and my first custom print ready to go. All these, plus reports of good customer service and year long warranty were why I bought the Makerbot Replicator 2 over other, considerably cheaper options.

BUT. After less then 20 hours of print time it started cutting off in the middle of a print. I emailed tech support on a Saturday morning and was pleasantly surprised that they got back to me right away. First was a list of directions for a little bit of dis-assembly to check for loose wires (not for the faint of heart a week after buying a $2200 machine but incredibly easy). It didn't fix it so the next email was that they were sending me replacement parts right away. So far I agree with the reputation of good customer service.

Expect problems. Just about everyone in my class that has purchased a 3D printer, makerbot and not, has had problems with it. If you need to print by a deadline don't buy ANY 3D printer the week before and think it will do the trick. Most likely, it wont. 5 of the printers in my class are makerbots and only the two makerbots purchased over the summer of them are over their problems and printing. Which is still good. Over the 11 total 3d printers owned by my classmates only 4 are working reliably and the non-makerbots have no warranty or support to help get going.

Makerbot (and all 3D printers, really) need better quality control going out the door. I mean, how many coffee makers break down when they are new? 1 in a 10,000? And 3D printers? 100%? Pretty crappy. But makerbot is still the best of it's category, and dang sexy on my desk, and once broken in (or more like fixed in) has been shown by others to work great, so 4 stars.
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MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer
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