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Showing 1-10 of 16 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 39 reviews
on September 8, 2017
amazing printer, awesome accuracy, great software, I mean just read reviews online by various influencers... It is pretty much as good as it gets.
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on September 26, 2016
Updated review again based on order for spare build plate and grip surface pack directly through Makerbot. I ordered on the 26th of last month (more than 30 days ago) and after a dispute with them today, canceled the order because they cannot ship until maybe next week. Makerbot store cannot tell you stock status or how long you might wait for filament or supplies for this printer. It's pathetic in 2016 to find an online store and they cannot even tell you if they can ship you parts and supplies. I'm knocking this down to 1 star. At best, it was 3 stars for an overpriced and under performing 3D printer, now it's 1 star for the worst customer experience on the planet. If you need build surface or grip packs for this printer- best of luck dealing with MakerBot. It's not that they aren't friendly, but talking on the phone does you zero good if you need parts or supplies. Find another brand that understands logistics. The MakerBot name is trash. Again, I still have an ongoing ticket with them for print quality issue (ooze, layer alignment, infill). All these others giving 5 stars are not telling you the full story long term just one month into ownership.

Ongoing longer term review updated 10/25/2016 dropped a star to 2 stars. Makerbot is unable to tell me when they might have grip surface packs and the removable build plate. This means you as a new user cannot damage your existing build surface because you have no idea for how long you might be down if you damage it. I placed the order with Makerbot the 26th of last month, I have called support numerous times about this order, I've even spoke directly to a manager at least 3-4 times in the last 2 weeks. I waited 2 weeks and again opened yet another ticket on this order for spare grip surfaces and as of this morning, got a response that basically said they don't know.
It's not that Makerbot support is not trying to help, it's that they cannot help. The company is the most disorganized I have ever seen it. Supplies, filament, and parts are a major concern going forward. On top of that, I'm still not getting comparable prints to other existing and cheaper 3D printers I own. The frustration just a month in of ownership is beyond all belief.

Review updated with new pictures 10/14/2016. Note the darker grey PLA is the new Tough PLA while the lighter pictures are the standard PLA. Also note, my machine required a repair to reduce binding in the X axis gantry. This did improve print quality significantly.
Most important, please, if you buy this printer, run the built in example test print Stretchy bracelet as soon as you get the printer. This is a great test to see quality and problems if they exist early on. If your machine does not print that test well, contact MakerBot support right away. See the first photo for what bad layer alignment looks like.

So here is the review by a trusted 3D printer enthusiast with a comparison to the previous Replicator 5th generation machines. First, let's just jump right into the hardware. The mechanics have been completely changed for the better. The Z axis cantilevered shelf is a huge piece of cast aluminum as a single piece making it one of the most stiff and rigid Z axis designs I've seen. It really cost MakerBot a lot of money and investment in this new Z axis and the components pay off. At the same time, the entire XY H-bot style motion system was changed from a single stamped plate in the previous generation, to now a series of custom made aluminum extrusions and cast end brackets for the motors and idlers. The linear bearings are canted 45 degrees to bring even more torsional rigidity to the mechanism (a know weak point of choosing H-bot over Core XY). Another huge upgrade is that the new plastic frame is made of a different plastic formulation that is much tougher, and the mounting points for all attachments are now molded in threaded brass inserts. In addition, a Z upper safety limit switch was added in case during homing, something went wrong to prevent the axis from running into the extruder. It's not used for homing, but is a nice additional safety feature. Finally, the noise reduction statements are from the change of the frame of the machine being stiffer, sound dampening material being attached to the metal panels, and the biggest one of all, rubber dampeners/isolators on the XY stepper motors. Almost forgot, the X gantry has the additional linear bearing and rail such that the moving extruder no longer hangs and can flex under the gantry as before. All of these changes represent significant engineering effort went into a serious overhaul and thus the + label is truly deserved.

All that said, it's not all roses. Due to the electronics remaining exactly the same as before, the stepper drivers are noisy as before. If you hate the "robot" sounds, it might be quieter, but it still there. Note, this sound is louder than almost every other brand I've touched (I own 42 printers of all brands and models for those who know me). I would say it's still uncomfortably loud to have on a desk next to you in a bedroom printing for hours. Also, the print quality is not great. Yes, it has printed something every time so far (I've only had it one day), but vertical layer alignment and errors like ringing (bumps at direction changes caused by flexing of components) are present in the print example files on the printer. In fact, the stretchy bracelet was the worst example where 2 sides of the object had very poor layers. I've also found that the raft was almost impossible to remove from the object. I honestly believe this error now (since the mechanic have been upgraded in the + ) is from the nozzle movement in the smart+ extruder. Basically, for Z homing, the nozzle can move up and down when it touches the bed triggering a sensor to home. That same movement is not precision such that the nozzle returns to the exact XY position every time. The return spring is intentionally weak to make homing accurate, but between required tolerance for thermal expansion and just bad design, the nozzle can wobble well more than a layer width (0.5mm from a 0.4mm nozzle) resulting in the poor vertical layer alignment. Basically, the retraction at movement to the next layer pulls the nozzle up, and allows it to move slighty in XY randomly when it begins extruding the next layer.
Another huge problem, no rubber feet!!! That right, a $2000+ printer that sits on the bottom of the frame with nothing but the plastic edges of the frame. In fact, there are protrusions on the metal plate that could damage your desk/table if not sitting flat.

So a recap: Greatly improved mechanics, frame, and overall construction. Again, hats off for this upgrade.
The bad is, the same electronics, no rubber feet, noisy, poor print quality, no heated bed, and while not "restricted" to MakerBot filament, the warning stickers put some fear into you.

I cannot deny, it printed out of the box. The setup was easy. No leveling, no adjustments. The new software is simple, and maybe somebody likes it, but a professional user is likely to be frustrated.

It a tough call here, so make your own informed decision. On one hand, this is easy for even the novice to use. Likely, you will have fair success in printing an object. If you are a pro user, if you have access to other brands of machines, you are likely to be unhappy with noise, performance, print quality, and lack of settings in the software. The real difference here is the old 5th gen, I honestly could never say it was a good printer, and definitely for the price. This new printer is greatly improved on the hardware level. It really is wonderful engineering. It's crippled by the electronics which are the root cause of the noise, and smart extruder system with the sloppy nozzle that can wiggle left and right in the down position. Fix those 2 things (and might as well say the software too given the latest release) and it might be a good printer for folks starting out.

Also, minor rant about the software. The new version is the worst ever to a pro user and maybe even to amateurs. The symbols representing actions and buttons are cryptic and it just has very, very, very, limited printed settings (raft and support on/off, infill%, and shells, layer height, and extruder type). I highly recommend you download the latest version if considering buying this printer. Don't take my word for it, see for yourself.
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1818 comments| 92 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 31, 2016
Better than the 5th Generation, the flexible build plate works great, no more painter's tape, I can print up to 2.5 times bigger.
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on December 14, 2016
The MakerBot Plus has been a disappointment. I upgraded to this printer from a MakerBot Replicator 2 and the MakerBot Plus has performed worse overall than its predecessor. I’ve attempted to open a support ticket and my experience with MakerBot support has been even worse than the printer.

Fist, the good news: the new Smart Extruded+ does work. For all the problems I describe below, I have not had a single filament jam. In situations where the filament would have jammed on prior models, the smart extruded has detected the problem and stopped the job avoiding a jam even with the worst print failures. The overall build quality also seems high. The gantry is much more robust and the overall quality does not seem to have suffered at all form the move to Chinese manufacture. Unfortunately, these virtues cannot overcome the basic problem: This product does not work.

The core failures are build plate adhesion and warping. Any print large than a few square inches distorts and curls up at the corners. This is a common problem in 3d printing, and I have both managed it on my prior MakerBot printer and seen it managed on many other models. On the MakerBot Plus, however, it cannot be stopped. I’ve re-leveled my build plate, adjusted my z-axis, and tried every other trick in the 3d-printer’s arsenal. Nothing works. The machine cannot get even a moderately large print to stick.

The problem may be a defect in my unit or it may be a design flaw. The build plate on the MakerBot Plus is plastic and it uses a replaceable plastic surface. Either element could be basically defective in terms of leveling or filament adhesion. Regardless of the cause, my experience has been a device that cannot print effectively at any kind of size because the corners of the build will not stick to the plate.
If you are new to 3d printing, this problem will put you off the hobby. If you are an old hand, it will infuriate you as other devices handle this challenge much more adroitly for a far lower cost. In either case the MakerBot Plus fails to deliver.

The problem with the build plat is exacerbated by the problems with MakerBot support. In order to obtain support, one must either call during east-coast business hours or initiate a support ticket via the MakerBot Website. Unfortunately, the support ticket function on the website does not work. When one attempts to open a ticket, the website goes into a loop with a window that says “Signing you in….” But the sign-in never ends. It is actually impossible to open a ticket. I next tried sending an e-mail to the e-mail address I had used for prior correspondence regarding my old MakerBot printer. The response? “This email address is no longer active. To contact MakerBot Support, please go to support.makerbot.com to open a case.” Of course that does not work, leaving one with the limited hours of phone support. I have not yet had time away from work to attempt the limited-hours phone support, and will update this review as soon as I am able to contact MakerBot during the limited hours they are available.

At the end of the day, the problems with customer support are just a footnote to a machine that does not fundamentally work as advertised. I am a 3d printing hobbyist, and I do not expect a 3d printer to work perfectly out of the box. At this stage in the technology, tinkering and coaxing a machine to produce excellent results is part of the experience. This machine, however, fails to keep up its end of the bargain. Tinkering, coaxing and meticulous care will avail you not. Your builds will not stick, your corners will curl and MakerBot customer Support will be a reticent partner at best.

Until both the machine and the support improve, your 3d printing dollars are better spent elsewhere.

Update: Note the prompt response to this review from a MakerBot rep below. After exchanging just a few messaged, the Makerbot rep suggested exchanging my unit for a new one and the new unit has already been shipped overnight. I will spend a few days working with the new unit and update this review. Also, should note that the problem with opening support tickets on the website seems to have been resolved.

Further Update: Makerbot has been responsive since I posted this review and exchanged my unit. I am still testing the new unit and will revise my review completely once I've had some time with the new unit.
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on February 15, 2017
After 5years and countless prints (well not countless I could just look at the number of hours used) my Replicator 2 has seen better days so I decided to upgrade. I looked other printers and even tried a less expensive one that failed after the 2nd print. the MakerBot is not the least cost unit but it is the most reliable in my opinion. I have been printing almost non-stop since Dec and the only issue I have had is running out of filament. The speed is notably faster than my Repliator 2 and I have been getting greater details in my prints. I really like the onboard camera and updated software. The pull-out print platform and Wifi have been a great addition.
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on June 21, 2017
I read a bunch of reviews and was a little nervous. But I purchased this and we love it! Straight out of the box to printing in less than 20mins. It has now made fidget spinners, toys, working prototypes and keeps on printing. I change filaments all the time with no issues. Great product!
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
on June 29, 2017
For $2500, this is way over priced for the quality. I had the replicator 2 and it worked like a dream. I hoped this one with the smart extruder would be just as good if not better. Wrong. The auto calibration is a joke, as all it did was melt my build plate in the middle. It auto unloads the filament after each print but doesn't auto load it for the new one so you have to load it every single time. The camera for remote printing seemed like a wonderful new addition but it's positioned in the front, blocked by the extruder, so even if the video did run smooth playback (which it doesn't, it lags like crazy) you can't see your print. Also, addressing the auto unload of the filament, it renders the remote printing useless, since you'd have to be there to load the filament before your print. I gave two stars because I sacrificed quality for convenience, which may have been a factor in my printers performance. What Amazon failed to mention, was that yes it comes in a box neatly packaged with all of its parts and the promise of two day shipping, which made me purchase it here instead of directly from makerbot, but that it's not a brand new machine, it's refurbished. I never got a decent print out of it, the auto calibration melted a hole in my build plate, and the smart extruder got clogged (technology in the smart extruder is supposedly supposed to stop the print before a clog happens/detect clogs before they get worse) to the point where it was coming out of the top of the extruder where the filament is fed through and continued to try and print with no warning it was clogging up. The only reason I wanted to upgrade my replicator 2 was because makerbots new update doesn't support USB connections to the computer aka to their own software. It forces you to now use only an SD card, which at this point seems like less of a burden than having to deal with the replicator +. For a machine this expensive, I expected so much, and everything I had read sounded like a dream come true, but now it's just an expensive paperweight. I've never returned something to Amazon so fast. Again, not sure if it's the printer itself, or the refurbished one that I got (which was not disclosed to me at time of purchase or else I would have ordered the brand new one from makerbot and just been patient with the shipping) but I'm completely unimpressed. Why take a great product like the replicator 2 and make it worse and completely un-tinkerable? Also, makerbots desktop software is now completely not user friendly, and makes it so much harder to change settings, adjust your build, and they even took away the Thingiverse library so I have to save every file to my computer. Thinking about saying goodbye to makerbot all together. They ruined a perfectly good product and ruined their desktop software. Forcing people to upgrade to a new printer because you took away USB support for the replicator 2 is bad business. I already spent my thousands of dollars on one product, and I still only buy makerbot filament and parts when needed, why are you so greedy to practically force me to now buy a $2500 printer that's "better" and only holds one size of filament I only have 2 rolls of. So then I was being punished for buying bigger rolls of filament! Needless to say, this printer has been returned, I'm trying to find a new home for my replicator 2 since I can barely use it, and I will be taking my business elsewhere. You really screwed up, makerbot. And shame on Amazon for selling me a refurbished product and not disclosing that it wasn't new and for specifically advertising it as new. Only getting two stars instead of one because at least the two day shipping didn't disappoint me.
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
on May 12, 2017
The first one we received had problems with the Z Height. The nozzle dragged across the build plate every time after detecting the height during the start of a print. We tried compensating the Z offset to the max of 0.8mm in the software and it still dragged across the build plate. So something was off in the height detection that was greater than any compensation could overcome. We shipped it back and opted for a replacement from Amazon. The replacement setup went smoothly and the test print built perfectly. Then it went downhill fast. It made it 1 hour into our first actual print and then the machine simply turned off. It will power on just long enough to show "starting up" on the LCD before going black and never turning on. Shipping it back and going with a different manufacturer.
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on April 27, 2017
Super nice looking and definitely a badass machine. I'm having a little problem with the print quality but I think it's all about settings. Do NOT get a used or refurb.
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on February 20, 2017
I love 3D printing and this printer. I had the 5th Gen and this upgrade is definitely worth it. Quiter, faster, bigger build volume, and in the same footprint no less.

I do strongly recommend purchasing Foreasy 3D Printer Tool 3D Print Removal Tool Enhanced Version Set of 2 to remove items from the platform. I used to use a kitchen knife, but the lack of painters tape--which is nice--on this generation makes a better tool necessary. Second, make sure you're using MakerBot Print software, so it will generate the right raft for this platform. I was unhappy at first because of the bad rafts, but luckily MakerBot called to check on me, and advised me of the need for the newer software.
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