MakerGear M2 Desktop 3D Printer
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- Large 8" x 10" x 8" (XYZ) Build Envelope
- CNC Machined Precision Hardware On A Rigid Fabricated Steel Frame
- Open Source Electronics And Firmware
- Works Out-Of-The-Box With ABS, PLA, PET, Flexible And More
- Thoughtfully Crafted In Beachwood, Ohio
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From the manufacturer
Great ideas are just the beginning. You need the right tool to bring those ideas to life reliably and consistently. Thousands of users have chosen the MakerGear M2 to be their 3D printer to create prototypes and products for business, classrooms, backyards, labs, and the marketplace. In all 50 states and more than 75 countries, MakerGear has helped empower students, engineers, designers, and DIYers to transform their concepts into a reality.
Ready to Use: Every M2 is tested at the MakerGear factory in Beachwood, Ohio and is ready to use out of the box. The Quick Start software, step-by-step user guide, and tutorial video will take you from unboxing through your first prints.
Reliable: With its steel frame and CNC machined cast aluminum construction, the M2 is engineered and manufactured to provide industrial level precision with a small footprint. The new four-point print bed is easy to level, stays level, and removes the need for z-compensation (aka 'auto-leveling'). Whether you are a weekend hobbyist or a professional, the M2 is built to run and built to last.
Freedom: While MakerGear filament is recommended, you are free to use the filament of your choice. The M2 also uses open-source electronics and firmware. The M2 provides the versatility and flexibility you need to accomplish your project your way.
The Real Deal: Ease of use, reliability, excellent prints, high-quality construction and components, and MakerGear’s prompt in-house support (real support from M2 experts). You really do get it all with the MakerGear M2.
Made in the USA: While MakerGear originally started in a residential Ohio garage, today the company crafts all printers in its factory in Beachwood, Ohio. Many of the M2 components are manufactured within driving distance of the factory including the fabricated steel frame, steel parts, machined cast aluminum alignment components, extruder parts and the wiring harness. Off the shelf components (motors, power supply, etc.) are sourced from domestic and foreign suppliers.
Real Customer Service: If you need to contact MakerGear for support, its support team is staffed with M2 experts. MakerGear has an established record of providing prompt, friendly, and knowledgeable technical support.
Thriving Community: When you purchase an M2, you become part of the thriving MakerGear community – an enthusiastic, engaged and helpful group. A vibrant community of makers and professionals contribute to an ever-growing network, where designs, inspiration, and advice are freely shared.
MakerGear has one goal – that you are delighted with your MakerGear product.
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
The MakerGear M2 Rev. E with the V4 extruder is currently shipping.
The M2e is ready to print with a range of filaments including PLA, ABS, PET, flexible, polycarbonate, composites and various others.
Compatible with 3D CAD software that produces STL files.
Compatible slic3r, Simplify3D and other open source and proprietary slicing software.
Constructed using precision machined cast-aluminum, fabricated steel and true linear motion components.
Open-source electronics and firmware.
Manufactured in Beachwood, Ohio using domestic and foreign components.
The M2 was originally released in 2012. MakerGear has continued to improve it based on real-world feedback, and it is now shipping the M2 Rev. E. (M2e), the fifth generation of the M2 series.
The M2 Revision E —which includes a number of improvements including the new, easy to adjust yet more rigid, four point leveling system, metal components that replaced printed parts, the Quick Start software, Tutorial video and updated User Guide. Open the box, follow the instructions and beautiful prints will soon follow.
|Build Dimensions||Width x Depth x Height: 200 mm (8") x 250 mm (10") x 200 mm (8")|
|Machine Weight, Dimensions (including full range of motion)||12 kg (26.5 lbs.), Width x Depth x Height: 533 mm (21") x 610 mm (24") x 420 mm (16.5").|
|Nozzle||Shipped with 0.35 mm brass (0.25mm, 0.5mm, 0.75mm brass and 0.35mm and 0.50mm steel are available on the MakerGear website).|
|Material||1.75 mm. PLA, ABS, PET, HIPS, TPU (i.e., flexible filament), Polycarbonate, composite (Metal-, Carbon Fiber-, or Wood-Filled), and many more!|
|Resolution||<50 micron to 0.25mm with a 0.35mm nozzle. Please note there is more to print quality than layer thickness.|
|Travel Speed||Printing: 80 - 200 mm/sec for best print quality. 450 mm/sec max.|
|Hot End||300 °C. Easy to swap/replace.|
|Build Platform||110 °C and higher. Borosilicate glass print bed with laminated, replaceable print surface.|
|Electrical||AC input: 100 - 120 V (4 A)/220 - 240V (2 A), 47 - 63 Hz. Power requirements: 24 V DC @ 15 A—360 watts max.|
|Software||Compatible with many open-source and commercially available modeling, slicing, and printer control software available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Simplify3D software is recommended.|
Top customer reviews
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The CubeX Duo was a piece of junk with terrible technical support. The filament for that machine cost 5x as much as all other printers and wasn't any better. Stay away from anything from Cubify. They are ripping people off with marketing gimmicks.
The Lulzbot TAZ is much better than the CubeX but its made with cheap components and the print quality is hit and miss. I do like the large 11.5x11.5" build area though so I kept it.
Finally I read some good reviews on the M2 and I liked the design so I bought one (not from Amazon but directly from MakerGear). It printed beautifully right out of the box and its what I hoped 3D printing would be. Of course, after going through a steep learning curve with the CubeX and TAZ it made the M2 seem like a breath of fresh air. I still have prints that fail and the nozzle clogged on it one time. Overall though the M2 is as good as any printer on the market for under $3000. It prints just as well as the MakerBot Replicator 2. I regularly see prints from a Replicator 2 and my prints look as good or better and the M2 costs a lot less.
The only real flaw with the M2 is that the electronics cooling fan is mounted horizontally. Bushing fans are not designed to be used that way and they will always fail in a relatively short amount of time. Its easy to replace the fan with a ball bearing fan but MakerGear should change that themselves ASAP. However, my $3000 CubexDuo had cheap plastic components that were broken on arrival and by the time I was on the third replacement printer I gave up. The TAZ, which is in the $2500 range looks like a toy compared to the M2. So, a bad fan isn't really a big deal at all. They may have fixed that issue by now.
MakerGear was a little late getting my printer to me but they shipped it next day when it was ready and they have been really great to work with ever since. I'm designing some upgrades for my printer and emailed their tech support to ask some questions. He called me today and helped with everything I needed. That's above and beyond customer service.
I'm not sure why but MakerGear hasn't spent much money on marketing. I'm pretty sure if they were to put this printer in with the Maker Magazine printer shootout they would triple their sales in no time. Its a hidden gem and so is their level of customer service. I'm pretty sure they are having a hard time keeping up with demand now so until they can figure out how to increase their production rates they probably won't be spending much on marketing. A good product with good customer service sells itself over time via good word of mouth.
Some general tips for 3D printing that will save you some headaches:
1. Make sure the print bed is level before starting any print. Makergear has a video showing how to do this.
2. Make sure the Z axis offset is perfect before each print. If after homing the z axis you can slide a piece of paper under the hot end and feel just a little friction then you have it just right. Too little gap will cause the extruder to clog. To much gap and the print won't adhere to the bed.
3. Make sure the print bed is very clean. Clean it with acetone before using it. An oily finger print can cause a print to not stick to the bed.
4. Measure the filament diameter and put each rolls filament diameter into the slicer program or you will extrude too much or too little filament. If you extrude too much then layers start getting too thick causing the hot end to drag and the print looks bad. Too little and the print may have gaps or may delaminate.
5. If you are printing ABS then use Kapton tape on the print bed then spray the bed with three heavy coats of Aquanet hair spray. That will make the print stick well to the bed. For PLA you can print onto blue painter's tape. Some say they don't have issues printing on clean glass but that's not been my experience.
Do those 5 things and you will eliminate 50% of the issues that occur with 3D printing. The rest of the issues are related to learning what settings to use for different types of prints and materials. That comes with time as you figure out what does what.
The M2 it is a great little printer that uses better components than most printers under $3000 and I highly recommend it. MakerGear is a good company that stands behind their product. To my knowledge there's not a better printer out there anywhere near this price range.
First and foremost, this is a solid machine - other than a few token printed parts, it's pretty much all metal. Welded stainless frame, real-deal linear rails, aluminum plate, etc etc. There's no sign of wood or all-thread anywhere. Very well built! I am used to larger metalworking machinery, so especially a year ago, I was not impressed with the vast majority of the machines on the market. I honestly can't remember the last time I had to adjust anything, even leveling the bed. Point blank, *if* you can find a better built machine, you'll be spending several hundred dollars more, if not thousands. I assumed that after some time something better would have hit the market, but if I were to buy another FDM machine today, I would still go with the M2. I build and race cars, and my day job is in aviation manufacturing; I've got a pretty good handle on hardware I guess you could say. :) There are some things I would have done differently as far as design and material selection, but at the end of the day, nothing has turned out to be an issue after a year of use so I can't knock it.
Second, I have found the support to be amongst the best I have experienced, anywhere, period. Being a small company, I was worried they would be buried trying to get these things out to customers and would have to slack off on support, but that has not been the case at all. If I had an issue, I had a response to my emails within hours, if not minutes. If something was wrong, they fixed it immediately, no fuss or dancing around (I had an early unit with a few hiccups, and I was honestly expecting a few since this was a new machine to the market; not even aircraft are immune to these sort of things).
Third, print quality is great! I've designed things and printed them on our $$$ Stratasys machines at work. Just for kicks, I printed something on my M2 and then printed the same file on our professional machines. I would say you get about 90% of the quality for less, or even much less, than 10% of the cost. And at least on the particular 'thing' I made, the M2 was faster as well. And the print window is rather generous at around 8x10x10" - don't forget to take that in to consideration when you are shopping around!
I was originally going to give 4/5 stars, but between things they have revised over the past year and this being a pre-assembled machine, anything I could really gripe about is no longer an issue. If you combine this with the Simplify 3D 'Creator' software, it's also pretty darn easy to use (the freeware also works very well, but is slower and a bit clunky). This is about as close to a "plug and play, set and forget" machine as you're going to get on the hobbyist market at anywhere near this price point.
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