Unleashing Creativity: A Hands-On Review of MakerBot 3D Printer

Unleashing Creativity: A Hands-On Review of MakerBot 3D Printer

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3D printing technology has come a long way, making printers easier to use and more accessible. While MakerBot has experienced a few hiccups, they continue to innovate and deliver some of the fine products in the market.

Makerbot 3D printer is one such product, and it has been quite some time since we started using it. We have observed its operation closely to compile a detailed and comprehensive review for those who might be interested in it. 

Let’s just get to it;

Overview of Makerbot 3D Printer

MakerBot Industries, LLC, commonly known as MakerBot, is a New York-based 3D printer manufacturing company founded in 2009. Stratasys, another 3D printer manufacturer, acquired MakerBot in 2013 but kept the original name. In August 2022, Makerbot merged with Ultimaker, a long-standing competitor, and took its name.

Over more than a decade, MakerBot has delivered six generations of 3D printers and sold more than 100,000 desktop 3D Printers worldwide. Makerbot should also be credited for founding and operating Thingiverse, the largest file repository and 3D printing online community.

Replicator+ and Replicator Mini+ are the latest offering by the company, but this review strictly focuses on Replicator +.  It was designed to target users who want a 3D printer for large-volume prints and educational purposes. To say the least, Replicator+ is a decent printer. It offers excellent overall performance and a comprehensive software suite to make things easier for those who use it for educational purposes. 

The specifications of Replicator+ are mentioned in the table below:

3D Printing Technology

Fused Deposition Modeling

Layer Resolution

100 microns

Material Compatibility

  • MakerBot PLA Material – Small and Large Spool
  • MakerBot Tough Material – Large Spool
  • Copperfill, Woodfill, Bronzefill

Build Volume

7.6” x 11.6” x 6.5” (L x W X H)

Material Diameter


Extruder Compatibility

  • Experimental Extruder
  • Tough Smart Extruder +
  • Smart Extruder + 

Nozzle Diameter

0.4 MM

Operating Temperature Requirements

15 – 32 degrees centigrades

Storage Temperature

0 – 38 degrees centigrades

XY Positioning Precision

11 Microns

Z Positioning Precision

2.5 Microns

Operating System

Windows, Mac OS, Linux

File Support



Powder Coated ABC, Almunimum Casting and Extrusion Components


Hands-on Experience With MakerBot 3D Printer

Makerbot 3d printer never found a footing in consume market, mainly because of higher prices. Consequently, the company formally positioned itself away from the consumer market and focused on the educational and small business markets. So, this may not be ideal if you’re looking for a consumer 3D printer. As for small businesses and those involved in the education of 3D printing, let us tell you our first-hand experience.


As a 6th generation model, Replicator+ comes with a lot of improvements compared to the previous generation. It has a higher build volume, about 22 percent, and a faster printing speed, about 30 percent faster than the previous generation. 

The fundamentals of design are the same, but there are some subtle differences. For example, a metallic skeleton supports an open plastic frame. Except for the bottom, all sides of the printer are open, which does not make much sense, particularly if you use it for educational purposes. It risks burning and squishing students’ fingers.

While the print volume has increased considerably, we can’t help but mention that TAZ 6, which is priced almost the same but offers more than twice its capacity. That said, while the difference looks massive in numbers, most users rarely use it to capacity, mainly because it takes a lot of time.

You get a plastic-coated print bed to which the print sticks. These are easily replaceable with the company’s own stickers, available on the website. You can also pull out the print bed assembly, making removing large prints very convenient. Additional beds are also available, worth purchasing as they enable you to take follow-up prints easily.

Makerbot has improved the Extruder+, which previously experienced issues with reliability. Many users reported jamming, which the company claims to have solved in this model. We have found this claim to be true in our testing.

Lastly, the controls include a 3-inch LCD at the top and a panel to operate and modify the settings of printers.  Ethernet and Wi-Fi connectivity is also available, which allows you to connect with your local network.

Setting it Up

The setup of Replicator+ is very simple and is basically a plug-and-play system. It will hardly take about 20 minutes to get it up and to run. You will have to connect it to Wi-Fi, which also does not take too long. 

Software and Hardware Compatibility

The Printer is compatible with Windows and Mac OS, and the connection is seamless. Furthermore, material compatibility includes PLA and Tough Material by MakerBot and other materials, including copper, wood, and bronze fill. You can use large and small spools for PLA material, but only a large spool of tough material is compatible with the printer.

Printing Process Experience

The Thingiverse integration on the MakerBot app makes printing quite simple. Initially, you could send only those prints that were available in the library, and the only way to update them was through a desktop, which was very inconvenient. However, now you can directly send the print from Thingiverse, which has made it very convenient.

Quality of the Printed Object

The print quality of replicator+ is decent, at best. I mean, you can work with it, but one expects a bit better for a machine this expensive. That said, the details on prints are impressive, and they generally come out clean. We did not like the tendency to leave whiskers and filaments, which we had to stretch out while moving the print head. While these can be picked using a tweezer, they often increase the overall production time and leave some marks behind. 

We subjected the printer to several tests to examine its power to reproduce the original design, its ability to deliver angled edges and straight lines, and how detailed print it can deliver. While the printer did a decent job in all three areas, it was particularly impressive at producing sharp edges and straight lines. That said, the whiskers and stretched filaments problem was consistent in all these tests.

Time and Cost Efficiency

Printing speed is an area where replicator+ is tough to beat. It delivered a relatively large model in about a touch shorter than two hours at the lowest quality. Cranking the settings to the highest quality took about six and a half hours for the same model. Fair to say, it makes replicator+ one of the fastest 3D printers within this price bracket. Essentially, it compensates for the filament and whisker problem discussed earlier.

Pros and Cons of MakerBot 3D Printer

By now, you should at least have some idea of what to expect from this 3D printer. To break it down even further, let us tell you the major benefits and shortcomings you should expect from it.


1. Fast Printing

It is one of the fastest printers on the market, hands down. So, if you want something that delivers a product almost half the time other printers take, Replicator + makes an excellent choice. The printing speed is critical for the targeted users, and fortunately, it does not disappoint.

2. Excellent Connectivity

Replicator+ offers a range of connectivity options, including USB, Wi-Fi, and Ethernet. You can also use the mobile application to control the printer and send prints to it remotely. No other printer on the market offers that many connectivity choices. 

3. Software Support

The makerbot printer has excellent software support thanks to powerful yet simple apps. It allows users to quickly open and print a file and provides a store to manage multi-component print. Furthermore, the smart application also has CAD support, making things even more accessible.

4. Smart Extruder

Extruder is another praise-worthy feature of replicator+. Its installation is a breeze and is held in place by a group of magnets. However, the best bit is it comes with sensors to detect and send a notification when the printer runs out of filament. Thus, you do not have to scrap the prints.


1. Lack of Third-Party Filament

The only genuine issue we feel with Replicator+ is the lack of third-party filament compatibility. Users who want to experiment with exotic materials would not find this printer helpful. TAZ 6 is a better option for such users because it costs about the same but allows third-party filaments.

2. Tricky Set Up With Mobile App

While the printer connects smoothly to the desktop, setting it up with mobile is tricky. It is not a deal breaker, but you should be mindful of it while setting it up.


Replicator+ is one of the decent 3D printers on the market. The ability to deliver the print faster than anything else on the market makes it an excellent pick for small businesses and educational institutes. While it may not deliver the best results, it produces decent print – good enough for purposes. The only real problem is an expensive price tag and lack of third-party filaments. So, as long as you are fine with, Replicator+ will not let you down.