MakerBot Replicator 2X Experimental 3D Printer Review

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The MakerBot Replicator 2X Experimental 3D Printer is either the best 3D printer available or a disappointing experience – it just depends on who you ask.

We found this to be interesting enough to warrant a closer look, because we felt there must be a reason that some people are singing its praises while others failed to fall in love. And there is much to say about the MakerBot Replicator 2X.

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Thanks to our testers, we have found that the overall finish of any project is always of high quality.

There is a good online support system that offers many free designs for you to experiment with, and the software used to communicate between the online environment and your printer itself is among the best we’ve encountered so far.

This is offset by the overly sensitive LCD-screen and a certain need for handyman skills during set-up. It’s likely that most mishaps occur during the initial setup phase, leading to the failure and eventual frustration that has sullied an otherwise great 3D printer.

There’s no lack of charming features for this machine, but it seems there are a few points that stand to ruin it if you’re not careful.

We gathered the necessary details in this MakerBot Replicator 2X review, so be sure to find out the truth before making your purchase.

MakerBot Replicator 2X Experimental 3D Printer: The Details

Specs

  • Weight: 7 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 3 x 16.5 x 20.9 inches.
  • Print Dimensions: 1 x 9.7 x 6.4 inches (HWD).
  • Filament Types: Makerbot ABS filament, though other ABS and PLA filaments are also compatible.
  • Ready to Print?: Mostly ready to print, some light assembly required.
  • Compatibility: The currently reviewed version is compatible with PC and Mac.

How Does it Work

There’s no set formula on what a good 3D printer should look like, but the overall design of the MakerBot Replicator 2X Experimental 3D Printer has managed to tick off all the necessary components of a successful machine.

This includes a certain logic in the set-up, which can be followed easily by the manual or video tutorials. If you’re already a veteran, you’ll find that the next step is quite straightforward – most of the time.

While you don’t need to build your 3D printer from scratch, you are expected to show some handyman skills in getting your show up and running. It’s best to start off by installing the handle of the enclosure door, followed by both the filament guide tubes and spool holders.

Connect one of your complimentary filament spools to the spool holder, and then attach the power supply. This completes the primary set-up.

Next, you’ll want to level your build plate following the given instructions. If there is one step you don’t want to be sloppy with, it is definitely this one.

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Your build plate will determine if your design comes out fully formed or more like a sad puddle of goo.

Set-up might seem tedious, but it is important to remember that diligence during these steps will reduce frustration during your crafting sessions.

If you’re unsure of how to correctly connect the different parts, it’s always a good idea to watch tutorial videos online or ask a more experienced friend.

The 3D printer community is friendly and always ready for newcomers with any issues they might be facing.

Accessories

It really doesn’t matter what you’re buying, it’s always fun to get some extras.

With 3D printers, these usually take the form of extra filaments and other bits and pieces that make it easier to get this craft just right.

Included with your MakerBot Replicator 2X Experimental 3D Printer, you will find:

  • The manual.
  • MakerBot ABS Filament (1 lbs. spool).
  • Filament guide tubes.
  • Spool holders.
  • Handle and bolts.
  • Power supply and cable.
  • USB A to USB B cable.
  • MakerBot tape applicator.
  • Kapton tape sheets.
  • SD Card.
  • Hex wrenches.
  • PTFE-based grease.
  • Support card.

We recommend choosing a small or several smaller projects for your test runs, as you’ll go through a one-pound spool much faster than you expect.

Features

From Low to High Resolution

With a high, medium, and low setting, you’ll find that creating something new and exciting is easy to do and fun to share with others with the MakerBot Replicator 2X Experimental.

If you’re just starting out, or need to see if a particular design will turn out well, it’s a good idea to use the lowest resolution for quick results and a clear idea of how well things will work out.

If you’ve got your heart set on a particular design, it’s time to crank up the highest setting and enjoy the ensuing bragging rights.

LCD Screen

The LCD screen looks the part, offering a futuristic way of selecting your preferred design and parameters. Sadly, this feature is also the cause for much frustration with more impatient users, so be careful to take it slow.

Once you’ve become used to the LCD, we expect that you’ll experience fewer problems.

Easy to Use Software

With one of the easiest to navigate interfaces and a ton of interesting designs, the MakerBot website is easily one of the most impressive features to join this 3D printer.

Connecting through the added USB is easy and hassle-free.

MakerBot Replicator 2X Experimental review

MakerBot Replicator 2X Experimental 3D Printer Review

The Positives

Quick and Quality Finishes

By now, 3D printing has become more commonplace, which means you get to be pickier about results too.

With the dual nozzles working in perfect sync, you’ll find designs coming together flawlessly, increasing your joy in this unique hobby.

Testers have also noted just how speedy the MakerBot Replicator 2X Experimental has performed too. 3D printing can take some time, but MakerBot makes it easier for the impatient.

Quicker prints also make it easier to finish a project that requires multiple pieces.

MakerBot Universe Website

With tons of free designs on the website, as well as one of the largest online communities, you’ll find that the MakerBot Replicator 2X has more to offer than just the material aspects.

You’ll also find a ton of information on MakerBot, 3D printing, and specific models, and their support section answers a variety of troubleshooting topics.

Be sure to head over and see if they have something that looks like an interesting experiment.

MakerBot Replicator 2X Experimental 3D Printer

MakerBot is known for great customer service so should you need to contact them in regards to your printer, or just have a question in regards to 3D printing, they’ll be there to lend a helping hand.

Durable

This printer was built to last you years, something which we hope to see in more machines.

More experienced users can add to this durability by including their own improvements, opening new and exciting venues to explore.

You’ll also be backed by MakerBot’s limited warranty, covering any damages or faults you may find in your 3D printer from its manufacturing. MakerBot promises to repair or replace your machine or its parts should this occur.

Easy Set-Up 

While setting up this machine does require some manual tinkering, it doesn’t require you to build or re-build its parts (unless you want to).

Testers have noted how easy it is to get their printers up and running, and leveling aside, noted that it all came together quite quickly.

Starter filament is also included with the MakerBot Replicator 2X Experimental 3D printer, making it all the easier to test out your machine and get to printing without stalls.

This 3D printer is flexible with a variety of filament too (including non-toxic options), so if you have some on hand, or want to switch to a different kind, it won’t be a hassle.

MakerBot Replicator 2X Experimental review

The Negatives

Varying Levels of LCD Screen Success

While the LCD screen looks very professional, it is very easy to accidentally select the wrong option, which can cause the machine to start printing a different project.

While you can simply turn the power off when this happens, we hope they put more care into designing a larger or less responsive LCD screen to cut back on frustrations.

Not for Beginners 

If the price doesn’t scare beginner hobbyists away, the technical make of the MakerBot Replicator 2X will.

Described as an advanced 3D printer, the MakerBot 2X allows hobbyists to grow in 3D printing by trying out different techniques and tinkering a little more than they would (or could) with other printers.

MakerBot themselves warn that this 3D printer is made for expert users so while beginners can purchase this printer, chances are, you’ll be left confused and fumbling.

Here’s a video showing a tutorial on the MakerBot Replicator 2X and what it looks like out of the box.

Overall Verdict

We feel it’s safe to say that any overly negative connotations to this 3D printer are unfounded. The fact remains that the truly outstanding points of the MakerBot Replicator 2X are diminished by the somewhat harder than average set-up and an overly sensitive LCD screen.

Because of this reason, the MakerBot Replicator 2X Experimental 3D Printer is best suited to more experienced hobbyists who might use this 3D printer to introduce the concept to inexperienced printers, as an example.

Beginners will most likely feel frustrated since they lack the experience to pinpoint any trouble areas.

All in all, the MakerBot Replicator 2X is a worthwhile experience for those who love a challenge and are looking for a new printer that delivers high-quality designs.

Where to Buy the MakerBot Replicator 2X Experimental 3D Printer

MakerBot is no stranger or novice when it comes to making 3D printers. Not only do they have a number of printers under their belt, but they have a whole website dedicated to the craft as well.

Their enthusiasm for 3D printing shows in their line of accessible printers geared to a variety of users. Whether you’re a novice or advanced printer, chances are, you’ll find a printer that suits you with MakerBot.

The MakerBot Replicator 2X Experimental 3D Printer is just one of the items that show off this company’s skills. Thanks to their success, you can find this 3D printer both in-store and online.

While it’s always best to check technology or specialty shops, you can start your search with the following online retailers.

And of course, you can also find this MakerBot 3D Printer on Amazon.

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That’s all for our MakerBot Replicator 2X Experimental review. Are you willing to give it a try?


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