MakerBot Replicator Mini+ 3D Printer Review

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With 3D printers becoming more widespread, it’s only logical the MakerBot Replicator Mini+ 3D Printer should join the fold. As a mini 3D printer, it’s perfectly suited for beginners or those with smaller living spaces, and it’s a testament to how far this technology has come.

Thanks to the added internal camera and accompanying software, this mini printer has a number of strong points going for it. MakerBot has some interesting 3D printers in their resume and their Mini+ is a notable addition to this list.

Mini 3d Printer

Thanks to their involved community and wide array of products, they also have one of the best websites for 3D printers. If you’re looking for inspiration or advice, their website is one of the best places to find kindred spirits that can offer helpful advice.

Of course, the mini size does worry some hobbyists – how much can a miniature printer really do? It turns out, quite a lot can be done with this one!

We’ve sat down for a closer look at the MakerBot Replicator Mini+ 3D Printer and found many things that we didn’t expect from such a tiny machine. Be sure to read on and get the full scoop.

MakerBot Replicator Mini+ 3D Printer: The Details

Specs

  • Weight: 20.5 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 11.6 x 15 x 13.7 inches.
  • Print Dimensions: 4 x 5 x 5 inches.
  • Filament Types: PLA filament.
  • Ready to Print?:
  • Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux, as well as some other lesser-known systems.
  • Warranty: Limited.

How Does it Work

The MakerBot Replicator Mini+ is mostly geared to beginners and makes this clear by playing together exclusively with PLA filament.

While the full name, polylactic acid, may sound dangerous, there’s no reason to be alarmed. PLA filament is a tested material and widely regarded as the most beginner-friendly filament to get you started.

Setup is easy, as this 3D printer comes out of the box almost completely ready to print. After unpacking and placing your printer where you want it, you start out by pressing the smart extruder against the back of the extruder carriage.

MakerBot Replicator review

Thanks to the magnet clips, it will easily slide into place and you won’t need to fiddle around with extra tools. Once this is done, you load a filament spool in a slot at the back of the printer and gently guide the filament through a feeder tube at the side of the slot.

After this is finished, you’re halfway through your first print. To finalize this initial set-up, you then run the included USB cable between your printer and computer.

Don’t forget to turn your printer on, so you can use the setup wizard assistant.

If you don’t own a MakerBot 3D printer yet, you’ll have to spend a few minutes downloading the easy to navigate software from the MakerBot site.

Once all these steps have been completed, you’re free to make your first test print with your MakerBot Replicator Mini+.

Accessories

The MakerBot Replicator Mini+ is the best 3D printer for beginners because it doesn’t weigh you down with unnecessary extras.

When opening the box, you will find one spool of PLA MakerBot filament and a few sheets of blue tape. Since this is all you really need to get started, we appreciate how it makes it simpler for beginners to focus on the basics.

More advanced users will probably appreciate not being weighed down by more unneeded extras as well.

Features

Intelligent Work Flow

It starts with the Wi-Fi connectivity, which allows you to easily make contact with your PC after the initial set-up.

This convenient feature is further enhanced by the onboard camera, which is placed inside the printing space. Thanks to this camera, you’ll be able to keep a close eye on your projects as they are being made.

The camera also takes a quick snapshot of any finished projects and adds them to the Cloud if this feature is enabled, making it simple to brag about your printing skills.

Free MakerBot Print

The MakerBot Print software lets you manage, edit, and upload your designs, making it easier to find projects that could excite you, as well as sharing your excitement with others.

Smart Extruder

The smart extruder was a great addition to the MakerBot Replicator since the filament spools come in a mini size as well.

MakerBot Replicator Mini+ 3D Printer

Thanks to a timely warning when you’re about to run out of filament, you’ll be able to save an otherwise doomed project.

MakerBot Replicator Mini+ 3D Printer Review

The Positives

No More Blue Tape

One of the fun points of this printer is that blue tape is no longer necessary to unstick your prints from the printing bed.

Skipping this step is logical, and if you’re used to other 3D printers then, you’ll find yourself wondering why it hasn’t happened sooner.

MakerBot uses their ‘Grip Surface’ to make sure prints stick better to the build plate – no tape required. We’re sure we’re not the only ones who only noticed they had no more blue tape left until it was too late.

This also reduces the warping that can occur when trying to remove your print from the bed.

Quick and Quality Results

Don’t let the mini size fool you; this printer gets the job done fast. Thanks to being a mini, you’ll find that your small prints are finished quickly.

At the same time, getting a good finish is easy. Testers noted that the MakerBot Replicator produced quality prints so now you really know that size doesn’t matter.

mini 3d printer

Who knows, since this printer takes out some of the impatient parts to 3D printing, you may soon find yourself printing for the sheer joy of it!

No Prep Time

Thanks to the automatic bed leveling, one of the most difficult hurdles for new printers have been removed.

Few things are more disappointing than finding your favorite design ruined because your leveling bed was off, so enjoy the added convenience.

The MakerBot Replicator is also super easy to set-up, you can basically plug and play. Many testers found this printer much easier to setup than others in its league, making it all the easier to get accustomed to.

Smart and Compact Design

You won’t need to clear out a ton of space for your MakerBot Replicator. It’s called ‘mini’ for a reason. It’s compact, making it easy to sit on a desk, shelf, or table without hogging all the room.

This makes it a great option for small offices and workspaces, and thanks to its lightweight build of just twenty pounds, it won’t be a hassle to move or tuck away.

Customer Service

Whether you’re a beginner just starting out, or a more advanced user who has been dabbling in 3D printing for some time, it always helps to have a warranty.

MakerBot’s warranty includes 6 months of coverage for the printer products as well as the smart extruder. This limited warranty is in place to cover customers against any damages in the making of the printer.

Should you find faults or defects in your printer after purchase, simply contact MakerBot and they’ll be able to help you from there. What’s great is that their customer service department is known for being helpful, friendly, and attentive, so you won’t have to worry about getting the runaround.

We should note that limited warranties don’t cover any damages caused by the owner, or damages caused by normal wear and tear, so be sure to handle your new printer with care.

MakerBot Replicator review

The Negatives

Still a Mini

It’s obvious, but we need to repeat that this printer is only suitable for small designs. If you’re looking to create large-scale models or other projects requiring multiple sections, you’ll be happier with a larger printer.

If you’re only looking to test if 3D printing is your thing, or if you’re looking for an easy way to get started in the craft, a mini is the best way to dip your toe into the water.

Bit Noisy

While small, the MakerBot Replicator Mini+ does make enough noise to fool you into thinking it’s larger.

This is fine for a hobby design, but might not be the best choice for an office environment.

Introducing younger students to this printer might result in an interruption of class, so be sure to prepare accordingly.

Here’s a video showing what the MakerBot Replicator Mini+ looks like out of the box and in action.

Overall Verdict

The MakerBot Replicator Mini+ is a 3D printer that’s a joy to work with if you’re new to 3D printing or if you need a smaller machine to demonstrate how 3D printing works to a classroom.

Due to its size, it will work best for printing out smaller pieces, which makes it best suited for those who don’t have a lot of space to dedicate to their hobbies.

While small, it still produces around the same noise levels as a larger printer, so be wary of this when you make your decision.

In short, it’s hard to get a bad experience with this printer. It makes for a worthwhile first start and is sure to deliver quality.

If you outgrow this MakerBot Replicator Mini+ and want to move on to bigger projects, you can still use it to teach younger family members how much fun 3D printing can be.

The smaller project size means quicker results, which will be more appealing to a less patient audience. All in all, the MakerBot Replicator Mini+ makes for a worthwhile experience.

Where to Buy the MakerBot Replicator Mini+ 3D Printer

3D printers, especially for home and office use, have been growing in popularity over the last few years. With that, there have been a number of tech companies showing off their 3D Printer manufacturing skills.

MakerBot is just one company who has been successful in making accessible, easy-to-use machines, that don’t require a ton of experience or knowledge to use, and their Replicator Mini+ 3D Printer is just one example.

Thanks to their success, you’ll be able to find the MakerBot Replicator Mini+ 3D Printer both in-store and online.

While it’s always best to check department, tech, or specialty stores, you can kick-start your search with the following online retailers.

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

Mini 3D Printer


That’s a wrap on our MakerBot Replicator review. Curious to give it a go?


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