Makerbot Replicator VS Replicator+

  • by

Makerbot Replicator is intended for experienced users and professionals looking for the best 3D printing performance. However, the company has introduced a new version called Makerbot Replicator+. In this article, we will compare Makerbot Replicator vs Replicator+ to find out whether the new version is totally better and worth the money.

Read the comparison between Makerbot Replicator vs Replicator+ below to understand all about:

  • The dimensions of Makerbot Replicator and Makerbot Replicator+
  • How Makerbot Replicator+ offers easier setup and better usability
  • The compatible materials that can work with Makerbot Replicator and Makerbot Replicator+
  • The printing performance comparison between Makerbot Replicator and Makerbot Replicator+
  • Whether you should get Makerbot Replicator or Makerbot Replicator+

Makerbot Replicator vs Replicator+ : Design

The original Makerbot Replicator has been made to be easy to use and accessible. It has an open frame design that will allow you to work unhindered. However, it can still accommodate an enclosure should you ever need one to maintain a consistent temperature during printing.

In terms of size, Makerbot Replicator is pretty large. It measures 18 x 12 x 11.8 inches. It also has a fairly large build volume of 9.92 x 7.83 x 5.9 inches. However, there is not much depth here, which may be quite limiting.

The build plate on the original Makerbot Replicator is made from an ABS material. It can heat up to make the filament stick properly during printing. Unfortunately, in real use, it is not very effective in making the tougher materials stick in place.

The new Makerbot Replicator+ still maintains optimum ease of use and accessibility with the open frame design that can accommodate an enclosure when needed. However, it is quite larger than its predecessor at 20.8 x 17.4 x 16.2 inches. This printer will require a bench or table of its own.

But the increased dimensions translate into an increased build volume. Makerbot Replicator+ offers a build volume of 11.6 x 7.6 x 6.5 inches, which is about 25% larger than the predecessor’s. This will allow you to tackle larger projects more easily.

Another improvement is found on the build plate. Makerbot Replicator+ comes with a flex build plate with a special grip surface. In real use, it is much more convenient, as it can make the filament stick properly while still allowing the print result to pop off easily once cooled down enough.

 Makerbot ReplicatorMakerbot Replicator+
Product Dimensions17.36 x 20.79 x 16.14 inches20.79 x 16.14 x 17.36 inches
Shipping Weight46.85 Pounds40.34 Pounds
Best offerCheck priceCheck price

Makerbot Replicator vs Replicator+ : Connectivity

Makerbot Replicator already has a full set of connectivity options. It can connect to your computer via USB, Ethernet, or Wi-Fi. In addition, you can also print directly from a USB flash drive – a very convenient capability when you are working with multiple computers or different people.

Makerbot Replicator can connect over Wi-Fi to the Makerbot Mobile app. This will enable you to print from a smartphone or tablet, export files, and manage multi-component projects. The setup process is quite simple and easy with the clear instructions and diagrams.

Makerbot Replicator+ comes with the same set of connectivity options. It has USB, Ethernet, and Wi-Fi. It can also print from a USB flash drive and mobile device. It works especially well with the latest version of the Makerbot Mobile app.

A small improvement is found in the setup process. Makerbot Replicator+ now has a guided wireless setup, which makes the process virtually fool-proof. Everything is clear, easy, and quick. This makes the new model even more practical and straightforward to use than the original model. Read also: Makerbot Replicator Vs Dremel 3D45 here.

Makerbot Replicator vs Replicator+ : Features

Both Makerbot Replicator and Makerbot Replicator+ are designed to work with the company’s PLA filament, which is available in standard colors and specialty colors like translucent and neon. Makerbot’s filament is in the high-end region of the price range, but it has very good quality. For people who need extra durability, Makerbot Replicator and Makerbot Replicator+ can work with the company’s Tough PLA filament, which is a composite material that is strong yet flexible.

But Makerbot Replicator and Makerbot Replicator+ are actually compatible with pretty much all kinds of materials. These 3D printers are definitely able to work with basic filaments like PLA and ABS. You can also use advanced materials, including wood and metal composites for more realistic results, dissolvable PVA, and conductive PVA.

Makerbot Replicator allows easy loading for the filament. All you need to do is press the “Load Filament” button on the user interface, and after the extruder becomes sufficiently hot, you will be instructed to insert the filament. There is some gear that will automatically capture the filament and pull it in further. Unfortunately, Makerbot Replicator does not have a sensor to detect when you are out of filament, so you will need to carefully monitor the remaining amount.

Makerbot Replicator+ has fixed this issue with the Smart Extruder+. It is held in place by strong magnets, which make it easy to install and remove. It can detect when you are out of filament. When this happens, the print job will be automatically paused and you will receive a notification on the software. Thus, Makerbot Replicator+ can be much more convenient to use.

Makerbot Replicator vs Replicator+ : Performance

These two printers are similar in terms of resolution and precision. Both of them have a 100-micron layer resolution with a 0.4-mm nozzle diameter. The X and Y positioning is precise to 11 microns, whereas the Z positioning is precise to 2.5 microns. Makerbot Replicator and Makerbot Replicator+ are capable of producing very fine and incredibly accurate details.

However, as mentioned above, the original Makerbot Replicator has a heated ABS build plate, which does not stick really well. You can prevent the issue by enabling the raft option in the software, but this will reduce the print speed of Makerbot Replicator quite significantly.

Makerbot Replicator+ works much better. The flex build plate has a grip surface that effectively keeps the filament in place. Then, you can easily pop off the print result by flexing the build plate upwards. Not only that, but this model also offers a 30% higher print speed. In real use, it is noticeably faster in finishing a print job.

You will also appreciate Makerbot Replicator+ for its low noise. Interestingly, this new model works more quietly than the original, with only subtle thuds and whirring that won’t disturb your concentration. Although there is no official rating for the noise level, in real use it seems to be very low, comparable to normal conversations.

- The easiest and most versatile way to get from 3D model to 3D print
- Large build volume accelerates rapid prototyping and model making
- 100-micron layer resolution enables the creation of professional-quality, high-resolution prototypes and complex models, right at your desk
- Supported by the MakerBot 3D Ecosystem, a growing, synergetic ecosystem of products, materials, software, accessories, services and content that integrate seamlessly with each other to provide a satisfying MakerBot experience
- Your purchase includes One MarkerBot Replicator, One 3D Printer with swappable Smart Extruder+ in Black, 1 PLA spool, 1 flexible build plate, power and USB cables
- Item's dimensions – 17.4" W x 20.8" L x 16.2"H | Build volume – 7.6” W x 11.6” L x 6.5” H / 573 Cubic inches | Power requirements – 100-240 V, 50-60 HZ | Material diameter – 0.069” | Camera Resolution – 640 x 480 | Operating Temperature – 60-90°F]
- Works with MakerBot PLA Material - Large Spool, Small Spool & MakerBot Tough Material Large Spool, Additional materials such as bronzefill, copperfill, and woodfill
- The only 3D printer tested by NIOSH for environmental safety in the classroom or office space.Aluminum Casting and Extrusions for Motion Components

Conclusion

Makerbot Replicator+ is better in every aspect. It has a larger build volume, a better build plate, and the Smart Extruder+. Compared to the original, Makerbot Replicator+ also prints faster yet more quietly. You should get Makerbot Replicator+ for the best usability and performance.