The Makerbot Replicator 2 is considered to be one of the best-in-class for desktop 3D printing. It combines a stable build with good backup software to make a printer that is both reliable and easy to use.
Released in September 2012, the Replicator 2 is the first of the Makerbot range that comes as a fully functional printer straight out of the box, removing the reliance on complex, and often user-created parts.
This machine uses PLA, a fully biodegradable plastic, and the most common material for home 3D printing. There is an acrylic print bed, 0.4mm nozzle hot end and 1.75mm filament capability. It comes bundled with a 1lb (453g) reel of filament, 3 coverings of blue tape for the print bed, SD card with sample prints and its own slicing/run software (internet connection required).
Given the fairly generous size of the build plate for a ‘desktop’ machine, the build speed is reasonably impressive. Overall, the Replicator 2 is a reliable printer with good, user-friendly software. The printer can be run both from the computer and an SD card. Either way, the easy-to-follow user interface will walk you through the stages of your print.
Filament type: PLA
Build volume: 285 x 153 x 155mm / 11.2 x 6 x 6.2inches
Temperature: 180-230 C
Layer height: 0.1-0.3mm / 100-300 microns
Nozzle size: 0.4mm
Power: 100-240V AC, 50/60Hz
Connections: USB, MiniSD card
Software: Windows (XP to 7), Mac OSX 10.6 and after, Linux/Ubuntu
Formats read: .stl .obj and thing. files
Operating systems: Makerware software
Printer dimensions: 490 x 320 x 380mm / 19.1 x 16.5 x 14.7inches
Printer weight: 11.5kgs / 25.4lbs