The Makerbot Replicator Mini is the smallest 3D printer available on the market, and boasts a build quality rivaling its larger Makerbot predecessors.
Outfitted with no screen to keep this model compact, the Mini is connectable via USB or WiFi with computer, or smart phone. Like other 3d printers connected to the Makerbot universe, designs are downloadable, up-loadable and shareable with Makerbot Mobile, the company’s connective app.
The new economy version of the larger Makerbot Replicator, Mini comes with a lot of the same features. A new extruder, designed for clog free use, a camera, and the same connective software. Some changes are obvious cost cutting measures, the Mini is outfitted with an acrylic build plate instead of glass, and a 200 micron minimum layer height instead of 100, but it is the only Makerbot printer with a convenient auto leveling feature.
Among budget desktop printers the Makerbot Replicator Mini has a comparable build volume, though it has a larger minimum layer height than it’s high ranking budget competitors (Craftbot and Printrbot Simple Metal both tout 100 micron minimum print layers).
Like most 3d printers the Mini is not without it’s flaws. The new smart extruder has a tendency to clog (a glitch that affects many 3d printers) and the connective software can be buggy. The Mini is easy to set up and uses cheap PLA (Polylactic Acid a starch based bioplastic, common in 3d printers) proprietary spools sold by Makerbot.
Unlike its competitors, it does provide a 6 sided clear housing which protects users (and their children) from making contact with the hot extruder and other moving parts. Consumer’s chief complaint about the Mini is its loud operating noise, a downside mitigated only by the addition of an on-board camera that allows remote monitoring of each print job.
You are going to buy a huge paperweight because the smart extruder has a design defect and will quickly clog.
If you are willing to pull pieces apart and really learn about how this machine works then it'll be great... I would suggest saving up for something bigger and better.
An ideal pick for 3D printing newbies or those strapped for space...smallest MakerBot 3D printer yet. Plus, it's easy to set up and use, and is capable of high-quality prints.
Still has rough edges, and given the hype around 3-D printing, it's worth resetting expectations. You can print things up to the size of a coffee mug.
Purchased this product to demonstrate 3D printing technology at conferences. Easy to use right out of the box.
This thing is simple to use...just do what the software tells you, use the software to tell the printer what you want, and it'll do the rest. I am very pleased with this buy.