Geared towards educators and the youth they educate, the Makerbot Replicator Mini+ is another strong plug-and-play printer coming out of the maturing startups of the 3D printing world. This FDM printer does not represent a seismic shift in the Replicator series; conversely, this printer is a strong incremental improvement on the original Makerbot Replicator Mini. The Mini+ provides users with the same compact size (though with a slightly larger print area) as the original Mini, and shores up the printing experience in terms of everything from ease of use to print consistency.
Like many comparable companies, Makerbot seems to have realized in the mid-2010's the main limiting factor with consumer 3D printing: not many people are technologically adept enough to get their money's worth out of most devices. Makerbot answers this with a twofold strategy common to 3D printing, simultaneously making the Mini+ easier to set up and use (with its self-leveling print bed and easily removable "Smart Extruder") and gearing the Mini+'s simplified interface and sales pitch towards getting these printers into the classroom.
The educational aspect of the printers is doubly helped by Makerbot's " Education" section on their famed Thingiverse site, where classrooms from kindergarten through university can find projects ranging from fully 3D-printed brake calipers, to centripetal force demonstrations, and so much more. Of course, the loud noises produced by a printing 3D printer make such an investment only suitable for certain learning environments, but whether for a class or the home, the Mini+ is a great early option for those just getting into 3D printing.
Makerbot, once the wunderkind of the nascent 3D printing industry, found itself in a beleaguered state as the second half of the 2010's started to roll on. From Colbert Report appearances to bold pronouncements of revolutionary proportions, former Makebot CEO Bre Pettis' ambitious strategy proved too much, too soon. As the adoption of 3D printers into the classroom takes place on a progressively wider scale, those involved can expect a resurgence of groundswell around the technology, as folks who grow up with it continue to unlock its full potential.
Love it! It's very easy to setup and starts printing the things you want within minutes!
Very few jams compared to other 3D printers that i've worked with and completion rate has been good so far. Pretty happy with the remote monitoring too.
I was able to get it up and running pretty quickly. First 3 prints went great. 4th one had to pause because the extruder was too hot, but after resuming, it completed.
This printer has been running well since i got it. I've only had 1 filament jam since I got this a few months ago. Mainly use it for personal and friends' projects.