MakerBot Replicator 2X Experimental 3D Printer Review [2019]

0
We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
(Last Updated On: May 31, 2019)

MakerBot Replicator 2X Experimental 3D Printer Review

Even if desktop 3D printers aren’t quite as ubiquitous yet as, say, inkjet printers, the truth of the matter is this technology is maturing faster than many expected – and there aren’t quite as many major leaps forward in the 3D printing realm as there have been in the past.

For the most part, 3D printing technology has matured – especially in the desktop space – and folks understand exactly what they are going to be getting when they decide to go in this direction. At the same time, there are a handful of companies that continue to push the technology a little bit further with every system that they produce, and none are leading the charge quite as hard as the folks at MakerBot.

With the MakerBot Replicator 2X, this company has designed and developed an experimental grade 3D printer designed specifically to push boundaries in the industry. This is an advanced unit that makes the most of some pretty groundbreaking new technology and gives those that decide to invest in this particular system the opportunity to create in ways that aren’t possible with your standard 3D printing technology.

If you want to know whether or not the MakerBot Replicator 2X is perfect for you, and whether or not an experimental printer like this one gives you the flexibility that you have been so desperate for, check out the rest of our quick guide.

Overview

As we touched upon above, the MakerBot Replicator 2X is not your every day, run-of-the-mill 3D printer by any stretch of the imagination.

This is a very much advanced system that makes the most of new and proprietary technology, a system designed to use dual extrusion modules that allow you to craft and create in ways not possible previously (unless you had a sky-high budget and were willing to purchase commercial grade pieces of equipment).

But even though the MakerBot Replicator 2X is an experimental system, that doesn’t mean that the folks at MakerBot made the system overly complicated or complex. No, these engineers have continued to focus on simplifying and streamlining the 3D production printing process as much as possible – and the MakerBot Replicator 2X illustrates just how far this company is willing to go to make 3D printing accessible to everyone and anyone.

Initial Impressions

The very first thing you’ll notice about the MakerBot Replicator 2X is that it isn’t all that much larger than most of your “standard” 3D printing solutions available on the market today. At the same time, it would be a major mistake for you to think that this unit is a carbon copy of your run-of-the-mill 3D printers – it is anything but that!

As we highlighted earlier, this unit makes the most of a dual extrusion module that allows you to print with ABS and dissolvable filament modules manufactured by this company. Having the opportunity to print in both of these different filament materials (at the same time if you want) opens up a lot of creativity and new product solutions that aren’t available with single extrusion module systems.

On top of that, you’re also able to use two interlaced colors when you are 3D printing production materials. You can print precisely with these dual aligned nozzles without any “hot swapping” of material necessary, and no longer do you have to pause your print project to swap out filament systems for certain parts of your production process.

This opens up some really complex design and intricate/interior supports that can be produced using dissolvable filament. Having the opportunity to “scaffold” the interior of your project while it is going through the 3D print process and then being able to dissolve that interior scaffold to produce a clean project later down the line is a benefit that cannot be overstated.

The MakerBot Replicator 2X is a true game changer in the world of 3D printing, and you would be making a major mistake to overlook the functionality that these dual extrusion systems bring to the table.

Special Features

The biggest special feature that the MakerBot Replicator 2X has to offer is most definitely that dual extrusion system that we have spent a bit of time highlighting.

The dissolvable filament system itself is what really separates this unit from the rest of the pack, as you are now able to produce incredibly complex 3D materials without having to waste ABS filament or having to come up with convoluted production processes that kill time and efficiency to get the finished material you are looking for.

Printing at a 100 µm layer resolution and optimized for ABS filament “overlays”, the MakerBot Replicator 2X is a system that is close to a commercial application but available in a desktop style format. You definitely get your money’s worth when you decide to make this your primary 3D printer!

Pros

Having the ability to print in two different materials – or two different colors – at once without pausing or hot swapping is a major benefit of the MakerBot Replicator 2X.

Built in design and engineering software interfaces directly with all other industry-leading solutions and any other product from the MakerBot company.

The 100 µm layer resolution guarantees you get a smooth to the such surface without any extra finishing required.

Cons

The build volume of the MakerBot Replicator 2X isn’t quite as extensive as some of the other 3D printer options available.

The price tag on the MakerBot Replicator 2X is a little bit higher than standard single extruder solutions (though that is to be expected).

Final verdict

The MakerBot Replicator 2X is a next-generation 3D printing solution that is going to capture a lot of attention from folks that are serious about 3D printing complex projects without sacrificing resolution or the “finished product” in any way.

While not ideal for absolutely everyone, if you are looking to push the boundaries of what 3D printing solutions are capable of, want to make the most of the amazing versatility this system has to offer, and are willing to tinker with new production processes and materials, the MakerBot Replicator 2X is likely to be right up your alley!

Related: