3D printers arenâ€™t just for engineering wizards anymore â€“ they are finding their way into schools and homes. This review of the Maker Bot Replicator Mini Compact 3D printer is a quick but in-depth dive at what makes this product one of the top-tier choices for hobbyists and schools alike. Here you will read upon its features, pros and cons, and what other consumers think of it in general.
Having a 3D printer in every school desk sounds like a fantasy but as this feature reveals it just might become a reality very soon. The cost of 3D printer production is going down, especially with the advent of portable, home 3D printers. One such example is the MakerBot Mini Compact 3D printer.
âœ… Best MakerBot Replicator Mini Compact 3D Printer
THE MINI IS A CUTE LITTLE POWERFUL PRINTER – The Makerbot mini has been pretty reliable and although it jams occasionally, it is easy enough to load and unload the filament and keep printing. You like the fact that there are a wide varieties of PLA filament color â€“ and that the PLA is made out of acrylic derived from corn. It even smells a little like pop corn when it gets heated up! strongly recommend the Makerbot Mini to any family that wants to get a head start on the 3D Printing revolution, for a reasonable entry level price.
Perfect for Educational Use
The Maker Bot is ideal for educational use and in many places, it has already found a home in local schools. This particular 3D printer is the preferred choice for many educational establishments because of its compact features and intuitive control. This is not a mystery machine that only high-degree engineers could use â€“ even grade school students could manipulate it.
This is because the MakerBot does not require high-end codes from Auto-CAD software and it doesnâ€™t need code conversion either. It comes with its own software that features numerous colors, free forms, and templates for children to use.
It also has an onboard camera that lets you monitor progress while the machine is actively printing. This is very educational for children and helps the teacher explain how these machines work. The camera also sends reference photographs for future use. These are also saved on the MakerBot cloud storage network.
The printer also features a smart extruder system that automatically sends notifications when the spool is empty. Printing is paused and you can easily swap filaments without having to completely halt and restart the printing process. Itâ€™s as easy and adding paper to a regular ink printer.
That doesnâ€™t mean that this is solely for little kids. The free-range interface and capabilities of this printer give hobbyists and professional designers all the tools they need to make prototypes and profitable creations.
Digging Deeper Into the Box
Weighing in a total of 18lbs and 15inches in height, this is a relatively medium-sized 3D printer. Any other 3D printers review would flag this is as a negative but this is perfectly fine for the purpose of this machine. It was designed for desktop use in schools and these dimensions fit the bill.
It also means that children can make anything they want. The maximum dimensions for a printed product are 3.9Ã—3.9Ã—4.9inches. Itâ€™s like giving them the keys to creating their own Lego blocks of any size except this time they can literally design anything with the MakerBot software and 3D printer.
Digging in deeper youâ€™ll see it is compatible with a wide range of users, not just kids. It is compatible with Windows 7 and above, Mac OSX 10.7.0 and above, and Linux UBUNTU 12.04 and above. It recommends MakerBot file types but it also accepts STL files, THING files, and OBJ files.
â€¢ There is no doubt that this is the ideal choice for educational use. The added MakerBot software and its online network allow young designers to be creative. The interface is simple and easy to use and children can make adjustments at any time during the design phase.
â€¢ Professional designers wonâ€™t dismiss this product either because of its wide range of compatibility. It will accept different file types such as .obj and .stl and it is capable of running its software and the most widely used operating systems like Mac and Windows 7.
â€¢ The printer is affordable and portable. The total 3D printer cost here is under $1,400 and youâ€™d normally think it would be a heavy bulk to carry but it in fact it is built for desktop use. It is lightweight and compact, perfect for carrying around from home to work or school.
â€¢ The onboard camera is a powerful asset for educational use but it also works wonders for professional designers and hobbyists who want to supervise the printing process. With the added social networking features with the MakerBot software, you can also share those designs before, during, and after printing.
â€¢ It is a highly acclaimed printer. If you check its Amazon page youâ€™ll see it has garnered three out of five stars, based on nearly twenty reviews.
â€¢ This is a quick-setup machine. Just pull it out of the box, install and update the software, and youâ€™re set to make your first print.
â€¢ It is pretty limited when it comes to what kinds of filament are compatible with the machine. In this case, you can only use MakerBot PLA filaments.
â€¢ While it is quick and easy to start it up, you do have to read the instructions line to line. Simply not updating your firmware could lead to a myriad of complications and printing failures.
Taking Education to the Future
Looking into the history and basic foundations of 3D printing one can immediately notice how portable, domestic printers such as this are relatively new to the market. It wasnâ€™t common to buy 3D printer machines like this until the mid-2000s.
However, if there is anything revolutionary indicated in this MakerBot Replicator Mini Compact 3D Printer review it is that the times are quickly adapting. It wonâ€™t be long and this printer could be seen on school desks all over the country.
It allows a child to freely design, print, and test what they have in mind. If their ideas donâ€™t work so well they can always go back to the MakerBot Mini 3D Printer and do it again, adding little tweaks and changes to the design each time.
Should You Get the MakerBot 3D Printer?
In the end, youâ€™ll want to sit back and think whether or not this is the ideal printer for you. If you are a professional engineer planning for mechanical prototypes and others then this might be a little basic for you although it can still cater to your needs. If you are going to use it for educational uses or for home profit then this is a guaranteed must-buy.
The Maker Bot Replicator Mini Compact 3D Printer is a milestone in 3D printing. It is perhaps the most intuitive in design and the easiest to use. It could well be the perfect educational tool for todayâ€™s children and tomorrowâ€™s engineers.