Kelly Duggan

29/06/2016

My 5th graders loved being able to see their creations being printed on the mini printer. There were some extruder clogs and the customer service was very helpful sending me a new one right away. The extended warranty was helpful to have because I had direct access to a tech.

ElleJay Volpe

07/06/2016

The Makerbot Replicator Mini has been an amazing tool backed by A+ customer support since the day I purchased it. I am a hobbyist who is a museum educator (in STEM Ed) by trade, which is how I had my start in 3D printing, and it fits my needs very well. What I love most about the Mini is that there is very little stress involved. Even my set-up had very little hassle. It took about an hour, and I was printing right away.

Issues pop up now and again, but they have been few. I can fix them myself by easily researching a database of known errors from other users or by easily asking the most wonderful customer support team on the planet who always takes care of me compassionately. Let me tell you, there are so many people who do not care out there, but these people do.

They want to know you and see all of the things you make because they are genuinely interested. When there is a problem, they are there to help. Do be patient because the company is large, but they will do their absolute best. Twitter is a great way to resolve small problems, but create an account on the MB website to open cases for larger issues. As always, do try research things yourself first. That is how you learn. ;)

I would recommend the Mini to educators, families, libraries, people just starting in 3D printing, individuals who want a printer that is great for demos and portability, and anyone who wants a printer with which to have fun or prototype. It’s in the fifth generation family, so you can expect the WiFi connectivity, Makerbot Desktop, app pairing, and camera monitoring. It only prints in PLA, but there is hope for other filament types in the future.

Engineers expecting “engineering quality” product or people expecting commercial level resolution, this product is not for you. Go with the 2X, Z18, or the Replicator if you want to stay within Makerbot and that is what you want. Each of Makerbot’s printers in their lineup has a specific idea in mind, and this one was designed to be a consumer-friendly printer that is compact and relatively more affordable, not be a power-house or have the supreme of all resolution. (However, I am still quite pleased!)

I am so pleased with Makerbot that I am going to purchase a second printer at some point to further my goals to open my own business.

Steve Hannes

27/04/2016

This was my first 3d printer purchase so I was a bit apprehensive. After hearing from my friends about how good this one was I bought it and have been very impressed. Now I don’t know how I ever lived without it.

Dustin Fox

12/04/2016

Since purchasing the Makerbot Mini Replicator, my family and I have been extremely pleased with its performance, as well as its price/performance ratio. My wife and I have 3 school age daughters and each of them has found a way to explore the wonders of 3D Printing.

The 15 year old has been experimenting with design and making jewelry, while the 9 year old has been a frequent visitor of thingiverse.com – and likes to print out all kinds of animals – and now dinosaurs. The 7 year old has been printing out My Little Pony related objects. As for me, I have been printing sports related stuff.

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. I like the fact that there are a wide varieties of PLA filament color – 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! I 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. I feel good about being able to provide this printer to my school age children – and they will be ready when the Virginia K12 schools start using them (which has already started for the most part).

Kevin Neugebauer

09/04/2016

Here are my first impressions:

If you have a 3D printer at your desk at work, people will come and check it out. Best cubicle toy ever!

Assembling out of the box is fairly easy. After reading the less than helpful printed instructions, I combined them with a YouTube video and was able to stick parts into mostly the right places. Keep in mind, there were only 4 or so parts to put in place, no tools required.

After assembling the printer, I needed to download the software. I did the usual install for macs, nothing fancy or tricky there. There appeared to be a few hiccups in the software, as it did not immediately detect the printer, and not immediately prompted me for my first print. Eventually, the software and the hardware were on the talking terms and now I was ready to print!

Being fairly technical, I assumed the instructions were not meant for me, so I tried printing without upgrading the firmware. The result was fairly obvious, the only thing to come out of it was frustrated audience patiently awaiting the first 3D thing. Do yourself a favor, read and follow the instructions- they were pretty clear that I needed to update the firmware. The software may prompt you for upgrade a bit too late, so be sure to cancel the print job and do the upgrade first.

Upgrading the firmware took a while. After all was set in place, I loaded octopus sample file that came with the software and tried printing. After taking its sweet time warming, calibrating, targeting, and all the other things that printers do, it finally lifted the little plate to the nozzle and the nozzle started to frantically move back and forth trying to do something. While this was a lot better than before, the object it was printing was invisible.

At this point, I cancelled the print, took out some parts and re-threaded the filament with a lot of force, instead of just a little (it really needs to go deep in there, not just a little). Feeling hopeful, tried again. Now, the printer could not find the bottom plate! The plate was obviously there, so i tried moving it. That did the trick, and when i pressed print again, it actually started printing! After warming, calibrating, targeting, etc, etc, etc.

Now that the printer could correctly locate all its parts, it was chirping and humming and making other sweet printing sounds. It was making them for about 50 minutes, and in the end, I had a little plastic octopus, all of my own.

For my second print, I went to http://www.thingiverse.com and found plenty of things I want to print! Now I am spending way too much time on that site looking at different models.

Overall, this printer is great for experimenting with 3D printing. Yes, it is a little slow, compared to LaserJet paper printing, but, when you consider that you are manufacturing an actual item, it is not unreasonable.