MakerBot On Machine Reliability and Improving Performance

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Our last post on MakerBot’s new print software spurred on some conversation, internally and via email. One consistent concern we get from MakerBot Replicator owners, and questions we ask as Replicator owners considering their new products, are, “Has Stratasys put effort into making MakerBot’s work more reliably and consistently?” and, “Do the new products work more reliably, with more transparent maintenance procedures?”

We wanted to get these questions in front of MakerBot, and they responded right away with comments from two of their top guys. They address what MakerBot is doing in the way of testing to ensure their 3D printers are producing high quality results, how they’ve re-engineered their machines and what they are doing to improve the design for servicability and getting started.

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Dave Veisz, VP of Engineering

For professionals and educators, machine reliability, and print success rate are paramount needs. Customers don’t want to spend time tinkering with their machines in order to get their desired print output. To this end, MakerBot has collaborated with Stratasys to develop a robust testing program to ensure reliable, high quality performance. The Replicator+ and Mini+ were fully re-engineered for increased performance and reliability. Both printers feature an improved gantry and Z-stage through stiffer materials and sturdier construction for consistent and predictable printing. Our new 3D printers racked up over 380,000 hours of subsystem and system reliability testing across 150+ units. This obsessive emphasis on testing and quality is ingrained in the company culture, and has paid off in positive feedback from the field.

Stratasys has been a key partner in machine and materials technology. They bring decades of innovation and some of the best minds in FDM. We have been able to leverage their expertise in product design and testing.

We’re proud of our newest lineup of printers and the level of quality and consistency we’ve achieved with them, but that doesn’t mean we’re slowing down. MakerBot’s software and firmware teams are constantly unlocking new efficiencies and quality improvements with newly released updates and features.

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Antonio Burton, VP of Customer Support

The MakerBot Replicator 2 is a self-serviceable machine that requires consistent maintenance. We continue to offer support for the Replicator 2 with replacement parts available and an expert support team on phone and email to help our customers through any issues.

The MakerBot Replicator+ and Mini+ are built for especially long product lifetime without regular maintenance or repair. We know that this is especially important to designers, engineers, and educators, who don’t have time to self-service their printers. The Smart Extruder+, for example, is swappable, so the most critical part of the 3D printer can easily be replaced without any downtime. We also made it significantly easier to get started with these printers through the Guided Setup feature of the new MakerBot Mobile app, which guides users through the entire setup process step by step. Once you’re up and running, the new MakerBot Print software helps streamline the 3D printing experience for any workflow.

For those considering an upgrade, transparency and communication are critical values for us. We have an industry leading support team of in-house 3D printing experts, freely available for any question or concern. This team is based at our headquarters in Brooklyn, so they can easily access software, engineering, and other subject matter experts to help answer questions they’ve never heard before.

The Replicator+ and Mini+ are fully warrantied for 6 months and we offer the MakerCare extended protection plan for up to 3 years.

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