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Thursday, September 6, 2012

A great review and discussion on the Replicator

Here's an excerpt from a review posted on the Makerbot Users Google Group:
TECHNOLOGY - The technology of the Makerbot Replicator is unsurpassed. It is cutting edge. There are only 3 dual extruder 3d printers on the market currently; Leapfrog Creatr (Netherlands), Bukobot 8 Duo (USA), and Makerbot Replicator (USA). 
...
EASE OF USE - ...
The Makerbot Replicator is not very easy to use. However, in all fairness, other dual extrusion 3d printers are not easy to use either. Take a look at Deepak's review of Leapfrog Creatr . He also had lots of problems getting his machine to work....

CUSTOMER SERVICE - Open source hardware means that you are selling something that anyone can copy. There are several Makerbot Replicator copies on the market right now. For example, there are the Tangibot and the Mbot. Both are made in Asia. Good luck with their customer service/ tech support WHEN (not if) something goes wrong! So, if everyone else is selling the same and/or similar stuff as you at a CHEAPER PRICE, what makes people want to buy your product? One answer: CUSTOMER SERVICE. If you're selling open hardware or software, you're selling customer service. Makerbot customer service is stellar. Guys like Gavin Murphy, Ethan, Mike B and Jason are the legs that Makerbot stands on. Without them, there is no Makerbot. Every time I've come across a problem, they're there bending over backwards to help me. 

CONCLUSION - Although the Makerbot Replicator is a finicky machine that has to be fixed a lot, I still recommend it because there are no other dual extruder 3d printers available in the market that is superior to it. Also, any time something needs to get fixed, Makerbot's stellar customer service team is there to help me. 
This pretty much mirrors my experience. This is cutting edge technology and still requires a little bit more expertise to make go. However the Replicator has put that expertise right at my level, and it's coming down. Plus their customer support leaves nothing to be desired.

Go read the full review and resulting conversation here.

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