This was our first experience with anything from MakerBot Industries; though we were familiar with the MakerBot 3D printers through some online research. We were eager to print with one of the most reputable 3D printers on the market today.
When the package arrived, we were surprised at how large and heavy the box was given the dimensions of the MakerBot Replicator 2. We would soon learn the black box from MakerBot accommodated a lot of protective packaging—the printer itself is approximately 19 in. tall, 13 in. deep and 18 in. wide.
The MakerBot was very well packaged and secured providing a lot of protection during shipping. In a smaller box, inside the main box, there were instructions and other items, including Allen wrenches, MakerBot PLA filament and power and USB cords. Here, you will also find a support card which has a telephone number, email address, website address and Twitter account. It’s good to know support is close at hand if you need it. You’ll also use the support card as you level the build plate later on.
The printer was inside a reusable bag, which also makes a nice dust cover. In our excitement, our first reaction was to pull the printer out and try to print something, but we decided to go through the instructions, page by page, following each step to ensure everything was setup properly. We would recommend going through the instruction manual thoroughly. The MakerBot isn’t complicated, but there are some outlined steps that need to be completed before printing anything.
The user manual begins with some specifications and a brief introduction to 3D technology. There are a lot of terms used in 3d printing that you may not be familiar with. We suggest reviewing the terms. It’s also helpful to know this vocabulary as you visit and participate in 3d printing forums, websites, etc.
We followed the instructions to remove the MakerBot from the box and packaging by pulling straight up on the handles of the reusable bag. We suggest keeping the box and bag in case you need to transport the 3D printer.
Under the printer, there was another small box with some more parts including the spool holder and build plate—which was wrapped in bubble wrap. The SD card, the blue tape sheets and filament guide were packaged within the printer.
The extruder assembly and other movable parts were secured with zip ties held in place by 3D printed blocks. It was kind of neat to see MakerBot utilizing printed objects to build part of their packaging. This gave us a sense of the practicality of 3d printers in everyday use.
We used scissors to cut most of the zip ties as directed. However, a wire cutter was more effective to cut the zip ties holding the extruder. These ties were hard to access with the scissors.
Our first impression of the MakerBot printer is that it has a fitting, eye-catching design with its industrial appearance, black powder-coated frame and its exposed gears, belts and motors. It’s very open so you can see your project being built from the front, the top, and either side. There is a small control panel and LCD screen on the lower right side.
With that, the MakerBot Replicator 2 was completely unboxed and ready for assembly.