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MakerBot vs. Ultimaker 2 Extended

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Hi, age old question. I am new to the industry and my fascination with the same has got me pretty hooked on to start a small prototyping service in my hometown in India. I was looking at some FDM printers and i have narrowed it down to the UM Extended vs. Makerbot 5th Gen.


I also looked at the TAZ4 but it requires manual assembly so it lost a couple of points there. Also, i saw Zortrax.


I am primarily concerned with precision build volume.Moreover, ease of use since i am a beginner.


Please help me take a call on this.


Appreciate it :)

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Avoid 5th gen MakerBots like the plague! The 5th Gen replicators have nothing but problems. They are so bad there is a class action lawsuit against MakerBot (Stratasys) for knowingly selling a product that doesn't work. We have a UM Extended as well as 2x UM2s and are very happy with all three. We also have a Replicator 2X which is a generation older than the 5th Gens. Its OK but the Ultimakers are far better.

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What you have to know about "consumer grade" 3D printers, is that there is no such thing as a completely "trouble free" 3D printer in this market. I'd recommend (any) Ultimaker 3D printer because they are pretty well built, and they offer very good printing quality and speed.

You have to be prepared to turn some screws in order to fix issues, and maybe replace one or another defective part.

If you get an Ultimaker, this will not be much of a problem since you have access to

a) the complete assembly instructions, drawings and so on

b) this community which will help you with any problems you'll encounter

c) the Ultimaker support which can be quite slow, but they are very fair and helpful

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You'll find the community here extremely friendly and helpful.  You will also be amazed at the level of modifications and tweaking many members do!

-Makerbot, I have yet to hear a good thing about one.    They once embraced open source...then sold out.  Someone needs to hammer a wooden stake in their heart :)

- TAZ4 and other machines look neat...but do some searches on YouTube for reviews on them.  While some are quick to praise their build volume, they seem to have a fair amount of complaints about their complexity and software.  I've never seen one in person but again, being the avid reader/review follower I am, advise you to do a cursory search and check them out.

- Ultimaker was what opted to go with, obviously!  I bought an Ultimaker Original two years ago after months of reading online reviews, forums and various articles. And I am debating an Ultimaker 2 or Ultimaker 2 Extended.  The reviews are very good, my friends own them and the support team....and the community...are extremely helpful.   If you have a problem on a Friday night, post on the forums....and you'll have responses fairly soon from very helpful gurus!

Edited by Guest

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Before you start your business look at 3dhubs.com and see how many people are already offering the same service within 100 miles of where you live and see what price they are charging. 3dhubs lets you do that kind of thing (choose area).

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I had this same debate when I was looking into 3D printing back in November and December. I can now say that I couldn't have made a better decision then going with the UM2.

Now, the big thing is that it's not always a smooth road. This isn't exactly a plug a print printer. I have yet to work with one that is truly a, "plug and print" printer.

As has been stated earlier, the user community is awesome! Myself and a lot of other users are on a chatroom nearly daily and it's been super helpful when I run into an issue and can talk with them for help. There are so many people who can help you get your printer up to optimal performance. Plus you learn what to do yourself.

Build area. What are you wanting to print? Do you have your own designs that you're wanting to print or do you just want to print really big objects?

I hope this helps. Good luck in your decision!

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