Review Update: Makerbot Replicator Z18

Revised Rating: 7.5 out of 10

So way earlier in the year, I wrote a review on the Z18 3D printer that Brad Feld very generously loaned to me. At the beginning of my first review, I said that I would make a follow up review once I had the printer for longer. Now, I have had the Z18 for the whole summer! It was an amazing experience being able to work with such a great technology. Unfortunately (without intending to) I realized that I had written a rather detailed review the first time around, and now I don’t have much to write about 🙂  However like most 3D printers, the Z18 ran into some problems along the way. None of the problems were very large, but sometimes they can be a pain. For example, gradually the extruder nozzle lowered and lowered until it was scraping the build plate. Then I had to manually raise the extruder via the Z offset. This wasn’t very hard, just kind of a pain. Also, some prints came out better then the others, but I only had ONE print that failed. That is very impressive for a printer that I have printed around 50 parts on! However like I said, some prints came out much better than others. Some prints had very rough bottoms (from when the extruder was dragging). And some prints just had large bits of plastic hanging off the sides and top. Some of this was definitely my fault, but I feel sure saying that this printer could have better consistency. For example, a print of a very tiny trinket will almost always come out perfectly, but when I print larger items, there are some very visible lines in the print. However, that was the only other big problem, which shows you how awesome this 3D printer really is. So to conclude, I can really only tell you that the printer only encountered TWO major problems over the course of the summer, and that is very impressive for a 3D printer. So obviously this printer is still a super awesome 3D printer, and it could easily create lots of epic 3D stuff.

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