MakerBot Replicator 2 – Unboxing and First Print

MakerBot Replicator 2 Unboxing

After a long wait, we’ve finally gotten our hands on our MakerBot Replicator 2 3D Printer! So here’s some shots of the first things we’ve gone with it…

MakerBot Replicator 2 Unboxing

The box is a pretty hefty one, but thankfully not too heavy. Black and cool looking on the outside and belies the awesomeness that is inside.

Makerbot Replicator 2 Box

Ripping off the tape on the top cover, everything is pretty well packed, all in very eco-friendly cardboard shipping materials. Additional plus for packing the accessories and other parts in the top and bottom “cushioning” parts. Jjust have to be careful not to have them slide out and drop when removing those parts.

Opening the Replicator 2 Box

With the top packaging cushion removed, the Replicator 2 is snuggled nicely within a ginormous tote bag, which is supposed to help you take it out of the box.

Replicator 2 in Makerbot Box

And here it is, once it’s been lifted out ever so carefully.

Replicator 2 in Makerbot Tote Bag

A large warning sign yells at anyone who tries to like the Replicator 2 via its control cable. Not a wise move.

Warning Label on Replicator 2

If you look closely, there are zipties securing the top corners and some moveable parts from damage during shipping. It’s cool to see that the red and orange spacers you see on the top corners are actually also 3D printed parts!

Replicator 2 as Shipped

Closer look at the spacers:

Replicator 2 as Shipped

Fitting in of the build plate was pretty easy too. Too bad there seems to be a shortage of painters’ tape for the build platform when we got the machine so we’re going to have to pick it up another day. The platform seems to be of a very thick and strong acrylic material with the Makerbot logo laser cut onto it (note: we need to get a laser cutter soon too!). There was still some remaining powder on the platform but not too much of an issue, that.

Setting in the Build Platform

Now for the raw material invovled – a 1 pound spool of clear PLA which came with the Replicator 2. It’s packed in a sealed bag with a dessicant to prevent humidity from affecting the plastic filament. We may just have to get some form of airtight container with more dessicant material to store future spools of this stuff, especially given the humidity levels in Singapore.

Makerbot PLA Spool

Starting the Replicator 2 for the first time was a breeze – friendly instructions to guide through the process. Only dislike here is the very cheap feeling and somewhat irresponsive buttons on the front panel. Really, that was the only thing which detracted from what a cool machine it is (with laser cut black powder-coated metal plates for the casing and all)

Makerbot Replicator 2 Welcome ScreenMakerbot Replicator 2 Welcome Screen

Quick closeup shot of the build platform with the LEDs on.

Setting Up the Replicator 2

And the colours for hte LED can be changed too! Here it is in hot pink. Needless to say, we didn’t leave it at this setting.

Setting Up the Replicator 2

After a quick 10-15 minute setup, mostly slower as we were fussing over the minute details, we started to print the test nut and bolt model which was on the Makerbot SD Card which was included. Printing direct from SD card without a computer connection is one of the most useful features of this machine. Actually while it can print with a direct cable hookup to a computer, it make wreck havoc with the printjob when the computer decides to sleep or hibernate.

3D Printing Closeup

Shot of the LED Front display as it shows the progress of the printing.

MakerBot Replicator 2 Front LEd

In all the excitement, the shot above of the build platform was the only shot of the printing process (and you can see a bit of the nut and bolt forming). After that, we’re just going to jump straight to the “tada” momemnt and show you the final piece below.

Nuts and Bolt Finshed Print

Final print of the Nuts and Bolts Test Model.

Chains Finished Print

Also did a quick print of the Chains Test Model

Initial Prints Showcase

The booty after around 1 ~ 2 hours of print testing … The red and orange pieces were the spacers which came with the thing but the clear/white pieces are the printed test models. Check out how the chains piece came printing out perfectly interlocking because the model was designed in a way that the the various links do not touch one another. Nifty!

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More detailed shots of the Nuts & Bolt Test model

3D Test Print of Gears

This is an amazing print as it took only 10-15 minutes. Was a little tricky to remove from the build plate but nothing too crazy. And the pieces fit right out of the printer! Dimensions were spot on.

3D Test Print of Gears

Another shot of the nut and bolt set screwed on.

2D Test Print Gears

And thus begins our adventures in 3D printing. Had a little bit of problem with getting started on the Makerware program with the slicing but managed to figure that one out.

There’s tons more stuff up our sleeves as soon as we figure out the eccentricies of the machine (seems like none really yet), and then we’ll be moving on to more intersting prints and projects!

Stay tuned! =)

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