MakerBot Replicator (5th Generation) 3D Printer



So - do these reconditioned units have the “replacement” extruder that is supposed to help with all the issues these units had with jamming?


We checked in with our vendor and we have been assured these will come with the newer extruder so that it won’t have the same jamming issues as the original.


To me, “it won’t have the same jamming issues” means it will just have different jamming issues.


These 3d printers do not appear to have a heated bed, so you will be primarily printing using PLA, a plastic which is water soluble.

To print using ABS, nylon, and many of the other available fusible plastics, you typically are more successful with a heated bed.


PLA is not water soluble. PVA is.

If you want a heated bed (very good to have) then I would recommend you look at the Flashforge Creator or the Flashforge Dreamer. We have both, in addition to two MakerBots. The Creator works with MakerWare, the Dreamer has it’s own program that is very similar.

They each have dual extruders and heated beds. They are both several hundred dollars cheaper and print just as well or better than a MakerBot.


I’ve been using a Flashforge Dreamer for a few months now. Purchased new for $1060 around black friday. I printed favors for my wedding and drone parts, so it has been somewhat of a money-saver for me.
My flashforge has never jammed mid-print. That would suck if the makerbots do that.


“Can you use the filament to print another filament? Or is that a violation of Newtonian physics?”

No, that’s an example of recursion–when a procedure or algorithm falls back on itself!


We have various Makerbot models and 2 Flashforge Creator Pros. I would recommend the FF over the Makerbots any day of the week.


If you want an awesome 3d printer look into the Robo3D. It’s outstanding for the price. All metal extruder, self leveling bed, heated bed. I have one and have zero complaints about it. Plus its almost half the price of this. No brainer.


From Fark:

Scientists 3D print a new beak for a toucan mistreated by a couple of fruit loops


My bad - you are right. Got my plastics mixed up.

Another printer to consider is a delta type. Check out offerings by SeeMeCNC if you are not afraid of assembly. You will certainly learn quite a bit if you do.


Seconded. You can get a new FlashForge for less than this refurbed thing, and then buy decent software for it.

Keep in mind that in this price-range, nothing is plug-and-play, and the Maker-stuff is just way overpriced for what you get… and their customer service is notoriously poor.


What wedding things did you print?



Those are pretty cool!


I just had the experience of running a lab with 5 Makerbot Rep 5th gen. It was a terrible experience. Lots of jams and no way to fix them since the new “smart extruder” is not user serviceable.

Worse however is the slow speed of the 5th gen. We also had Rep 2 (the previous model) and it printed 4x as fast. Shapes that took 15 min on the Rep 2 took over an hour on the 5th gen.


In our experience the newer smart extruders still jam more frequently than any of the other 3D printers we use, just not as frequently than the earlier smart extruders. I personally cleared !8! extruder jams on our 5th gen on one build this afternoon.


You do not need a heated bed to build with nylon, in fact we never heat our heated beds to build with nylon. However, Makerbot says that you can only use their brand PLA on the 5th gens (mini, Replicator and Z18) or it will void the warrantee.

PLA is not technically “water soluable” however it will degrade in water. We found that out the hard way while dissolving PVA supports on a PLA build. PLA is made from corn starch and is billed as biodegradable. After seeing what happens when you soak it in hot water we certainly believe that!


Glad your Flashforges are still working. We have had a number of customers who have ditched their Flashforges due to reliability issues - they are cheap Chinese knock-offs of the rep 2X. These customers have upgraded to USA-made Lulzbots. We still sell Makerbot Rep 2s, but won’t sell the 5th gens until they fix their problems.