I fell in love with 3D printing with the MakerBot Replicator 2X. It was the first 3D printer I ever got to use and I was immediately hooked from day one. I love it so much I managed to convince my boss to let me hang on to the old Rep 2 sitting in the office.
But the MakerBot brand has had its ups and downs over the past 6 to 8 years. In my opinion, the original MakerBot machines were the first 3D printers to hit the consumer market with any major success. Compared to the competition the quality was great, it was very reliable by the standards of the time, and the price was manageable, especially for a company that wanted to experiment with 3D Printing.
In December of 2018, MakerBot changed again with the launch of the MakerBot Method. This machine was very different than those prior. For starters, the target audience now became Industry, focusing on engineering offices and design centers.
But most importantly, and finally, Stratasys stepped in and clearly left its mark on this machine. Many of the mechanical features on the Stratasys F123 Series printers are in the new machine.
Stratasys separates itself from other 3D printers for a few reasons but by far reliability is #1. If MakerBot can continue to work with Stratasys to put out reliable machines with the capabilities required by small businesses, this household name can return to its former glory.