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Makerbot VS RepRap? Answered

I've have been considering making/purchasing a 3D printer. I've slimmed down the choices to the RepRap Mendel, and the Makerbot Cupcake. Both seem like good choices, but I can't really decide. The big factors in my purchase should be performance above all else, price, availability of parts, and the type of plastic it uses. Can anyone please suggest something?  


Good luck on getting a mendel. The cupcake is often deemed the "reprap maker". The makerbot is significantly easier to acquire but if you can get both then you have other things to consider. A few: The reprap is fragile, if you plan on moving it, it will be a hassle. Also, this means that the build platform could vibrate and create a less accurate build. In comparison the makerbot is relatively sturdy and doesn't have these shortcomings as noticeably. The reprap has an advantage to how the x and y axes are assembled. The makerbot has x and y build platform and a z extruder head. The reprap has a stationary build platform and an x-y-z extruder head. This makes for a larger build area for the same size machine. However the folks a makerbot deliberately chose their x and y to be separate from the extruder head because of the problems and complexities that come with it. They are very similar devices with one of the largest differences being the distribution model (for example the makerbot uses a reprap motherboard). I would choose a makerbot but you have to decide based on your situation.

To address comments to both CCOTTER247 shteef, I just finished building a larger than normal MendelMax and the extruder head runs in the X-axis (side-to-side) & Z-axis (up-and-down) and the bed only runs in the Y-axis (front-to-back). I can print (12 x 12 x 9) and plan on modifying the frame to print 12" tall later this year.

Well I have a makerbot and I am building a Mendel. I feel if you are just getting into 3d printing then you should go with the makerbot as it can be cheaper and much easier to build because it is an enitre kit. With a makerbot you can then print out a mendel. I would like to point out that the mendel extruder head moves in the Z and X axis and the print bed moves in just the Y axis.


7 years ago

I feel the previous answer is somewhat misleading, I cannot comment on the makerbot as I have little knowledge about it, nut the mendel, which is the second generation of reprap, is a robust(if correctly built)unit, it has an extruder head purely in the Z axis, the X and Y are covered by movement in the bed. The unit's are readily available in both plan,kit and fully built form.