MakerGear M2 3D printer is recognized as one of the most popular home-use machines. It does have few limitations though, mostly a few minor ones.
- Open-source design
- High precision
- Fast Speed
- Heated bed
- Four Point Bed leveling system
- Costly for beginners
- Manual bed leveling
- Limited build space
The 3D printer is designed by the USA manufacturer, MakerGear. The company started its work in the 3D printing industry in 2009. The company has built many 3D printers for different niches and user base.
MakerGear M2 3D printer is recognized as one of the most popular home-use machines. It does have few limitations though, mostly a few minor ones. Apart from that, the 3D printer has impressed a huge audience out there and is still in demand for its high-quality prints and ease of use.
Hence, let us find out if MakerGear M2 is worth the price and is it suitable for your use.
MakerGear M2 Features
To start with, let us find out the features that make this 3D Printer so popular among its users. The machine is competent and has a lot of amazing functionalities that give it an edge over many other competitors.
Also, M2 is known as the signature product of the company and MakerGear has released the latest fifth-generation machine with a lot of additions to the existing feature. The release includes the fixes received from the customer feedbacks and suggestions, announcing itself the customer-centric 3D printer.
Sturdy Frame: The 3D printer is made of an all-metal frame. The aluminum frame provides the machine with the strength to stay stable while the printing goes on for hours. This helps users in achieving precise and accurate prints. The printer is very reliable and offers huge potential to its users.
Completely Assembled: MakerGear M2 is packaged fully assembled, hence, making itself easy to handle for beginners. However, the company also ships the kit version of the 3D printer for a lower price. So, one can choose between the two, as per the liking. It gives the user the freedom to decide how they wish to proceed with the printer, either starting with the first print directly or getting into a thorough building process of the machine.
Single Extruder: The 3D printer owns a single extruder with an attainable temperature of 300 degrees Celsius. This allows the 3D printer to print with a wider range of materials including the specialized filaments as well.
Borosilicate Glass Bed: The 3D Printer has a build plate made using Borosilicate glass. The build plate comes with a laminated print surface which can be replaced when needed to keep the adhesion reliable and strong.
Compact Design: The 3D printer is designed to keep the size compact and easy to maintain. Users can place the printer on the desks without losing a lot of space. The 3D printer is supposed to help beginners with their designs. Hence the size won’t matter much to the users. When comparing it with similar products, one may find the build space a bit less than expected. However, it does help in keeping the size compact. And, the print quality does compensate for these minor limitations.
Open Frame Design: The printer has an open frame design. This helps users in keeping an eye on the print progress while the MakerGear M2 works on the model.
Four Point Bed Leveling System: Although the bed leveling isn’t automatic and it requires one to work a little more to complete the setup, the company has tackled the settings wisely. With the help four-point bed leveling system, even beginners can get the job done in no time.
0.35 Brass Nozzle: The printer features a 0.35 brass nozzle when shipped, however, this can be upgraded as per the user’s need.
Heated Bed: It has a heated print bed which enhances the adhesion of the first layer. Hence, avoiding issues such as warping, print failures, and others.
LCD Screen: The 3D printer has an LCD screen to help users make the settings directly through the printer itself. The printer can work as a standalone machine with its capabilities to connect with the SD Card reader coupled with the interface available on the machine.
Open Source Design: the huge community following MakerGear M2 is an added advantage of buying this printer. Users can add upgrades to the existing design and share it with others to enhance the user experience. The machine is upgradable and has a lot of other perks being from the open-source community.
The loaded feature of MakerGear M2 is remarkable. However, users may have liked to see dual extruder entry at this price point.
MakerGear M2 Specifications
MakerGear M2 3D printer isn’t a bulky machine, however, it suffices within 21 x 24 x 16.5 inches of space. Hence, can be easily accommodated inside a house or a small office.
The 3D printer provides a build space of 200 x 250 x 200 mm which isn’t too much but considerate enough to accomplish a variety of different jobs. It comes in both assembled and kit versions. It embodies a Cartesian X Head mechanical arrangement.
Regarding the resolution, one can print with 50 microns or layer height. This clearly counts for precise prints and accurate results. One can achieve high-resolution prints when working with this workhorse. With a direct feeder system, the printer owns a single extruder and is capable of printing with a wider range of materials.
The maximum extruder temperature attainable is 572 °F / 300 ˚C and the print bed can be heated up to 230 °F / 110 ˚C. The print speed is also impressive enough. One can realize a maximum travel speed of 450 mm/s and a maximum print speed of 200 mm/s.
The printer is compatible with Windows, MAC, and Linux Operating systems.
MakerGear M2 Price
The price depends on the version you opt for. At the time of writing, the price for the kit is $1550 and the preassembled machine comes for $1825.
The price isn’t too cheap, however, with the print quality that it offers, the 3D printer is definitely being purchased more often by the users. Including beginners too, the printer is popular among different user categories.
First Impressions of the MakerGear M2
The MakerGear M2 exhibit a strong frame that is made entirely from metal, however, it stays to look clean and cute at the same time. If you order the preassembled printer, it would measure almost 21 x 24 x 16.5 inches alongside its manageable weight of 26.5pounds. Hence, you can easily make some room for the printer on your work desk without compromising too much of space.
As per the claims of the manufacturer, the printer is capable of realizing industrial-grade precision even with a small footprint. Its durable frame that flaunts the metal casing alongside the four-point print bed adds to the stability of the machine. Hence, promising to provide high-quality print models.
Also, the printer is very well designed and offers huge freedom to users for upgradations. It has tried to keep the visibility as clear as possible by introducing the open frame design.
Apart from its spectacular carbon black finish that enhances the aesthetics of the machine, the printer also offers a reliable and sturdy base. Hence, further making the prints precise and accurate.
MakerGear M2 3D Printer Setup
The setup has been made easy in the latest release. With the introduction of even more rigid and easy to adjust the four-point bed leveling system, the company has come up with a better design. The machine operation has been made more user-friendly with a lot of easy steps for setting the printer.
The assembled version does not require a lot of effort and can be used for printing straight out of the box after a few tinkering. However, those opting for the kit version would have to go through the assembling process. OctoPrint for Maker Gear is also available for this version which offers one-click file preparation as well as design-to-print integration.
All these features help in easy setup and smooth operation. Making this machine more reliable and trustworthy.
The printer is based on FDM technology. Hence, it is easy to work with. But you may find the bed leveling a bit tedious and challenging if you are used to working with an automated bed leveling system.
Turning back to the cost of printing, one can expect to spend much less than what is required for printing with printers based on other 3D printing processes.
The cost of the machine is high in comparison to the budget printer for home use. However, it rolls back in terms of print quality. However, the printing cost won’t differ much from the other FDM 3D printers.
MakerGear M2 Print Quality
The print quality is above average when printing with this workhorse. Users may have expected a bit more with the quality when assessing the machine in regards to its price tag.
The 3D printer is very much capable of handling overhangs and the problem with warping is also manageable. As per the feedbacks and our test results, the printer does well with the low-poly prints. However, not that impressive when printing more complex models.
The positive part is that the printer can be used with a variety of materials and one may get varying results when printing with different filaments. So, find the one that works best for your designs and keep printing the awesome models.
The 3D printer is compatible with Simplify3D slicing software and a variety of other CAD designing applications. It gives the user the freedom to work with their choice of application to provide the best user experience.
The slicing software is also very intuitive and offers huge possibilities to its users. The 3D printer helps in many ways. Either it’s about creating support or optimizing the design for best results, Simplify3D can make that happen with ease.
If you order from Amazon, you would be covered with 6 months of limited warranty. The terms may differ depending on which platform you choose to buy the 3D printer. However, customer support is exceptional.
The technical support is available for every user and the answers are provided at the earliest. The documents and videos regarding the instructions of working with the printer are also very detailed and helpful in providing first-hand assistance.
Parameters Influencing the Buying Decision
The 3D printer can be assessed on the following parameters. Hence, making it lucid if it is worth spending depending on specific needs.
3D Printer cost: The printer is costly when compared with its counterparts. It is priced mid-range.
3D Print quality: With a precision of 50 microns, the printer provides above-average print results and works impressively for less complex designs.
3D Print speed: Users can achieve a maximum speed of 200 mm/s. Hence, the speed is decent and the jobs can be accomplished faster.
3D Printer capability: The 3D printer is advertised as an industrial-grade 3D printer and has been loaded with few amazing features to provide well-rounded results.
3D Printer Practicality: One can utilize the printer for commercial use as well as for learning purposes.
3D Printer User expectations: The user expectations are a bit higher than what the printer offers. Missing automatic bed leveling and dual extruders are few to mention.
Although the 3D printer is capable of a lot of tasks, the learning curve isn’t that easy for beginners. Advertising itself as a plug and play the machine, the manufacturer has not ceased itself from including few manual interventions that may make the setup process tricky for beginners.
MakerGear M2 is a wonderful machine when it comes it providing print results, however, expected to do even better. The list of features could have been pretty more impressive. But the inclusion of compatibility with different filament types and overall amazing experience do balance for the limitations it has.