The latest update of the software slicer for 3D printing on MakerBot’s products – MakerBot Desktop 3.7 adds some interesting new features that might be what more advanced users were waiting for quite a while. The new version comes with Custom Profiles for the 3D printer where you not only have the Quick Print Settings page like before with only the most basic options such as Quality, Layer height, Infill percentage, Number of shells and Raft and Supports along with temperature for the extruder. It seems however that the extrusion speed and travel speed are no longer available in the Quick tab, but are only accessible via the Custom profile tab, so that could be a bit of inconvenience when working with some more exotic materials and do not need other more advanced options besides the speed.


Now there is a new tab called Custom where you can create custom presets with much more detailed and advanced options available such as the ability to set separate speeds for different aspects for the printing process, or different types of infill pattern aside from the standard hexagonal one you have multiple other options, or to print with higher quality the outer shell of a model and use thicker layer height for the infill for example. There is also much more user control available for the way that Rafts and Supports are being printed, should you wish to play with these settings and so on. The only thing missing however is a detailed descriptions of all of the new options available to the user to play and experiment with. Looking at the various settings it seems that with MakerBot Desktop 3.7 you might get some more additional features accessible that are not even present in the Simplify3D software. The Simplify3D commercial slicer package that is loved by many advanced 3D printer users thanks to the wide support for different devices and a the many advanced features available to the user to play with.


The upgrades for MakerBot Replicator 2 3D printers made by BC Technological Solutions are among the highest rated and recommended ones by users of the device in the 3D printing community. So we’ve had to get them and try them out and after a bit of waiting for the order to arrive we are ready to share our initial impressions starting with the Aluminum Arm Upgrade. What we can say for sure is that the installation of the Aluminum Arm Upgrade is not for the faint hearted and inexperienced users with DIY and hardware as it does require a lot of disassembly and a bit of tinkering to adjust things for smoother operation. The whole process does take some time, but the results are really good after the upgrade. The installation instructions that came with the upgrade kit are not as detailed and as easy to work with for inexperienced users that do not know well their MakerBot Replicator 2 3D printer. So do have in mind if you decide to order this upgrade, there are more affordable and easier to install alternatives that will provide similar improvement, though not as good as with these.


The parts in the upgrade kit, especially the aluminum arms are very well made, though on one of the arms we received the mounting holes were a bit off which made it a bit harder in the adjustment phase, but was not a problem in general as you have some room for adjustment available from the bearing retainers. Mentioning bearings reminds us for another advantage that the Aluminum Arm Upgrade from BC Technological Solutions offers – it allows you to install bearings on the Z axis as well and since we already did the bearing upgrade for the X and Y axes this essentially completed the bushings to bearing replacement. The standard plastic arms do not allow for the addition of linear bearings on the Z axis as there are apparently no suitable linear bearings available that can fit there. With the custom aluminum upgrade arms however you not only have the ability to use linear bearings instead of the standard bushings, but they are even included in the kit.

Apart from the fact that you need to spend some time disassembling the 3D printer, installing and adjusting and then reassembling the whole thing which can easily take up a few hours the Aluminum Arm Upgrade is nice and works well. At $150 USD it is a bit expensive and it could use some more improvement in the design to make it easier to install and adjust, but the end result is worth it. If you are looking for a more affordable and easier to install solution you can check out the Performance 3D Aluminum Arm Stiffeners upgrade we’ve used prior to installing the arms from BCTS.

For more information about the Aluminum Arm Upgrade from BC Technological Solutions…


We have just got our M3D printer that we’ve introduced to you a while ago and on the photo above you can see a quick comparison between our MakerBot Replicator 2 and the M3D printer. The Micro 3D printer is surprisingly compact when you see it live, looks cleverly designed and we do hope that it will also work pretty well. Since now we have the device in our hands you can expect soon to have some first impressions using it as well as more details about it as the official website does lack some important things available to the general public.

Our goal with getting the M3D printer is to see if it really is a good product that comes in the form of an affordable price wise and easy to use for people that are new to 3D printing. If it does well in these two things it may really turn out to be a good first step into 3D printing for people that are interested in the technology and want to give it a try without having to spend too much cash. It also seems like a good choice for a present for not so small kids that want to learn and get into 3D printing. So stay tuned for more as we are using the device as we’ll be sharing our findings.

For more information about the interesting and affordable Micro 3D Printer…