3D printers are increasing in popularity and taking the technology world by storm! Everyday, more people are picking up 3D printing as a hobby and purchasing 3D printers for their home. The market is becoming saturated with different kinds of 3D printers, which leaves many people confused on which one they should choose. That's where we come in to play. We review different 3D printers and highlight the differences to help you choose a 3D printer that will fit your needs!

Today, we are bringing you the MakerGear M2 review. MakerGear is an American 3D printer manufacturer based in Ohio. The MakerGear M2, part of MakerGear's M series, has earned the reputation for being one of the best and most popular 3D printers on the market. Thousands of copies have been sold worldwide, so this is no joke of a 3D printer.

About the Manufacturer

MakerGear is based in Beachwood, Ohio. According to the MakerGear official website, they individually test all of their 3D printers before they ship them. They also claim that all of their steel and aluminum components are manufactured about 25 minutes from their headquarters, and their off shelf components, such as motors, are purchased from domestic and foreign suppliers.

They also have a knowledgeable, prompt, and reliable customer service team that is available by phone and email. Not only do you get great customer service, but you also become part of the "thriving MakerGear community."

MakerGear is a credible 3D printing company that is very trustworthy!

Physical Appearance

The MakerGear M2 has a black powder coated frame and durable steel welding. Other than several plastic parts around the extruder, the frame is almost entirely made of steel. Most of the parts that were used to assemble it can actually be 3D printed and replaced if they break or malfunction for some reason.

It has an open frame design that allows you to view the objects that you are printing. The open frame also allows the parts to naturally cool.

Due to the rather small build volume, however, you aren't going to be able to print large scale parts or large creations. The printer fits comfortably on a large desk without taking too much space, so it is perfect for someone looking to pick up a new hobby.

The MakerGear M2 is shipped with a 0.35mm brass nozzle, which can be upgraded. It is also shipped with a single extruder, which you can also upgrade. If you choose to upgrade to dual extruders, you will be able to separate printing materials. This will enable you to use a separate lower grade filament. This will also speed up the overall printing process and reduce the inconvenient and time-consuming chore of removing the support material. Dual extruders also let you print in multiple colors.

Material Compatibility
MakerGear M2 3d printer

The MakerGear M2 prints plastic parts using PLA or ABS filament. Several customers have reported being successful using nylon and flexible PLA, despite not actually being supported by MakerGear. It's nice to know that you can safely and effectively expand your design options without hurting the printer.

PLA and ABS are both known as thermoplastics. This means they are soft when you apply heat, but they harden when cooled. Make sure you safely store the filaments when you are not using them to make sure they do not absorb moisture, however.

Below is some general knowledge about the filament types previously discussed:

  • PLA –  Harder than ABS plastic and prints with much less warping. Works great with the MakerGear M2 because of the heated bed.
  • ABS – More flexible than PLA, but can be harder to print and maintain shape.
  • Flexible PLA – PLA properties but looks and feels more like rubber.
  • Nylon – Very strong and has a high-resistance to fatigue.

Your best option is probably to print with PLA and ABS, but you do have the options to switch it up if you would like!

How does this work?

Just like most other 3D printers, the MakerGear M2 prints with G-code files. Because of this, you need to make a 3D model in your software system, then slice it into layers with a separate program.

Lucky for you, the slicing software Simplify 3D (trial version) is included with the installation package.

You can use a USB or ethernet connection to send the designs (.STL files) to a computer. After setup, the MakerGear M2 is maintenance free for the most part.

Also, before printing, it is important to make sure that everything is fine-tuned and ready for use. To configure the system, follow the ensuing steps:

  • 1
    Install your spool holder
  • 2
    Connect power supply according to specification—power input and supply.
  • 3
    Connect the MakerGear M2 to your PC or LCD interface.
  • 4
    Feed the filament into its drive using the guide tube.

Now you are ready to print!

The durable steel frame will keep the extruder head aligned when you are printing, and the heated surface pad helps designs print with minimal adjustments to temperatures, speeds, etc.

Product Specifications

Check out the MakerGear M2 product specifications below:

Print Area

8" X 10" X 8"

Nozzle Diameter

0.35 mm

Print Speed

80-200 mm/second

Power Specs

100-240V AC, 50-60Hz, 200 W

Product Size

22” X 19” X 20”, 36.6 lbs 

Filament

1.75mm ABS/PLA

Headed Platform

Yes

Open Source

Hardware/Software

Extruder Heads

One

3rd Party Software

Required 

Minimum Layer Height

25 Microns

On-Printer Control

Optional

Connectivity

USB, SD Card, Ethernet

Printing Area

Open

Cost

Pros and Cons

We have curated a list of what we believe to be the pros and cons of the MakerGear M2! Check it out below:

PROS:

  • Build Quality
  • Reliability
  • Precision
  • check-circle
    Customer Support
  • check-circle
    Value

CONS:

  • Ease of use
  • Noisey
  • Does not have dual extruders
  • times-circle
    Connectivity
Customer Reviews

We took a look at customer reviews of the MakerGear M2 on several websites. We came across several reviews that we would like to share with you.

Most people absolutely love the MakerGear M2:

I think its one of the best printers available on the market. The customer support is awesome. There is a learning curve, as with all printers, but I was printing right out of the box and 4 month later I'm still learning, but that's due to me never having a printer before. I use it to print cases for my BBQ customers and I get wonderful results every time.

3dhubs.com

The Makergear M2 has remained largely unchanged for several years for a very good reason. Once you get the bed leveled, it stays level which is critical to printing. i've ran the printer for several days nonstop and it continued to print as if t were brand new.

3dhubs.com

Others like the MakerGear M2, but they did express some criticism:

Overall this is a good product for the price, although a few failure modes are common. I've used/been around 5+ of these printers and the nozzle mount broke in every one (newer mounts are available that are more reliable). The heated build-plate wires are not very well strain-relieved. Wires on my personal printer and the same printer at work have both had wires breaking off of the heated bed from typical usage. Common filament usage and flexible temperature control make this printer good to experiment with new materials.

3dhubs.com

Conclusion

The MakerGear M2 is a great 3D printer for beginner to mid level experienced 3D printers. You may have to troubleshoot several issues when you are getting started because it is not necessarily the easiest to use.

Once you defeat the learning curve, however, we believe you will be very happy with it! Not only will it produce quality prints, but it is reliable. You get great customer support, as well as the overall support of the MakerGear community that will help you with anything along the way.

Furthermore, it is appropriately priced. There are other 3D printers on the market for lower prices, but for everything that you get with the MakerGear M2, you can't go wrong!

Overall, we give the MakerGear M2 4 out of 5 stars.

If it is out of your price range, however, we encourage you to check out our top 10 best printers under $500, and our top 10 best 3D printers under $1,000.

There is a 3D printer that is perfect for everyone out there!

We thank you for reading and encourage you to leave a comment below. We would love to hear your thoughts on the MakerGear M2!

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