3D Printer - Makerbot Replicator Gen5



Quick Links

Exporting .STL Files from SolidWorks • Exporting .STL Files from CREO
Printing a Part on the MakerBot 


Quickly iterate your prototypes to verify your designs and catch flaws sooner using this "prosumer" desktop 3D printer. The low material cost for this 3D printer is an advantage for early prototypes that do not require more accurate dimensional tolerances.

How to Start

  1. Prepare your design using your prefered 3D Modeling Software (SolidWorks, CREO, Rhino, Alias, Google SketchUp Pro, etc). If you do not have access to a CAD package, consider using one of the free CAD packages like Fusion 360TinkerCad, or the free educational download of Autodesk Inventor. Please note think[box] does not currently offer training on any CAD package, instead it is suggested that you search for online tutorials for your preferred CAD package.
  2. Using your prefered 3D Modeling Software, export your 3D Model as an STL file. As a convenience we offer a tutorial for Exporting STL Files From Solidworks, and a tutorial for Exporting STL Files from CREO.
  3. Come to think[box] and begin Printing a Part on the MakerBot

File Format 

The 3D printer takes STL files, the most common 3D file format.  When exporting STL files from your modeling software, if you get an option to select a resolution, there is no need to go smaller than 0.001 inches. The resolution of finished parts on the MakerBot is not finer than this, so increasing the STL resolution beyond this won't result in increased part resolution.


The material used is plastic called PLA (Polylactic Acid). Material properties such as Tensile Strength and Flexural Modulus vary widely with exact composition. If the material properties are critical for your design to be a function prototype, it is recommended that you use a higher-end 3D printer for which those material properties are defined and closely controlled. Colors stocked include red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, white, two grays, black, and translucent natural. Visit think[box] to verify your desired color is in stock. If you would like to bring in your own material, please see a think[box] staff member. Final costs are based on the weight of material you use. A student worker will weigh your desired spool before and after you use the 3D printer and calculate the price based on the difference in weight and the pricing rate below:

Makerbot/Ultimaker Supplies

Technical Details

Build envelope (XYZ): 252 x 199 x 150 milimeters (9.9 x 7.8 x 5.9 inches)

MakerBot's advertised minimum step height is 100 microns (about 0.004 inches). Your results may vary based on the settings you choose and the geometry of your part.