Review: PowerSpec 3D Pro 3D Printer

3D Printing & Imaging Workshop
Review: PowerSpec 3D Pro 3D Printer
PowerSpec 3D Pro 3DPrinter: Dual extrusion for under $1,000.
Image by Brian Kaldorf.

PowerSpec 3D Pro |

  • Price as Tested $999.99
  • Build Volume 226×144×149mm
  • Bed Style Heated
  • Temperature Control? Yes
  • Materials PLA, ABS, PVA
  • Print Untethered? SD Card
  • Onboard controls? Yes
  • Host Software ReplicatorG (MakerBot Desktop possible)
  • Slicer Skeinforge (MakerBot Slicer possible)
  • OS Mac, Windows, Linux
  • Open Software? Third-party software
  • Open Hardware? No

Heat bed to 65°C for PLA. Print slowly. Use MakerBot Desktop instead of ReplicatorG. Check out Sailfish firmware.
A dual extrusion machine based on a well-loved design that prints best in ABS.

Micro Center’s PowerSpec 3D Pro is essentially the MakerBot original Replicator (launched in early 2012, now retired), but it has a few design and materials improvements at half the price.

The black metal chassis of the printer is styled to mimic the Replicator 2X, but with hard composite boards with handle slots that cover the sides, with Replicator 2 style extruders. The directional buttons for onboard controls have been updated, providing tactile feedback when pressed. These details may seem minor, but they make the printer more enjoyable to use and easier to transport.

The included instructions step the user through setup of the outdated ReplicatorG, used with MakerBots until the release of MakerWare (with the painfully slow Skeinforge slicer). The 2X-style front lid doesn’t fully close, leaving a bottom gap and instead of a single-piece vacuum-formed top cover, it is replaced by a user-assembled acrylic-sheet hood that feels a bit fragile.

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