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MakerGear M3

By Chris Yohe / Nov 6, 2018

MakerGear M3
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MakerGear M3

The latest MakerGear offering is its new flagship product, the M3. The steel frame combined with CNC-machined aluminum parts riding on linear rails provides a locked-in motion system that is rugged and reliable. New features include an upgraded hot end, the possibility of independent dual extrusion, and a built-in custom OctoPrint installation that comes stock on all models.

Durable and Dependable

The new hot end design worked well and was able to reach 300°C, printing various filament types without any further modifications. New users will find a helpful setup script that walks you step-by-step through a great bed-leveling tutorial using the included web interface. The heated bed shined with its easily removable and swappable glass and PEI surface. The machine steamed through our probes with good results, and the overnight print was one of the best of the bunch. We do recommend removing the glass bed before removing your parts to allow faster cooling, as the bed can work a little too well at holding prints.

OctoPrint Onboard

The real star of this machine is the custom OctoPrint install. With the M3, MakerGear has delivered an easy, out of the box print experience that worked great for sending and slicing files. Advanced users can still modify their settings, but the stock settings netted great results. While we had a few Wi-Fi configuration blips, this was one of the smoother Pi-based printing experiences we’ve had, and one of the first built-in ones we can recommend. The ability to use it from your mobile device makes it even better. We expect to see the web interface updated to make it even more seamless, and a little extra fail-safe for a bad Wi-Fi setup will make a good printer even better. Also a few tweaks to the default minimum layer settings will lead to a much smoother surface finish.

An Impressive Machine

Whether you are looking for a printer to crank out engineering prototypes or highly detailed dragon models, the MakerGear M3 will deliver a quality experience to your desktop that you can literally lean on.

Specs
MakerGear M3 MakerGear
Manufacturer:MakerGear
Price as Tested:$2,550
Build Volume:203×254×203mm
Bed Style:Heated, removable glass surface with PEI
Filament Size:1.75mm
Open Filament:Yes
Temp Control:Yes, extruder (300°C) ; bed (130°C)
Print Untethered:Yes, comes with OctoPrint built in from manufacturer, Wi-Fi, LAN, USB
Onboard Controls:No
Host/Slicer Software:OctoPrint onboard
OS:Mac, Windows, Linux
Firmware:Modified Marlin
Open Software:Yes, GNU GPL v3.0
Open Hardware:Yes, CC-BY-SA 3.0

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Why To Buy

MakerGear has released a solid, rugged, dialed-in printing machine that cranks out high-quality prints with a self-contained cloud that gets closer to the “it just prints” experience than we’ve seen.

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Pro Tips

A 60-second-plus hold on the reset button will get it back to stock — for when you need to undo your latest tweaks.

The bed heats exceptionally well! An extra plate will keep you quickly printing back to back.

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