Incredible quality - students use it daily
The Makerbot 5th gen is the third 3D printer I've acquired for use in a student research/educational environment. I have been so pleased with the system, anytime anyone suggests an interest in 3D printing, I have boundless good things to say about the Makerbot. One must pay attention to the resolution listed, since it is not a miracle machine, but it does well live up to its specs. We almost never have incomplete prints, and we feel comfortable leaving a complex print overnight. Not something we could say about all printers. The cost of filament is very reasonable, and of course, much of the printed object, in many cases, can be "hollow" , or made using a pattern that results in a low density center/core, but a quite presentable surface finish. Aside from changing the paper that the print is made on, there is hardly any upkeep. The filament never hangs up on us either. This 3D printer easily enables students to make prototypes just about as fast as they can test the model and design a newer version. If we do want a better quality print, it is great to be able to test the .stl to make sure we really know that the file will generate what we want before we submit it to a more expensive system for fabrication. Could not be happier with the system, and we don't even use the camera system to watch the print, long distance, via the web !