The Replicator used an improved extruder technology which is sturdier, more
reliable, and more lightweight and worked with thinner plastic filament. With
this newer lighter extruder, the Replicator was able to move the extruder in
the XY plane and build platform very slowly in the Z axis. Because there are
limits to how quickly you can move your model without introducing vibration,
moving the extruder instead of moving the model translates to faster, higher
quality prints. This design was improved again with the Replicator 2, including
the addition of an improved filament tensioning system and an active cooling
fan designed to optimize print quality when using PLA.
These are just some of the most obvious changes. Engineers have devoted
thousands of hours to making 3d printing on a MakerBot easier and more
reliable than ever. In doing so, they touched almost every part of the machine.
Massive improvements to the extruder, the electronics, the interface and the
software all help to make the Replicator 2 the most powerful MakerBot yet.