I am considering buying a 3D printer for work (scientific research). On paper, the Makerbot 5th generation seems to be the best option, because the price is right for my budget, and also because I'm generally pretty busy, so I want something that's as close to "plug and play" as reasonably possible. This will be my first 3D printer and I have no prior experience with the technology.
However, any search for "Makerbot" brings up a raft of negative reviews from around the time of the 5th generation's first release, which mostly focus on issues with the smart extruder constantly failing and needing to be replaced under warranty. Many of these reviews point out that this may be an initial "teething" issue which might be fixed in later versions of the model, but now, one year later, I'm unable to find any information about whether this was indeed the case.
So: are the initial issues with the Makerbot 5th generation's smart extruder generally considered resolved, or is it an underlying flaw of the model that won't be fixed until the next generation?
I imagine that people might want to suggest alternative models in the same price range. That would be welcome, but I have an extra constraint, which is that I can only buy models that are available in Japan without a long delivery time - this probably limits my options quite a bit.
I own a 5th gen printer and after teaching myself how to dismantle and clear the smart extruder of jammed filament I can attest to the machine working better than any other 3D printer I have used. I run the 3D printing section at Tampa Hakerspace and the MakerBot is much more reliable than the prusa or wanhao which we use at the space. I had problems with the machine initially but now it works like a champ