The Conquering of the MakerBot
After lots and lots of trials, I believe I have found optimal settings for the Makerbot Rep 2. I created a profile using these settings, which I dubbed "the Carlos Effect". It's available in the Makerware settings.
10% infill (default)
2 shells (default)
0.15 layer height
230 deg. celsius (default)
Speed while extruding: 40 mm/s
Speed while traveling: 50mm/s
Depending on the geometry of your part, you may or may not want to use a raft, and or support.
Rafts are typically used to eliminate adhesion problems, although you don't see much of this when working with PLA. Having a clean surface also eliminates adhesion problems.
Support is typically used for parts that have undercuts or overhangs. An example of this is an airplane, where the wings would be considered overhangs and would need to be supported while printing. Supports basically act like scaffolds.
However, there are some cases where support is not needed even if your model has overhangs. If your overhang areas are not parallel to the build platform, but instead are angled away from it, you can usually get away without support material. More on support material will follow in a different post.
I will update this blog periodically with any new findings that I may come across.