Javier Rivera on 07/08/2015
22 reviews

The initial setup instructions are very easy to follow, and within 1 hour of cutting the box open, I had my first successful calibration cube. And this is my first 3d printer. Yep, I'm a newbie. Pretty much everything was included -- power supply, cables, test print proving the printer works, and some filament.

If you FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS, bed adhesion is not really a problem. My problem is actually the opposite -- for large prints, I get too much adhesion and the part is impossible to remove unless I use a raft. So I use a raft in those situations, along with some precise glue stick application. (Judiciously apply glue only to the extremities of a print.)

The print quality is excellent. The machine is very rigidly built, and while not all of the mechanicals are perfect, they are good enough for the limited build area. The MIC6 bed is pretty level, and the autoleveling probe works very well. The all metal extruder has performed nearly flawlessly (I believe my 2 jams were caused by the "spool management", see later.) The print speed is not as fast as some of the more expensive, fancier printers, but I prefer to keep the speed down to improve the quality; most of the time I'm printing 45-50mm/s, with initial layer going at about 25-30mm/s. Just because you can go faster doesn't mean you will actually want to.

There are a couple of weak points to the printer:

1. Cable management on the carriage droops down too much and hits the bed as it moves back and forth. I fixed this with some retractable badge holders which work really well and are very cheap, and conveniently clip on to the frame itself.

2. The spool holder sucks. You have to unscrew your case to install it. While it's not a major change to the framing, it should *never* be necessary to unscrew any structural component just to install a spool holder. Moreover, the weight of the suspended spool is not centered over the frame, and the printer as a whole does move a little while it's printing, and this makes it worse. Finally, the spool holder isn't really a spool holder. It's a bent piece of metal which may have a sharp edge which will eat away at you spool and cause small plastic flakes to fall into your printer, which can cause a disaster (like an extruder jam). Even without that, it makes for very, very poor spindle rotation. I fixed this by just buying a 3d party spool holder.

3. No mount points for *any* accessories. The Play only needs a few more holes in some choice locations to allow people to accessorize it. For example: Raspberry Pi (which I've mounted with some sticky tape on the frame), camera on the bed (I have no solution for this, so the camera is just mounted elsewhere for now -- it would be much better if I could mount it to the moving bed), and a proper spool holder. I think the Play is a much better printer than Printrbot even considers it -- it's a real printer, and real printers want accessories.

4. Connectors jut out the side, increasing the effective length of the printer for no good reason. It would have been better to have them come out under the bed, where there is overhang anyways. Or have some 90 degree adapters available.

5. Giant heat shield makes it kind of hard to see what's going on. I understand why it was done, but that doesn't change the results.

6. Z-axis threaded rod wobble -- doesn't appear to affect quality, but still can't possibly good in the long run.

7. The small size actually makes it difficult to manipulate certain things, like applying Kapton tape evenly, or prying parts off. This is just a result of the compact size of the printer.

James R. Brown on 29/07/2015
22 reviews

I do really like this thing. It took a bit to get set up, getting the Z-height just right, and I had to print a part to help keep the hose from catching on the build plate on most builds, but other than that, this thing is pretty great for a novice 3D printer like myself.



Biggest one is the build platform. 4x4x5" is just not that big, but that's why this printer costs hundreds less than its larger counterparts.

Could not for the life of me get any print to stick without masking tape, hairspray AND a raft, but once I started doing all that, each print works perfectly as intended.

All in all, the only things I've not been very proud of that came out of this printer so far were parts that were larger to begin with that I scaled down to fit on its small bed and didn't turn out great for that reason (no fault of the printer itself).

One side comment - I really, really hope they make a heated bed for this one like they did the Simple. Printing in ABS would have its uses. Can't really call that a con, though, since it's not an advertised feature of the product as of yet.