Li Anthony

16/04/2016

Printrbot delivers some of the best quality 3D printers, for an affordable price. 3D printers can print almost anything made out of plastic, Some newer printers can print circuit boards, or even food. Some other companies, like Ultimaker and MakerGear try to elude you from the actual price. After closing all the “You’ve won! You now get $0.02 off your order” tabs. You can see the outrageous price of $2,499. Printrbot delivers very high quality 3D printers, ranging from $400 to $1,199. The only problem that I have encountered is the jamming of the hot-end. This was fixed within an hour by the lightning fast support team, who fixed the problem with ease. With any other problems, the support team is almost overjoyed to send replacement parts.

A 3D printer works on a X, Y, and Z axes: up and down, left and right, forward and backward. There is also a motor for the hot end. The hot end, (this is the part that melts and extrudes the filament ) will extrude filament in the desired shape. Then the hot end will move up, or the tray will move down, it than prints the same shape as before. This creates a layering effect. Jamming is usually caused by the print head printing too low, causing the filament to not come out and jam the hot end. To fix this, simply run a thin wire or paper clip through the extruder. You can also prevent it. Once you find the perfect height for the z probe, put a dab of thread lock on it. This makes sure that the z probe does not change height. I have only had to do this once, and it hasn’t jammed since. If you lock it in place and it’s not level, printrbot support will happily give you commands to lower the z probe.

When the printer isn’t jammed, it can print at insane speeds with great quality. Although the $500 printer can print 150 mm per second less than a $2499 printer, it can print with higher quality. This printer can also print layers as thin as 0.06 mm, which is almost as thin as aluminum foil. You can even print a model plane! If doing so, you should turn on support mode. The supports make sure the structure does not collapse while printing and the supports can easily be broken off once the print is finished. Using a mid range printer, I have printed a working model glider plane.

The support team will fix any of your problems in record time. They will send you replacement parts, which are easy to install and work great. When the printer’s z probe failed, the support team sent me a new one within a week. They usually respond within two hours, but can respond in less time or more. Although now they have switched to staff monitored forums, which aren’t as good. They still respond very fast.

Printrbot printers are cheap, high quality and don’t break down often. If you have a 5,000 dollars to spare, I would go with the (still in development) maker arm. It can print, decorate, cut, solder, feed your fish, carve, plot, assemble, and even give you a massage. But if you’re the average person, Printrbot is definitely the way to go. If you are interested in buying one, you can goto printrbot.org to see everything availible.

Rijvi Rajib

02/03/2016

The only issue I have with this printer is the calibration. Once calibration is complete, it's pretty great and prints well. It prints slowly, but surely. The software is also severely lacking, but once you go through the massive amount of 3D printer forums, you have a good idea of how to handle it.

Gordon

16/02/2016

Let me start off by saying I'm a design student and run the 3d printing lab at my university. I regularly use several different types of 3d printers, Makerbots, Airwolds, and Bukobots, all of which are priced well above this printer in the $1,200-$3,000 range. I bought a Simple Metal as my first personal 3d printer last summer, and it honestly prints just as well and actually runs more reliably then any other printer I've used.

ALL 3d printers take lots of patience when learning how to use them, this printer is no exception. If you've never used a 3d printer you will be frustrated, confused, and unhappy for a few days/weeks until you figure out how everything works. After that point, you'll be in 3d printing bliss with this printer. The frame is well made from thick steel and aluminum, making the printer very sturdy and stable while printing. The rest of the parts are all high quality as well. I regularly run my printer at 80mm/s which is just as fast as any of the higher end printers will print reliably. The wiring is a bit of a mess underneath, but it's a minor inconvenience.

This printer is also VERY up-gradable. Several companies make direct bolt-on parts for this printer to increase the bed size, convert to a heated bed, add a LCD display, new extruders, etc etc to continually allow your printer to get better and better as you get better at printing and want to do more with your printer. No other printer on the market is as up-gradable as this one. I've currently got mine upgraded to a heated 8x8x10 print area instead of the standard 6x6x6.

All things considered, you literally can't go wrong with this printer. It prints just as well as $1,500+ prints for a fraction of the price while being super reliable and quite well designed.

Andrew Renton

13/01/2016

I have had the Printrbot Simple Metal for more than a month now and I have been running it non-stop. I print two things a day (one before I leave for work) and one before I go to sleep. Sometimes I print more in between. I have been prototyping with a smile like a mad scientist fused with a crazy clown *cue background lightning*. My wife says that I spend more time with this 3d printer than with her but I say: how about I print you some flowers to make up for it.

Okay, maybe that didn't happen but you get the point about me printing a lot on this machine and it is still working. It is a very nifty machine that doesn't cost a lot. And it is MUCH better than Makerbot 5th generation. I have used a Makerbot 5th generation for many months before buying this machine. I can tell you from first hand experience that the Makerbot 5th generation will clog and clog and clog and clog. All they will do is to charge you more to swap out those "smart extruders". Comparing to this machine, that machine is a joke.

When you use this 3d printer, you will see most of the important moving parts. You see where the filament go in and heat up. You see where things got clog and you can fix the clogs easily with some pliers and heating up the hot end (the red piece). For a beginner, setting up the software (Cura) is super easy. Even if you feel adventurous and assemble it yourself, the youtube video series is super well-put together.

I have gone through 4 1kg rolls now and this machine is still humming away printing. You want a few printable upgrade for this machines however. These upgrades can be printed with this machine

1) a spool holder.

2) a fan shroud.

3) a filament anti-slip attachment (see my pix, it's the tiny yellow piece near the red hot end).

For a 3d printing beginner, this is the best machine to have. So buy it, then start printing and prototyping all those wonderful ideas you have had.

Olaso

02/01/2016

Ok, let me start by saying that the shipping was great and it arrived at the promised date (which is a big deal for me because it was not deliver to the USA) so I'm very pleased with that.

Now the printer is great so far, I've been playing with it for around a week and even though it had its issues they were resolved and everything seems to be working good. I'm new to the 3d printing world and this printer has proved to be a great buy for me to learn 3d printing,

Is not exactly plug and play but it's pretty close to it. There are a ton of new things to learn and settings to play with but I'm comfortable learning all this with this printer.