I bought this machine to prototype a project I was starting. After looking at normal routes, including using a 3DP company, I decided buying a printer would be the best overall decision. Now that I have the bare minimum number of prototypes printed I'm reviewing the machine.
This is the first 3D printer I've ever worked with. I purchased the printer two weeks ago. Three to four days a week I have it running non-stop for 12-15 hours at at time, for a total print time of well over 100 hours. I have only used PLA out of this machine so I cannot attest to its ABS capabilities. I am printing pieces that are no bigger taller than 1cm and no wider than 8cm. None of my models are complex, they do not include overhangs or anything that would require support structure.
- The software is very simple to use. There are some bugs in it for the Mac version. For example it crashes sometimes when working in the maintenance menu. But nothing that is truly bad, just a little annoying here and there. The software gives you plenty of options to hollow out your model and print at different resolutions and the menus are easy to understand.
- The build platform is simple and comes with three changeable build plates. This allows you to pull one model out and almost immediately begin printing the next model. I have found it to work quite well. My models pop right off the plates.
- It's footprint is small. You don't need a lot of desk space to set it up.
- Print reliability is good. I estimate that 80-85% of my prints have come out successfully. Those that didn't tended to fail early in the print so watch through the beginning to make sure it sets up right.
- It's noisy. It beeps to signal when it's starting a new process and when it's ended a process. The beep is quite loud and can be heard throughout the whole floor of a normal size house.
- The setup for dispensing filament is poor. You'll need to setup something up for yourself in my opinion. I've attached a picture to demonstrate the solution I came up with. Before I set up this rather rudimentary system I had issues with filament binding and falling off the spool. Also, I had read of issues with the extrusion head motor so I wanted to put as little stress on that motor as possible.
- It prints best once it's been warmed up and printing for awhile. After 30-40 minutes of printing it seems to do its best work.
- PLA will not dissolve in acetone. If you're printing with PLA make sure you have something with methylene chloride handy to unclog the extrusion nozzle. It will eventually clog and it will take 3-4 hours to unclog it because the nozzle has to soak. Methylene chloride can be found at most hardware stores under the name of "Crown Handi-Strip".
- Printing less than 3-surface layers thick will likely cause your print to hold together poorly. I have found that 3-layer surface on hollow setting will print out 18 grams of PLA in 34 minutes at a reasonable quality for non-complex models.