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Review of the Printrbot Metal Simple review.

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  • Review of the Printrbot Metal Simple review.

    I recently bought the Printrbot Metal Simple prebuilt.

    I needed a 3d printer that was economical. Somewhat portable that I could easily take to events and public transportation with out to much hassle. A larger printer of any make would hard to transport a printer on the bus or the ferry. It may even draw the wrong kind of attention from people. Not to mention the weight. Carrying It any long distances would be a pain in the back and arms.
    The version of the Printrbot Metal Simple I got was the one that comes without a heated bed and was already made. What is cool is it came out of the batch made their records on the most Printrbots made in a day. It was 156 in a day. 107 man-hours by their calculations.
    The bot came in a nicely packed box. There thankfully was no damage from USPS. It came very quick. Only 2 days from California to my doorstep in Washington state. Even had it delivered to my door. When I turned on my new toy. It worked out of the box. In a matter of an hour. I printed the test cube and the fan shroud.

    Than I had a dyslexic moment. Instead of hitting the retract button on Repiter host part of Cura. I hit extrude. While the nozzle was on the bed. Creating a massive block and a headache. While dealing with this I discovered the bolts that hold the extruder onto the printer is torqued to tightly. Making it an issue of stripping the bolts and an issue I might need to deal with when I go to upgrade the printer.
    Eventually I found the issue. Reading a lot of forum posts. The most common fix I used. I put the hotend had 230 and burnt the plastic out and then burnt the nozzle with my touch. Burning what was left from the plastic blockage. Than my other small mistake. I put the nozzle on to loosely. Allowing plastic to flow out in the wrong places. Allowing it to hit the bed again. Thankfully this time there was no blockage. I made sure this time I put the nozzle on tight as it would go. With some minor re-calibration. The printer worked right as rain again.
    For the most part it has been printing pretty solidly. Other than some bed adhesion issues that have nothing to do with Printrbot. Blue Painters tape and hairspray have become my friend.

    I have taken it to one major event already in Seattle. There was 3d printing presentation about 3d printing and art. There was my printer than my friends, Craig Walker who is a co-founder with me of 3DPC.org. He had the high end Airwalf 3d printer. ‘
    I set up the printer right up. The auto calibration sensor worked like a charm. There was no need to do anything else. I started to print with no issues. Demoing the 3d printer right before people’s eyes.

    There was a lot of interest from people who came to the event. Even had interest from a kid I would say was around 12 or 13 years old. Asking me a lot of good question about the printer. I got a lot of questions from a lot of adults who had very little personal experience from 3d printing.
    Then I packed it up and took it home and printed something else that night. With no issues.
    Is the printer worth it? For the price for sure. $600 and it is open source and does not use proprietary filament roles or software. Making it easy to mod, use the filaments you want. Along with making it a product that will have a long life. As long as the marlin firmware is being developed for Arduino based printer controllers. Same with the slicer software and host software. My only 2 complaints would be my wish for a bigger build envelope and an easier way to get micro SD cards in and out of the slot.
    Some of the upgrades I have seen are a official heated bed. Someone has made a mod for a duel extruders. There are a couple of volume upgrades to allow you to build larger objects. Lot of people like to run Resberry Pi with Octoprint with the printer bot. Making wireless monitoring and control easy from any web browser. There a whole lot of 3d printed upgrades Thingiverse. A fairly active user base.

    Here are the specs from the Printrbot webpage:
    Technical Specifications:
    • Model: 1403
    • Build Volume: 6″ x 6″ x 6″ / 150mm x 150mm x 150mm / 216 cubic inches
    • Print Resolution: 100 Microns
    • Print Speed: 80mm/sec max recommended
    • Filament: 1.75mm PLA (sample included)
    • Extruder: Alu Extruder (direct drive) with 1.75mm Ubis Hot End with 0.4mm nozzle
    • Auto Leveling: Auto-Leveling Probe works with software to calibrate Z axis height (see video)
    • Print Bed: Not heated
    • Construction: Powder coated steel and aluminum body with 8mm and 12mm diameter linear shaft
    • Belt: GT2
    • Pulleys: 20 tooth, dual flange GT2 aluminum
    • Electronics: Printrbot Rev F Printrboard with micro-USB connection (cable included) and micro SD card slot for untethered printing
    • Software: Printrbot does not provide software, but recommends Cura and/or Repetier. Both are available for free download.
    • Power Requirements: 12V (6 amp) laptop power supply (included)
    • Motors: NEMA 17 stepper
    • Overall Footprint*: 18″ x 17″ x 13″ (L x W x H)

    Example Prints:









  • #2
    Nice review, The PrintrBot Simple Metal is a good 3D printer, you get a tried and tested printer for a small cost, even cheaper if you go for the PrintrBot Simple Maker and/or by on of the forms in a kit.

    www.idig3dprinting.co.uk Your one stop, 3D printing shop

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    • #3
      I suck at putting things together. I would not go for wood. I live in the Seattle area. Way to much water that the wood could absorb and warp. The Metal is also far more stable compared to the wooden cousin.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by msg213 View Post
        I suck at putting things together. I would not go for wood. I live in the Seattle area. Way to much water that the wood could absorb and warp. The Metal is also far more stable compared to the wooden cousin.
        I agree, you get what you pay for, wood is less stable than metal. There can be advantages to putting things together yourself. You become intimately acquainted with the machine and its workings making it easier to identify and fix problems. But not everybody has, or wants, that DIY gene. Sometimes putting things together can result in more harm than good.

        Glad you like the machine.

        www.idig3dprinting.co.uk Your one stop, 3D printing shop

        Comment


        • #5
          I already made a 3d printer. It was the Makerfarm i3 6". I did it for that reason. It was a learning experience, for sure.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by msg213 View Post
            I already made a 3d printer. It was the Makerfarm i3 6". I did it for that reason. It was a learning experience, for sure.
            Did the build not go as planned?, it that from where you decided that you
            suck at putting things together
            ?

            www.idig3dprinting.co.uk Your one stop, 3D printing shop

            Comment


            • #7
              The issues where I could never get the z axis to level out with the bed and the threaded rods where screwed up by my own hands. The RAMPS bored blew. The other one got static charged from kittens how I could not keep of the table. It is all wood in the Pacific North West. Why any printer I get in the future will be plastic or metal.

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