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Just purchased a Printrbot Simple Metal Kit

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  • Just purchased a Printrbot Simple Metal Kit

    I went with the Simple Metal with heated bed. As some of you know, I already have a Replicator 2X at home that has been solid, as well as multiple printers at work that range from the Airwolf AXIOM to the Projet 660Pro and 3500 HDMax. With full access to these machines, why would I purchase a Printrbot kit?

    For these reasons:

    - While I am an "expert" in many areas of 3D printing, I have yet to actually build a machine for myself. The Simple Metal has been proven to be a fairly solid machine at a good price with tons of community support. I have limited time to tinker, so this tried and true kit seemed like a good place to start.

    - With all the different fill type materials out there like wood and copper, I needed a machine that could print PLA. There are DIY PLA upgrade solutions for the Replicator 2X, but I figured it may be better to have a bit of redundancy at home. I'll keep the Rep2X for ABS and won't mess with it unless it is broken. The Printrbot will be for PLA and tinkering.

    The kit came in last Friday while I was away on a work trip. Even though it's a simple machine, it felt like it used to on Christmas when I knew what I was getting, saw it under the tree, but couldn't touch it until Christmas morning. Anyway, I'm hoping to put it together over the next few nights. We'll see if that happens with the Thanksgiving holiday this week. I'll post are few pics as I work through it for anyone that is interested.

    Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    I have one complaint about this kit so far: it takes forever if you have your 4 year old son helping with assembly.

    Here is what I have so far.
    Click image for larger version

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    Finished with the X axis, heated bed, and just started the Z axis. Based on the numbered steps in the Printrbot guide, I think I'm almost half-way through the assembly.

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    • #3
      Build complete with zero issues... I'm actually waiting for something to blow up or melt down, that's how smooth this was. Initial calibration is complete and I'm getting pretty good prints using the default Prinrbot PLA profile. Now for some tweaking and experimenting.

      Printing the recommended fan shroud:
      Click image for larger version

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      • #4
        Hi Andrew,

        The Prinrbot Simple Metal is a great solid printer. I have been using mine for nearly a year with no problems other than a clogged tip a couple of times. I think you will like it.
        I saw in another thread that you would like to make a large robot for your son. I made a 2 ft tall rocket for my grandson using the Simple Metal. I used Craftics #33 clear thickened acrylic cement for assembly and it worked great.

        Chris

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        • #5
          Thanks for the glue tip, Chris! I have been very surprised by this printer. The quality I'm getting right after calibration rivals that of my Replicator 2X. Needless to say, this has far exceeded my expectations for such an inexpensive machine.

          Here is a Marvin test print I did yesterday using pretty much the default Cura profile supplied by Printrbot:
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          No regrets whatsoever on this purchase.

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          • #6
            Love for the Printrbots. Glad your experience with them has been so great.

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            • #7
              Printrbot printers are really designed for PLA. Brook says in a video on YouTube that PLA is his material of choice, and his printers can use ABS, PLA works better.

              I agree with that. I usually use Hatchbox PLA for most of my prints, but I do have some Hatchbox ABS and it kinda takes more work to make it "right" on my Simple Metal.

              Good call on getting the heated bed. I won't get a printer that doesn't have one

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              • #8
                I have successfully printed ABS, Nylon, and Poly carbonate filaments on my Simple to make usable working parts. Pla is the EZ mode filament, but if you do a little tinkering the other filaments can become nearly as reliable.

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                • #9
                  What tips do you have for ABS on the Simple Metal with heated bed? I'm still getting some drift and some brittle builds?

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                  • #10
                    I have all 3 of their extruder models, I preffer the all metal one for ABS. I have the .2, .4, and 1mm nozzles, and I preffer the 1mm by far, but I have no issues with the .4mm. I'd love to see all of your cura settings and I can then give you advice.

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                    • #11
                      I have an old Replicator 2X that prints ABS very nicely, so I haven't had a reason to print ABS on the Simple Metal. How have you handled warping with ABS and Nylon? Do you enclose your printer? I'm assuming without an enclosure, the layer warping could be severe enough to cause nozzle collisions with the part and cause many failures.

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                      • #12
                        With Brims, proper orientation of objects, and occasional Rafts, I've been able to print everything I've wanted on the Printrbot.
                        Benchy and Peach are ABS. Peach has a solid bottom and it's around a 5.5" radius and 9.8" tall. I've had little warping with ABS... cant say the same for Polycarbonate though XD. That stuff is a nightmare compared to ABS.

                        Last edited by Silas; 01-04-2016, 04:23 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Nice prints! I agree with you about Polycarb, though I have great success with that using my Airwolf Axiom at work. Day to day, pretty much everything I print is ABS and PLA though.

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