Most helpful positive review
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
A great 3D printer! Easy to use! Great print quality! Fast or Slow Printing!
on February 13, 2013
Having owned another brand of 3D printer, and researched many others, this printer is hands down great! Fast prints with low resolution, slow prints with high resolution, easy to use software, telephone tech support. The print quality is very good. The software is easy to use. Wonderful. The first and second prints were absolutely great, and they keep being great (dozens so far)! This printer does the best job of documentation, tech support, everything you need. If one does a simple web search on getting ABS plastic to stick when printing, even so, again this printer does a great job with that as the supplied print platform holds the part well while printing.
The printer can be set to print fast (fan flap open or not) with 0.4mm layers, or super high detail with fan cooled 0.15mm slow printed layers. I printed great 28mm models for my 13 year old son, and now he is using it to print his stuff. Impressive detail. As a parent I couldn't be happier. I also print housings for work as fast as they can print, with repeatable great quality. Holds mechanical shapes well. Holes print very well. No post drilling required as the holes print properly! Strong accurate parts.
If you have never printed with a 3D printer before, you might find issues with 3D printing. My only issue, is ABS plastic printers have a tenancy to warp larger parts right where they attach to the build platform. I am experimenting this ABS warping issue, (but this is an issue with all sub ten thousand dollar printers). I have tried many things. So far I found that the supplied printing base works very well,(but parts when printing can come loose). For this price point this is a great printer. (As I understand this, this issue goes away with PLA plastic, but PLA does not have as high a working temperature if one wants to use the parts for real things. PLA gets soft at 60C, and ABS takes at least 110C to get soft, a big deal with parts that might sit in a hot car, or get truck shipped.) Even so, this printer can print PLA!
Update 2/28/2013 Experimenting with part warping where it attaches to the build platform. Works for no warping at all!
A 2mm raft thickness works, (and is truly needed to fully level the build platform).
Keep the fan on. It makes great parts this way, and the rafts are easier to remove.
The only thing that I have found to work (to prevent wapring) is using the ABS/Acetone paint on the supplied FR4 fiberglass build surface they provide. (When applying the paint, remember the holes, and make sure you paint this on something that will not be harmed. I use a glass plate as a backing during painting.) The included documentation tells how to make the ABS/Acetone paint. Then purchase more clips (they supply six of them) and hold the fiberglass build surface fully along the front and back sides (remembering to leave clips off each corner where the nozzle can come down and hit them). I paint this slurry on before each build. The holes in the fiberglass are fully filled with ABS, and a very thin coat in on the top. It is real work to get the part off when done, but the supplied two inch wide putty knife works very well to remove the part. The build surface is very stiff with the holes filled with ABS. Using this I have not had any of the printed parts warp.
The things below were tried and do not work very well, in descending order.
1) I found that the supplied printing base works OK, but parts when printing can come loose, and the supplied build surface with holes can and warp. It is somewhat flexable, and the parts warp even when attached (and can pull up if no ABS/Acetone paint is used).
2) Kapton tape with ABS/Acetone slurry on top holds to the printed part super well to the Kapton, but the parts generally pull the tape up and warp.
3) 3M Blue painters tape (no slurry), as is, holds the printed part super well, but the parts usually pull the tape up and warp.
4) ABS/Acetone painted on glass held the parts, but the parts pulled up and warped.
If your application can tolerate some warping, then
Blue tape on glass seemed easiest. (about $20 for six glass 5.5" by 5.5" plates from a local glass shop) Just replace tape when needed.
The supplied build platform with the holes worked very well most of the time.
All in all, a truly great 3D printer.