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3D printer opinion?
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Nick
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3D printer opinion?

I am finally thinking about trying 3D printing and while the UP Mini is very popular in these parts, I want something a bit different. After reading a heap of reviews and watching many videos, the new Printrbot Simple kit is looking very tempting:

http://printrbot.com/shop/simple-black-kit/



Compared to the UP mini, the print envelope is a little larger, the resolution is 100 microns and its substantially cheaper. On the down-side you don't get the slick software and it has to be assembled.

Have a look at the spec. sheet and let me know what you think...
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Post Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:51 am 
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Glen
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Until someone comes up with adequate software that has proper support structure like the up's do, theres really no competition. Its such a huge thing and not having it hinders what can be made quite a bit.

What software does that one use? If its the open source one (slicer i think?) and given its not got a heated bed apparently, it would seem to be a fancy looking reprap for all intents and purposes.
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Post Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:05 am 
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Nick
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Good points I hadn't considered. There is a 6" by 6" heated bed available for $33 and while it is for a different model, they all have the same control board with a hotbed connector, so it should be possible to add to this model.

The supported software is open source: Printrun or Repetier and Slic3r. The software is definitely the weak point but there seems to be good support for it and that's the compromise: is the UP software worth about an extra $500 or not?
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Post Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:48 am 
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marto
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Yes it is.

And have a look here. http://www.bilbycnc.com.au/DispCat2.asp?CatID=9&SubCatID=87

These guys are pretty much the cheapest UP importer in Aus. (They are cheaper than buying direct from Bruce, although maybe check with angus) And they Up mini is $250 more.

IMO its well worth it. But it depends what you want. Do you want a toy to play with? Or do you want a tool which you use?

That is the difference between Up and Reprap (opensource sutff) which the PrintRbot is based on.

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Post Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:50 am 
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Nick
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Hmm, I'd mainly like not to pay anywhere near $1,245 for something I may not use too much. That puts me more in the toy printer category for now.
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Post Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:12 am 
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marto
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$250 for something which you can use occasionally or $250 less for something which breaks and as you have no need for it never gets fixed or used.
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Post Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:11 pm 
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dyrodium
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Nick, I'll hook you up with a mini for a bargain, I'm out but will post more when I get home. As Steve says there really is no competition. Smile
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Post Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:37 pm 
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Nick
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There doesn't seem to be much love for Reprap-based printers around here! Smile I had a look at several other printers in this price range and this one appeared to have the best construction, with an all metal frame and no printed parts. I can't see it having mechanical breakdowns from occasional use and Printrbot has a cheap exchange program for the controller.

What I would use this for is mainly prototyping new bots; being able to print parts that I don't have and assembling them into an MDF frame would be a huge help. I can see how smart software makes printing something like a V pulley easier, but its no so much harder to print in two parts to avoid an overhang.

Edit: Didn't see your reply Angus, let me know.
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Post Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:43 pm 
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dyrodium
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So with the 3D Printers we use in the studio, we've gone through so many looking for alternatives to the UP, even up to 5K in the price range... and so far it's been hugely disappointing.

EG - Leapfrog Creatr



It's a beast, promising huge build volume and has a huge heated bed. Entire thing comes in a wooden crate and has amazing build quality. Problem, is that its software is some horrible open source bundle (they mashed slicer and the rest together in the same UI). It does 'work'. But the real killer was you needed hte printer PLUGGED IN the entire print job, accidentally unplug the laptop at the 7hr mark? Too bad, print failed. We got rid of it, it'd never even work with ABS and could only print vases with PLA.

It was the same with the solidoodle, r3dback, cubeX, riwell. All were a nightmare.

I guess with the printers it's still very much the question of if you want a hobby playing with 3D printers (reprap) or you want one as a tool (UP, or Makerbot 2X after mods).
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Post Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:43 am 
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Nick
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It sounds like there must be tens of thousands of very disappointed makers out there! I wonder why the open source software sucks so much any why the other manufacturers don't do something about it?
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Post Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:13 am 
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Valen
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you know, if you have a CnC mill, you are only really a print head away from a 3d printer ;->
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Post Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:58 am 
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Nick
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I thought about that too, but wouldn't it have problems interfacing with the 3D controller software? It sounds like all the open-source s'ware is geared towards the Reprap and it's descendants and if the router didn't like the G-code it might be a PITA to fix.

After talking to my sister, who is a professional sculptor, there might be much more work for a printer so I could justify a bigger budget now.
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Post Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:24 am 
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Valen
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If it spits out G-Code anything that can run g-code should be able to run it.
From what I understand of most of the software out there it sounds as though the Gcode they give is pretty straight forward. It'd be worth looking into at least, if nothing else then for floor space reasons ;->
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Post Mon Mar 24, 2014 1:44 pm 
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Knightrous
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I think the biggest problem with using a CNC mill with an adapted extruder is your still going to get warping. UP Mini seems to work well because it's enclosed and you can preheat the bed and the enclosure (heat gun works well!)
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Post Mon Mar 24, 2014 2:44 pm 
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Nick
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Couldn't I get around that with PLA? From what I read, it doesn't need heating.
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Post Mon Mar 24, 2014 3:17 pm 
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