Hey everyone! I finally have enough money to get my first 3D printer and have decided to get a Printrbot. I can’t decide between the Printrbot Jr (assembled) and the Printrbot LC(kit). I want the LC because of the build size, but I’m afraid that I won’t be able to build the kit correctly. Also, I’m worried about dealing with the ABS plastic since I’ve never set up a 3D printer before. I want to learn though, I’m just afraid that if I mess up, I won’t be able to solve it and would have wasted money. What do you guys recommend?
Of the two, I like the Jr.
Nice, is it because of the portability?
Get a Bukobot Vanilla kit from Deezmaker, it’s what I use and love it. My experience with Printrbot stuff is it can be cheap. My experience with manufacturing previous to doing 3D printing was building legos so don’t be too afraid. Get a friend with electrical experience if setting up the board gets ya fearful.
My theory is that the JR is capable of better prints out of the box than the LC. Maybe it has something to do with lower moving mass or maybe a more rigid z or something. Its also easier to improve as you go.
I suppose I could have provided some useful info eh?
I like the portability of the jr, and the price point. It seems like the kind of printer you could get into to and learn about what it’s really like to work with a 3d printer at this stage in the evolution without too much investment that you couldn’t recover if you wanted to.
I like that its pla only, because this reduces the variables you’ll have to contend with and contributes to portability. I also think that if you outgrew it, you could almost build a bigger printer by printing parts and canibalizing the motors, etc.
I also think it’s a clever design, and looks like a fairly easy build compared to other machines. I don’t love the other Printrbot design (like the LC), but I think the Jr. addresses my concerns with the older designs.
If you’re sold on Printrbot I’d say the Jr model, but if you’re more sold on the price point I’d recommend looking at the Solidoodle. It has a very active community surrounding it (check out soliforum) and prints nicely right out of the box (and can be more carefully calibrated and tweaked to print very nicely indeed).
I’ll say this, though: Unless you completely fail to fall in love with 3D printing, which seems impossible to me, your first printer won’t be your last. And when you decide to build your next one you’ll end up with a far better machine for your experiences the first time around (you know what the problems are and understand how various designs address them).
I guess that’s why I’d recommend an assembled and ready to go printer to start with. Yes, you learn a lot building one, but it’s a steep learning curve, and can be frustrating. You’re better off with a ready solution first, because you’ll still learn a lot even with that, and then build one yourself the second time around.
And seriously, look into the Solidoodle. I’ve been very happy with mine. I’m already making plans to build my second printer, but not because I want something better, just because this printer has made me fall so in love with 3D printing.
I own a Printrbot LC (kickstarter backer). I get acceptable prints at 0.3 Layer height but I had to upgrade the XY axis pulleys right of the bat. Assembly was ~20ish hours spread out over a few days and there were mistakes made that I had to correct later because the build videos I went off of were from a single perspective so there were things I missed. That said. For my first printer it was perfect. Am I moving on, yes. But for the initial buy-in and experience it was great. I’ve only printed in ABS and it was a challenge to get started but I managed to do it.
My only advice is to buy the nicest printer you want to buy within the budget you have. I would also carefully consider how much tweaking you want to do with it.
Why don’t you share some reasons behind why you want a 3D printer and then we can help you find the right one for you. I picked the LC because at the time it was the best price I could find for a complete kit that didn’t require me to solder all the electronics (I’ve since grown more comfortable in that arena). Am I looking for an upgrade. Yes. Am I happy with my purchase. Yes. If I had 500$ to spend on a printer today what would I buy? Not an LC. I’d save up till I could afford either a Bukobot or a Prusa i3 or a MendelMax 2.0.
If you’re willing to jump in head first look into the RepRap Wallace. It’s based on, and an improvement to, the Printrbot design and it was designed by a guy working on the (very impressive and highly recommend) bukobot.
The Wallace is what I’m planning to build for my second printer.
@Stephen_Baird For someone looking to buy an assembled machine the Wallace is in a galaxy far far away. Its a cool machine but still very experimental Getting someone else to print the parts (as the OP doesnt yet have a machine), wading through hardware catalogs to buy rod and screws (as no kit exists), and then having to put it all together… thats a lot to ask for. I built one then got frustrated with the x-axis and rather than redesign it, I decided not to waste my time with it anymore. @Sam_Alegria has the right idea in getting a machine that he can make things with right away and once he’s hooked he can use it to build the next machine to tinker with. I still think the Jr is hard to beat at $400 and is easy to setup and get running. BTW, Sam, just to be that guy but I wrote a book thats out there that might be helpful.
That’s why my initial recommendation was the Solidoodle, but his interest in disassembled printers and the Printrbot design also led me to mention the Wallace.
I don’t think it’s a good first choice, but it’s a less easily found (but still good) design and mentioning it was more intended to give him a new entry point into the sometimes convoluted and difficult to navigate world of online RepRap information.
Hey guys, thanks for all of your responses! My reasons for getting the printer is just to tinker with and print fun stuff to show my nephews the possibilities of technology today. I’m trying to stay within the low price point for those reasons. I don’t need an amazing high quality printer just yet. This hands all been really great info
Deezmaker.com and grab a mini for $850. Well worth it and you can have the kit built in under 10 hours.
I didn’t build the mini in 10 hours. My friend Wes & I broke it down throughout 4 days, plus doing a mod that they don’t offer (1.75 MK7-style extruder). But yes, they are a wonderful resource for 3D printing (outside of fumbling with a ToM for 4 months-ish.)
@Ben_Van_Den_Broeck , or anyone else who knows, what’s the difference between the “Vanilla” and “Green” version? It doesn’t make sense to me that the green version is less expensive and has lower power consumption. Is there a performance/quality difference as well?
The green models don’t have a heated print bed. So it can’t print in ABS (it warps too badly and has problems sticking without a heated print bed).
And it’s “green” because it’s then designed to print only with PLA plastic, which is (if memory serves) made out of corn and is biodegradable.
Ah, I understand, thanks @Stephen_Baird
I’m curious, can you print in PVA without a heated bed?
Hm, I would guess you could (although I don’t know from first hand experience) but without dual extruders water soluble printing materials aren’t really going to be very useful I wouldn’t think.