I see Lulzbot has a new version of its AO-100 printer available, the AO-101.

I see Lulzbot has a new version of its AO-100 printer available, the AO-101. I had been planning on getting an ultimaker, but the price point of the assembled AO-101 seems pretty good. Any thoughts?

The mendelmax-esque printers are overbuilt on an axis that they don’t need to be built upon. You can make a sturdy 3D printer that prints just as fast, just as rigid, in 1/2 the T-slot that the AO does. It’s got the same very-limited Z height that the prusa does, only like 90-100mm tall. I’d stay away from the T-slot triangle frame designs. All of them.

If you want something built out of T-slot, build yourself a Bukobot.

How often do you print things that are tall? Also a moving platform design is just asking to have your prints get ripped off at greater heights.

I think this marketing contest of who can sell the biggest build volume is hurting consumer printing by setting expectations too high.

Actually, a bukobot uses closer to 1/3 as much extrusion.

I probably need the extra height more often than I do the x/y. My Mosaic (M1) has an inch vertical height over the prusa style printers which has come in handy. I agree that the race to monster printers is a little silly (the M1 had a - in my mind perfect - 5" cubed volume) but vertical height is useful on occasion.

While I really want to like this printer, looking over the recent Make guide on 3D printing, depending of course on the validity of their testing, and the AO-100 faired poorly on the print test. I cant really understand why either. The Ultimaker did phenomenally well except for horrible blobs caused by the bowden extruder setup.

I think for that kind of money the MakerGear M2 is the better option… if you can wait that long for delivery. Of course there are other cheaper alternatives like the BB with equally impressive results.

What type of things do you typically print to more regularly run out of Z height?

One of the nice things about running out of Z height compared to XY is that it is relatively easy to work around via printing multiple parts.

@Brian_Evans , how big of an issue are the blobs from the bowden extruder setup? I thought I had heard that there’s a pretty easy fix for it.

@Billy Mostly its things like vases, the fantastic Tornado print, or other tall vessels that can’t easily be printed horizontally. Right now I am working on a multi-part project where each piece is roughly 90mm diameter by 120mm tall so it wouldnt work on a prusa at all.

@John_Schneider I refer to the torture test image of the Ultimaker from Make here: http://makezineblog.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/sip4_roundup_torture_ultimaker.jpg I dont own an Ultimaker but any Bowden setup I have ever used had this same problem with blobs.It is possible that Make didnt have the retraction settings dialed in or something - like I said I question the validity of their testing in the first place.

@Jelle_Boomstra Thats a great point… the thing I never understood about large build areas is the sheer amount of print time involved in trying to fill that envelope. I think my longest print has been maybe 4 hours… I dont like to panelize parts often and rather not waste filament or time with an epic print if something strange happens.

With that said, having the capability of large prints can be useful, say if you are making a quadracopter or something. Or like +Whosawhatsis has a bot farm running over night.

As far as Z axis height, I’ve actually been running into it a lot this holiday season with people printing christmas trees at the lab. The top isn’t exactly a lot of material, it tapers off a lot, but it’s still tall enough to run into the limits of my machine. We have to scale them down.

@Brian_Evans as I understand it the Make print tests were pretty much done without much adjustments out of the box, hence why they were called “Christmas morning” prints. It would have been nice to see print quality for the machines after everything was dialed in.