What's the most reliable printer at the moment?

What’s the most reliable printer at the moment?

I might be biased but lulzbot (been very impressed by their AO-101), ultimaker, and any machine I’ve hand assembled (i3).

I second the UP Plus for out of box reliability.

Think you should diclosing the printer brand you sell there @Bruce_Jackson1 . Yours is not exactly an unbiased opinion :slight_smile:

Almost any printer can be pretty reliable when it’s properly set up and given a minimum amount of maintenance. By the same token, any printer can be a finicky bastard when the user makes poor choices when setting it up and printing with it.

I’m not sure anyone can actually answer this. I haven’t seen anyone do an inclusive and in depth review of the printers on the market right now. In saying that, maybe its possible to narrow down the field:
-I guess you’d expect a pre-assembled, factory calibrated printer to be more consistently reliable.
-An enclosed build area seems to improve ABS print reliability.
-Either disolvable support material or reliable snap away type ensures you don’t have degraded print quality with sharp overhangs.
-Something with some maturity in its development/iterations (eg not version 1. 0)
Etc.
I wonder if anyone keeps a specs/features matrix for the printers on the market right now…

Annnd a 30 second google delivered these:
http://3d-printers.toptenreviews.com/
http://3dprinters.ws/
Note that the second site puts the Form1 at #1. Probably a fair call for print quality at least… Might expect the STL process to be more reliable too, given the signifcantly reduced # of moving parts.

@RaumZeitLabor has an extensive list of bugs and issues they had with their Ultimater.
So that one’s out.
(Not right out of the box but piling up in the month following that point.)

I don’t care either way about pre-assembled or kit.
And I already ordered my next printer.
This questions is just about reliability.
Waking up, hitting print for something really using at least one dimension of the build volume and leaving. Confident that nothing will break, jam, stop working or melt.

@Bruce_Jackson1 @David_Da_Costa : How many printing-hours and month have you used the UP+ to make that assessment?

I haven’t seen any one with an enclosed build volume and the improvised ones I saw (plexiglass on an Ultimaker,…) have the hot stepper motors and even stepper-drivers INSIDE and UNCOOLED inside the enclosure right next to the filament above the hot-end (that’s supposed to be kept cool against expanding and jamming too).

Oh man - I hadn’t noticed the link at the top of this community’s page:
http://www.3ders.org/pricecompare/3dprinters/
Duh.

The kuhling brothers printer might make it in reliability. At least they did all the right design elements to do so, however it’s not in public yet.
Most reliable, you’re looking at a commercial machine. Hobby machines are catching up, but there are still a lot of variables to control.

My UP printer is printing between 2-6hours 4-5 days a week since I purchased it. It is actually the Afinia labelled version which I bought from Octavia.com who provide excellent customer service.

I also have a printer that I built and upgraded from a Lultzbot A100 which prints well and reliably but is not so “design and print” as the UP Plus/Afinia.

I also have a QU-BD Revolution XL and Form 1 on order.

I have never felt the need to enclose either of my printers, but that might be due to the fact that I am in sunny California were humidity is generally low and the air is warm.

@David_Da_Costa an enclosure helps a lot with larger ABS prints - even raising the ambient temperature by as much as 20°C can make a tremendous difference.

@David_Da_Costa My Mendelmax lives in the basement, where (as it’s winter in NZ) it’s generally not very warm and without an enclosure, ABS prints start peeling after a few layers. I’ve aslo used an UP! and the thing that made it stand out from the reprap was the ease of slicing with their proprietary software instead of Slice3r/Kissslicer with their myriad settings, also the snap away supports were waaay better than anything I’ve come across in Reprap land :). Major downside for me was the build volume, I guess that won’t be an issue if you’ve got a QU-BD on order :).

So we can conclude that NO hobbyist printer has emerged within the last few years that can be called reliable.

@Marcus_Wolschon not at all. Every printer I’ve assembled has been highly reliable.

Ultimaker has printed while people walk around with it on their backs. I know that isn’t a metric that most people look at, but it seems to work well and consistently.

Doesn’t look like it.


Retraction with the bowden mechanism was a problem, the bowden cable and lever would get loose, the nuts are shaking loose, 3 heater cartridges, 2 nozzles,new thermistor, firmware keeps heating if the slipping bowden tube rips out the thermistor board cable …
They said it worked fine out of the box but all kinds of problems started within the first few month.