I got an email today with the tracking number for the shipment of my printer. An hour later UPS was here with the printer. <sarcasm_mode>Now that’s quick service.</sarcasm_mode>
It took about half an hour to put together. Here’s a picture of it:
It has some issues. I didn’t expect perfect for $79 (I bought the developer version). So, let’s get to it…
Wiring is a bit of a pain:
That’s the controller. Some of the wires are short enough that it can only go in one location. At least all of the connectors are labelled A, B, C, D, etc. It takes a full-size SD card for file (one file only - no way to select from multiple files). SD card not included with the printer.
It comes with a circular piece of glass and a roll of masking tape. With clips to hold the glass on the base.
Loading filament is a pain. Undo two screws, open the front door of the extruder, push the filament in, then close the door and screw it shut. No controls, no screen so the filament will not come out for a while when you tell it to print. Print something smallish to get the filament through to the nozzle.
And the extruder motor is mounted above the extruder and nozzle. With the connector rods at the bottom of the unit, there is some shaking as the head moves.
One button. Load the file onto the SD card, put it in the controller and push the one button. After a minute or so, the extruder will get up to heat and the extruder starts moving. Up to the top to hit the limit switches then down to print. Not fast, but it doesn’t have to be.
Movement is jerky. I’m planning to lubricate the rods although the instructions say it’s not necessary. I’ve got one vertical that binds and doesn’t move to the top without my help. One that left a bearing behind as it moved and one that seems okay. I’ll play with it to see what I can do.
I think I’ll have more fun with the 3D pen that came with it (you can see it in the first picture). It was a nice bonus for the stretch goal. Unfortunately, there was only one power supply, so I can use the printer or the pen. Not both at the same time.
Okay. I have more calibration work to do and see if I can get it printing reasonably. At the very least, for $79 I got all the electronics for a DIY printer.