After the release of Printrbot which was quite low on the cost front and had a reasonably high-value on the printing front, the company has recently launched a new metal Printrbot Simple which is expected to be faster, larger, more accurate and even quieter than the previous one. The printer is an upgraded version of the previous 3D printers. The sole thing that is similar to the previous printer is the look but under the hood there are a few upgrades which are quite noteworthy like they got rid of the wood, bed leveling screws, string and small z-axis rods and added metal, an auto-leveling probe, rubber toothed belts, and 12mm z-axis rods.
As compared to the other 3D printers of the same genre Printrbot Simple has the same speed and resolution but for a fraction of the price. The printer is best for beginners and young printers who are exploring this new technology. The machine is not large. It can print 3D designs up to 4 x 4 x 4 inches. The printing speed ranges from 60-65 mm per second with a layer resolution of 0.1 mm. The printer has an aluminum body and as compared to the previous version the height of Z axis rods have been increased which make the Z movements quite strong and rigid, which in turn allows the Z height to be increased from four to six inches. Along with the increment of the height in the Z axis, the height of the X and Y axes have also increased so the built have has increased considerably. The increase percentage is almost 200% from 64 to 216 cubic inches. The new rubber toothed belts increases the level of precision of the prints which helps in increasing the overall quality and printing consistency. The material that can be used in this printer is organic PLA which is better for the environment and does not need to be as hot to print. The company does sell additional cartridges at $30 each.
There are no controls on the printer, the user has to control the printer through a computer connected over USB. Once the printer is connected via the USB the user can upload a 3D model into the software which generates the preview of the model and then follows the process of slicing. The printer uses a free Repetier host open –source software which is available for PC, Mac and Linux systems. It is easy to use and does not require any configuration. Repetier uses the open source called Slic3r program. It controls the printer and monitors the printing process. The printer can print directly from the micro SD card.
The best feature of the printer is the auto – leveling probe. This sets the height of the nozzle every time the user uses it. On top of all these modifications the new Printrbot simple comes with an aluminum extruder and an upgraded hot end which is slightly more precise than the previous model.
In short the pros of the machine are:
- Simple and minimal structure
- Easy to use
- Great bargain on the price front
- Good documentation and support
On the other hand the cons:
- Small print plate
- Small print volume
A good printer at the offered price best suited for doing simple 3D prints.
Image Credit: Printrbot.com