3D Printer Features and Details
As I started my research into the 3D printer world, I purchased three very different 3D printers. This way, I could see
both the advantages and disadvantages of the various designs. Let's take a look at each printer in detail.
At a price of $400 in kit form, this is easily
the lowest priced 3D printer on the market. The
kit comes with everything you need. It even
comes with a pound of filament to get you
started. For an extra $100, you can purchase the
printer fully assembled. If you don't like building
such things, this might be an option that would
appeal to you.
The main construction material is 1/4" birch
laser cut plywood. The extruder/hot end moves
on the Y and Z axis. The table moves on the X
axis. The X and Y axis utilize timing belts. The
rails consist of two 8 mm rods on each axis with
four linear bearings, allowing for very smooth
linear motion. This is a plus for such a low priced
printer. The Z axis is driven by a 1/2" threaded
rod and nut.
The printer (shown in Figure 6) has a
printing area of 4. 5" x 5. 5" x 4". As sold, it's
designed to print PLA only, as it does not come
with a heated bed.
The controller (see Figure 7) was redesigned by the
Printrbot team. The board — called Printrboard — is a
derivative of the Teensylu board based on the Sanguinololu
board. The board comes with Marlin V1 Sprinter firmware
installed, but is firmware upgradable if needed. It has four
stepper drivers, so a second extruder is not in its future.
The board does have provisions for both an extruder
fan and heated bed. Both are important upgrades you will
need. The PrintrBot Jr folds up and takes up very little
space. However, its open design might not be a good fit
if you have smaller children running
The extruder utilizes a gear drive, so
there is a lot of torque. It also features
a spring loaded tensioner that has a
quick release for fast filament changes
and maintenance. The hot end is a 1.75
mm Ubis cartridge with a . 4 mm nozzle.
You can get more information
about the PrintrBot Jr at
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