48 SERVO 10.2013
3D Printer Summaries
When I first started researching 3D printers, I wanted a
way to compare the build size to printer cost. So, I created
the formula (X Y ) / cost 1000 which I'm calling the
Build Cost Ratio or BCR. The higher the number, the better.
Keep in mind that the number does not consider other
aspects of the printer such as features, rigidity, or print
quality. For example, the Rostock Max has a BCR of 78, yet
it is the worst printer in the bunch in my opinion.
Where the number really helps is when comparing
printers with a print quality in close proximity to one
another. For example, let's compare the Afinia to the Maker
M2. Both printers have excellent print quality, so the BCR is
very relevant. The Afinia has a BCR of 15 and the M2 kit
has a BCR of 54.
I have to admit the first thing
that attracted me to the PrintrBot Jr
An upgrade that you will need to
purchase is the heated bed shown in
Figure 2. The heated bed will allow
you to print ABS and have better
control of printing PLA.
While these low priced 3D
printers are nothing more than
novelty items, I leave it up to you if
the $400 price tag is work dabbing
your toe into the 3D printer waters.
Even after spending $100 for the
heated bed upgrade, you are likely to
get your toe bitten off if you are not
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information on my website at