It was just like someone yelling “FREE BEER” at a Fourth of July picnic. All of a sudden, everyone in the park is your best friend. Well, that’s just about what happened when Macadame, Inc., d.b.a., iMakr announced last year that they were going to sell a 3D printer kit for $99. Known as the STARTT 3D
Printer, the only thing it “started” was a marketing
nightmare. iMakr was immediately swamped with orders,
and had a real issue meeting the strong demand for this
printer. In fact, when I attempted to order a kit
( imakr.com) a while back for this review, I was saddled
with a one month wait from order to delivery.
Once it did finally arrive, I had a couple of problems
right out of the box. That’s kind of the first indication that
this a bargain product ... there was no box (see Figure 1).
The shipping carton holds two foam trays crammed full of
various parts, fasteners, and electronics. Another indication
that this kit costs less than a hundred bucks is the lack of
any documentation. Only a packing checklist and a couple
of advertisements for the iMakr 3D model repository
( MyMiniFactory.com) were included.
This slight instructional omission is tolerable because of
the wealth of support information that is promised on the
iMakr STARTT 3D printer kit support page. Therein lies
another problem, however.
According to iMakr, the STARTT 3D printer kit is a
“great introduction to 3D printing. It is supplied as a simple
kit that can be assembled in around five hours. We have
carefully produced a downloadable guide, as well as a set
of instructional videos to guide you along the way.”
Unfortunately, Step 1 will stop you dead in your tracks.
A STARTT by Any Other Name
Those promised instructional videos consist of nine
separate You Tube MP4 titles. This is a total viewing time of
over 80 minutes’ worth of voice-less video. Yup. Not one
spoken word in over 80 minutes of video; just a looping
inane sound track with an occasional humorous “That’s
Good” uttered at the beginning of each video. This
obligatory congratulatory comment is particularly
inappropriate at the “start” of Step 1’s video. Here’s why.
Conversely, the STARTT assembly guide is 40 pages’
worth of step-by-step guidance that is very worthwhile and
helpful. How helpful? Well, in Step 1, the video shows the
part being assembled backwards. This is not correct, so you
will have to redo a lot of work if you follow the video.
That’s NOT good.
On the other hand, the assembly guide shows the
proper way to assemble the Y axis motor mount in Step 1.
My recommendation is to follow the assembly guide
faithfully and then review the videos after you’ve completed
your assembly. Sorta like a sanity check of your building
The STARTT 3D printer kit is actually a TronXY product
that is manufactured by the Shenzhen Tronxy Technology
SERVO 05/06.2018 57
To post comments on this article and find any associated files and/or downloads, go to
Figure 1. There’s no box with this kit; just a shipping carton holding two foam trays.
Figure 2. TronXY branding is clearly visible on this Z axis stepper motor.