Printrbot LC 1302
First off let's talk about my first 3D printer a Printrbot LC 1302 (Laser Cut) with heated bed which I purchased second hand off eBay in 2014. I had seen a few articles about 3D printing on the web before this and loved the idea of owning a 3D printer and when I found this lovely little printer for sale I knew it was the one for me.
It's build dimensions were only X axis 130 mm Y axis 150 mm and Z axis 120 mm but it was a fun little bot and it was my first glimpse into the world of 3D printing.
Here's what it looked like when I go it.
I was soon printing totally useless objects and having many failed prints but that's was half the fun, these early printers needed a lot of fiddling and tinkering to get working correctly, no such thing as auto levelling here, lol. And it wasn't long until I was printing upgrades and mods, I even converted it into a bowden set up for a while. This printer of course uses 3 mm filament and a geared extruder.
There was also the Printrbox I managed to track down a file long lost at Printrbot HQ until I requested it and it was found.
Since then I've had the LC in storage because it became my old printer but I recently rebuild it and printed and install a large number of upgrades, I'm currently calibrating it but it already feels and looks better. I also have a Panelolu2 display from Think3DPrint3D attached.
And here it is now.
But the LC had it's draw backs, mainly it's small build area, the largest thing I was printing at the time where my quadcopter arms and I wanted bigger.
Printrbot Metal Plus
So only 7 months after getting my first 3D printer I purchased my second a Printrbot Metal Plus with heated bed. With a massive build area of 254mm x 254mm x 254mm it was quite a bit larger than the LC.
Here's the full specification from the Printrbot website.
Model: 1504 / 1412
- Build Volume X-Y-Z: 254mm x 254mm x 254mm (apx 10″ x 10″ x 10″)
- Print Resolution: 50 Microns
- Print Speed: 80mm/sec max recommended
- Filament: 1.75mm PLA (sample included) as well as flexible and ABS
- Extruder: Alu Extruder (direct drive). 1.75mm Ceramic Ubis Hot End with 0.4mm nozzle
- Auto Leveling: Auto-Leveling Probe works with software to calibrate Z axis height
- Print Bed: Heated: Max temperature of 80C (0.3mm level tolerance)
- Construction: Powder coated steel and aluminum body
- Rails: 12mm Linear Rails
- Belt: GT2
- Pulleys: 20 tooth, dual flange GT2 aluminum
- Electronics: Printrbot Rev F Printrboard with micro-USB connection (cable included) and micro SD card slot for untethered printing
- Software:Printrbot does not provide software, but recommends Cura v15.04 – available for free download.
- Power Requirements: 12V 350W ATX power supply (included)
- Max Current Draw: ~5-9 Amps
- Motors: NEMA 17 stepper
I have to say it's a very nice printer both in terms of printing capability and looks, I also decided at the time of purchasing the Metal Plus I wanted to try dual extruding so I ordered the dual extruder upgrade, this did mean that I would lose a small amount of build area but I felt it was good trade off so the feature. The build area once the upgrade was fitted is now 230mm x 254mm x 254mm.
Since buying the Metal Plus and starting the blog I've been lucky to be able to print many different filaments and try different build bed solutions and over all I'm very happy with my printer.
Here's a few pictures of the Metal Plus from a few months ago and from today with dual extruder's. As you can see I haven't made any 3rd party modifications to the Metal Plus other than a spool holder as it's pretty rock solid.
In September this year I once again heard a new 3D printer calling to me, this time is was via Kickstarter and NFire Labs with their NFire 1 printer, I backed the project as soon as I could and was able to get hold of one of the crazy early birds for only £250 and I cannot wait until 2016 to get it.
Keep an eye on the blog because I hope to bring some updates about the NFire 1 soon.....
Thanks for reading and until next time, keep printing.