the printrbot junior review

The printrbot jr is here, and although we had chosen the kit version we received a fully assembled one (probably because it was already available for shipment that version when we ordered). SO you won’t have the pleasure of seeing a series of videos of me mumbling swear words in italian while trying to assemble it ;)

IMG 7022

The only thing we decided to do is screw in the hot end again because it was absolutely not tight enough, it still wiggles a bit but let’s hope it won’t give any problems.

So the software it uses is Macpronterface, luckily there is a mac version

They advise you to try using also Slic3r

Printer Interface

 As I hate all those calibration cubes (any creative idea on what to do with all of them by the way?) I decided to try out the 8-bit heart. It prints out fast, has some added difficulties given by the saw tooth edge and looks always cute as a small gift.

So here we are, dumping the 8-bit stl in slicer and then in Macpronterface

 Printer Interface 1

I have to say Macpronterface has given me a good starting impression. You can easily adjust the axis positions with that strange bull’s eye that comes in handy, and you can change the temperature while the machine is printing if you find it is not giving the expected results.

And this was our problem: 200° the nozzle was fuming and the plastic was just a liquid blob. Anything less and it wouldn’t stick on the platform so the hot end would drag it around endlessly.

Maybe my previous comment on the possibility of doing without the blue tape was a bit harsh…

IMG 7024

After at least 5 tries with different temperatures we managed to have a decent looking heart, sorry that the only 3mm PLA we had was natural, so the results don’t stand out at all.

IMG 7026

The resolution for now certainly is much worse than my TOM, but I have been tweaking mine for weeks so it’s not a surprise.
The impression we had is of a nice foldable machine that can be taken everywhere for demo’s and teaching, but the fact that the machine was built from one group and all the software comes from another one certainly gives issues.

The printrbot jr is advertised as “your kid’s first 3d printer”. I can’t say much of the assembly (though we have scanned the official video’s on youtube and they certainly don’t look easy at all) but the actual tuning for the printing would give problems to all the kids I know.

I didn’t expect it to be a plug and play device obviously, and the price is unbeatable (at least for now) but I think any dad helping out his kid will get a big headache and frustrations before really getting this guy to print out decently.
Actually in this blog a Dad with his kid bought a printrbot jr and had only some minor assembly problems, but are also saying that the software is a bit rough and they had issues before managing to print. I wonder if they have been having better results after some time.

This is it for now, I’ll let you know any progress I make with it!

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