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Discussion in 'Show and Tell' started by mediaguru, Dec 24, 2014.
Here's my thoughts on the RoBo 3D, after about a month of ownership and about a dozen prints:
You'll get to the point you can tweak those flaws away
Better slicer software will help too.
You know what's funny, your previous video was one of the handful of contributing factors that made be decide to buy a Robo 3d. I'm sorry you are having problems. I suggest checking your firmware version, it may solve your classes problem. Seems that some time (fairly recently) they made a switch from imperial Z screws to metric (due to better print quality? Even step rotations?).. My printer came with metric Z screws, but was flashed with the imperial Z screw firmware which was causing my prints to come up short in the Z axis. Flashed the correct firmware and all seems well.
Yeah, I still think the printer is good bang-for-the-buck, esp. if you want to do larger prints. You can't get this print envelope/size unless you step up to about $2000. (There are some that come close, but are still nearly 2x the cost of the Robo)
Also, if you look on Amazon, even the expensive printers like MakerBot are getting a lot of negative reviews because people end up having to do maintenance and tweaking. To be honest, I have been debating whether I should just give up on the RoBo and try another printer, but then I go through the options and come right back to why I got the RoBo.... I consider Solidoodle (because it's cheap! Plus enclosed case), and I see even more problems people have with it. There are some new options now, which weren't really on the radar when I did my initial research. One is Dremel Idea Builder ($1000). Could be good for PLA, but don't think it can do other materials, and no heated print bed, and slightly smaller print size (but not bad -- about same size as MB Replicator... about 9 x 6 x 6 or so... probably still big enough for any prints I'd want to do.
When I made my original video, I had made a few prints with no problems at all (other than the banding/ribbing, which was subtle enough that I didn't even notice it until later on), so everything seemed pretty solid and easy. In fact, it was solid and super easy... until it suddenly wasn't. At the time I made that video, the leaking hadn't yet started (and that's what caused all of the issues I have now had -- leaking and broken heat sink fan)
My biggest frustration is lack of support from the RoBo team. People on this forum are supportive, but RoBo themselves should be involved in making sure this printer works. For example, I was told the fails on that glasses model were probably due to printing on the Robo Blue starter filament that came with the machine, because people on this forum said that filament is not very good. Seems believable -- that model is still the only one where I had that issue, and the filament does seem to be a different consistency and plasticity than the other filaments I now have.
The question is this: why would a company include a LOW quality filament with their printer, one that is more prone to fail? That is a poor choice, because it means the user could get bad prints that they (erroneously) attribute to the printer itself, not realizing it is the poor quality of the PLA. Wouldn't it be better to provide a material that's going to create the BEST prints possible, making the printer "look good" to the consumer?
State of the tech itself at this point is a bit early for consumer ready product. Translation: you are going to need to understand and tweak things.
Cost I imagine? I can't speak for anyone else, but the sample stuff they sent me was junk. GO get something else (pretty much anywhere else).
The cheap eBay filament was 10x better. The stuff from more reliable resellers is great (@Printed Solid can hook you up).
Yeah, I was just about to say: it seems that there is simply no such thing as a perfect printer.
Part of what I wanted to do was to see if there was something decent for under $1000... partly because I was paying out-of-pocket, but also because school budgets are tight. I should've put the FlashForge in my initial list, as well... it's a lot of bang for the buck, considering it is essentially a clone of the dual-extruder Replicator 2, for less than half the price. The Dremel Idea Builder is $1000 and is a single-extruder FlashForge, but PLA only and no heated bed. [For a classroom and for what I'm doing, that might be okay... but I'd still prefer a heated bed] Also, I'm seeing reports that it uses non-standard-sized spools, and using anything other than Dremel's (overpriced) brand invalidates the warranty...
Right now I am seeing another printer which, if I had seen it, probably would have been the one I bought instead of the Robo: The PowerSpec 3D Pro. This is essentially the FlashForge, but at the pricetag of the RoBo -- $799 (well, that was a sale price... not sure of current price.) However, it looks like the only way to buy it is at Micro Center. I don't have any of those anywhere near me (closest one is an 8 hour drive away in SoCal)
So... yeah. I would be happy with the RoBo if it just worked right now, after the many hours I have invested in trying to fix it. I was happy with it even when I was getting some banding (I wouldn't be if I needed to create super-tight precision components, though.) I also feel duped by RoBo's "6 months parts replacement" policy (which, honestly, was a factor in choosing this), and then people saying they won't replace the hotend (which was leaking, causing the printer failure), and people saying they wait for weeks or months to receive a replacement part when they do honor their policy.
Well, all I can say is that this is a fairly simple printer technology-wise and once you do get it sorted it pretty much stays running.
Plus, being open hardware and all, it is cheaper to keep running if something goes wrong.
For the support issue, there's the 1 on 1 option where you have a time block with a robo3d support member for helping you troubleshoot whatever you need. They also have a live chat option now on the main page.
The starter filament is "Ok". It's basically that, something to start with. I agree with that it's bad to include low quality filament to start with, but robo3d isn't exactly flush with money right now. They bought probably a lot of these 300g rolls of filament and now are stuck with them for a while until the next order needs to be placed.
You might be right. I just checked my firmware and it was R1V1, and noticed that there is a V2, so updated to that. We'll see if it helps. Maybe it did have the imperial settings with the metric rods (seems like they should have flashed the new firmware when they switched the rods!), which might account for the banding... going to test things out a bit.
Like I said in my videos, it's not a perfect printer but overall I have been fairly pleased with the "bang for the buck" aspect of it. It's just when it gets to a point that I am spending hours troubleshooting... well, I make about $500/day, so that's a good metric for what my time is worth. If I spent a whole day fiddling with the thing, it's getting close to the point where it would be more worthwhile for me just to buy a new printer!
BUT... on the plus side, I've learned a lot about how these work (I'm an expert with a lot of computer/tech stuff, but not 3D printers!)
PS. Good to know somebody saw my videos! I still stand by my assertion that the Robo is probably a better choice than any of the others I had compared in that video. I'm just wondering about some others that I didn't yet investigate -- Prusa, Dremel/FlashForge, the MicroCenter PowerSpec, etc. For me, I want at least 8" x 6" print envelope, so that narrows things down a lot. Would also prefer to have a heated bed, which narrows it down further. (I probably don't need to print various materials -- only PLA for now in the classroom. But it's nice to have the versatility if I change my mind or need something else...)
The high school I graduated from got a Makerbot Replicator 2 here a couple years back... It caught fire in the classroom. Now they have no 3d printer.
I didn't even bother to open the sample filament after reading all the problems people on here were having with it. I did buy a whole new 1kg roll of "galvanized blue" PLA filament from Robo 3d when I ordered the printer and have been running that. I haven't had any issues with this roll, but I will probably buy elsewhere (probably Printed Solid) in the future.
I have been buying my filament from MakerGeeks.com -- free shipping, for one thing. Also good selection. Don't know much about filament qualities, but what I have been using (glow in the dark green) is better than what came with the Robo. I just ordered some of their own "Maker Filament", as well, because it's $28/kg and that was hard to turn down... we'll see what the quality is like.
PS. That fire story is a reason I refuse to leave my printer unattended by leaving the building or let it run all night. I saw a guy on the Solidoodle forum who posted pics of his house that burned down because he left the printer running overnight. Total loss/rebuild, and his dog died in the fire...
I would recommend buying PLA from a company on Amazon called SAINSMART. Their PLA seems to work well with the Robo3d default settings. 3d printers are not yet the buy at costco plug in and go experience. But they will be there soon. Read the forums, they will help you learn and deal with the little issues in most cases.