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Printrbot Talk Forum • View topic - Review: M3D

Review: M3D

Talk generally about other printers

Review: M3D

Postby orangefurball » 2016-Feb-Mon-18-Feb

Hello all,

I've had an M3D printer for a couple of weeks now and have been putting it though its paces seeing what this $450 printer can do.


Let me start off with the build quality;

It's alright. The case is great, the plastic is nice and strong and doesn't twist or bend too much. It's about 3mm thick. On the mechanical end, however, it's a different story. The rods are carbon fiber. That's an interesting choice but it doesn't seem too bad. There are no bearings for X or Y motion. Just a plastic piece that runs along the rods. This adds a lot of side to side motion and makes print quality pretty low. I understand why they didnt include bearings as it would be hard to find small enough ones and we able to hit the low price point.

The linear motion mechanism they have here is interesting too. The Y motion is controlled by a small stepper motor in the bottom of the printer that turns a square rod that in turn turns a small pulley that spins the belt. That means there is no moving motor mounted for the Y axis. For the X axis, there is a solid group of teeth on one of the carbon fiber rods that a motor in the hot end assembly moves on. Once again, an interesting design. It works, but the belts have no way to be tightened and the rods are not held down by anything so they move a bit.

I have yet to open the extruder, so I have no idea how it works. I'll try to do that one of these days out of pure curiosity!

Filament loading is pretty simple, it heats up and you push it through. I do not use their filament, though it did come with one roll. I use the "external" loading so I cannot comment on the "internal" loading. The extruder motor seems strong, but I don't have model numbers for that since I have yet to pop that section open.

Now onto the software;
It's horrendous. At least for someone who knows about 3D printing. It's laggy, confusing, and the print quality settings are laughable. I have yet to produce a good result with the slicer that is bundled in this godforsaken application. I use Cura and the "spooler" program that they hide to send Gcode. Been working ok since then. They really need to fix that though. I think they should throw it all out and start over.

Final thoughts
There are better ways to spend your money. Get a Mendel kit from China that you will have to tinker with for a few days before you get this. It's good for taking around to random places that you cant bring your full size printer to, but that's about it. The bed size is small and the quality isn't very good, this will not even touch a string-tension Printrbot Simple. I will still keep it around and use it every once in a while, but for anything that needs to look good I would not use this. I have a feeling that when the Tiko comes out it will be similar to this.

Will post pictures soon, if anyone wants to see anything done on it let me know!

Note: This is my honest, unbiased opinion after testing this printer and has nothing to do with my work on my own printers. Just thought I needed to mention that.
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2 CoreXY Machines 200x200x200/600mm
Cubify Cube3 & Makerbot Replicator Mini

Thingybot Delta Printer
150x150x200mm circular build volume, high precision open source 3D printer.

http://www.thingybot3d.com
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Review: M3D

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Re: Review: M3D

Postby WayTooManyHobbies » 2016-Feb-Tue-12-Feb

Your review is pretty much right on the money. I was an early backer of the Kickstarter campaign, and got it cheap. Otherwise this printer would be even more of a disappointment.

The retail version is $349. If you must have a small printer that is ready to print, you'd do much better to buy a Play.
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Review: M3D

Postby orangefurball » 2016-Feb-Tue-12-Feb

  • 0

2 CoreXY Machines 200x200x200/600mm
Cubify Cube3 & Makerbot Replicator Mini

Thingybot Delta Printer
150x150x200mm circular build volume, high precision open source 3D printer.

http://www.thingybot3d.com
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orangefurball
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Posts: 1022
Joined: 2014-Apr-Mon-22-Apr
Location: Scranton, PA
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