Printrbot Metal Plus with its sleek design and precise metal construction offer hobbyists and professionals alike an amazingly accurate machine. There is a lot to like with this model. It is large: The 10 inch by 10 inch print bed allows for volumes up to 1000 cubic inches. It is adaptable: The Metal Plus has a wealth of options and allows for many different print materials. It is fast: The ample power supply allow for faster warm up times and the precise design allows for faster printing.
The Metal Plus certainly has ample printing area. The square 10 by 10 bed actually moves along the y axis allowing for the unique design. The big advantage to this, aside from aesthetics and area, the view of projects in the process of being printed it affords. Most printers of comparable size look more like a big toaster oven than a high-tech prototyping device. This printer is stable and solid whether purchased assembled or in a kit. An additional benefit of the option for self-assembly is the wealth of information available for repairs and self-service.
Printrbot aims to make this printer perfect for nearly any project. There are plenty of parts available for purchase that allow makers to set this machine up for their specific needs. The heated bed helps out with PVA and similar filaments. There is also the option to upgrade to a head with dual extruders that allows printing with two materials or colors simultaneously. The nozzles for the extruders are available in increments of 0.1 mm down to a 0.2mm and the standard being 0.4mm. Switching the nozzle adjusts the print resolution. This company started out open-source and they stick to their roots by allowing users to run their choice of 3rd party printing software.
All metal construction and exacting manufacturing standards give users an extremely accurate machine. The 8 amp power supply heats everything up quick and the minimalistic design allows for smooth sailing while it builds each project. The auto-leveling probe on the head along with the machined metal bed assure that every print starts out square. This is not to say that there are no errors: It is still new technology and largely dependent on software and user input. Despite this users are consistently surprised by the quality of printed items.
Printrbot may have started as a small crowd-funded company looking to make 3d printing more accessible with their $350 Simple Maker kit, now they show themselves to be true professionals with the Metal Plus. True tinkerers will love the open-source pedigree and accessibility the kit offers. Those who are less inclined to do it all themselves will appreciate the convenience of the fully assembled model. The kit saves around 80 bucks, but if it time to shell out $1000 on a project printer the $80 shouldn’t be a deal breaker. Whether it is for business or pleasure the Metal Plus is worth the investment and the user serviceable design means that it can continue to grow as technology improves.