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Pros: 1) Aesthetics. It's something that will draw people over to your desk at work and ask how it works, although for some that might be a con.
2) Gantry and axes are well designed and relatively robust.
Cons: 1) Does not print to specifications. Anything that has a footprint above around 2 square inches will warp horribly and the part will be useless.
2) No heated bead to keep the parts from warping, 3D systems decided to use glue that you apply to the print surface to try and prevent warping but that does not work. You are in for a rude awakening if you are going to use this to print ABS, first layer of a 4in x 6in square warped on the 1st layer.
3) Everything about this printer is proprietary, so you cannot change or tweak anything to your own specific needs. HUGE CON: plastic comes in specific cartridges that you HAVE to use with printer and they run $100 a piece, way over priced compared to $30-40 elsewhere.
4) Software provided is awful. The tool path that the software creates is a very slow one and the machine takes twice the time to print the same quality part as my $500 RepRap printer. For example, printed part that took 11 hours on a different machine, took 14 on this printer and did not print it to tolerance while the other one did. The software also spits out too much plastic while printing which can cause the extruders to collect globs of plastic which screws up the print as well as creates a really awful surface finish. The software also decides to print some layers of the part a half a millimeter in some random direction, creating layer shifts in the part which make all screw holes completely useless.
5) Make sure to read the fine lines about the return policy with these things, 3D Systems advocates a strict no-return policy. I am stuck with mine, unfortunately.
6) 3D Systems Cubex support is awful. Had the printer since mid-August and I've wasted so much of their expensive plastic cartridges trying to get their printer to work. They continue to tell me over the phone, "Well we can get a printer working on our end so your printer should work just fine". I sent them multiple pictures and printed multiple test prints they sent me, some worked some didnt't. And then they said the problem was with the part I was trying to print and I sent it to them and they printed it on there "working over here" printers and it warped for them and they had nothing to say about it and just kind of let the ticket fade away as if the problem did the same. They also have yokels running the support phones, ask for an engineer's email.
7) I mentioned it before but I will mention it again...NO HEATED BED. What where they thinking. Glue of all things to use as the mechanism to keep that part from warping. It's unfortunate
Other Thoughts: Luckily, I've been given the go ahead by my boss to start ripping this thing apart and modifying key components to make it run the way it is advertised to. I won't go into the details, but I just wanted to get across the fact that this printer will not be out-of-the-box ready.
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.
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