How to print 3d review: SOLIDOODLE

Price

The Solidoodle is 499$ (2012) and for 100$ extra you extra parts (interior light, cabinet and door and spool holder) that lets you do some additional stuff with the 3d printer. Compared to other contemporary 3d printers, 499$ may make one wonder if the machine lacks quality. How can it be so cheap? The answer to that question is a new approach on how to build 3d printers. The company that builds the solidoodle have great experience in building 3d printers. They started up the Solidoodle project with a blank sheet of paper and threw away everything that wasn’t necessary. They say that no corners were cut when designing this 3d printer.

The Good

* The price! 499$ is the best price we have seen until now on the market.

* Strong robust construction! The Solidoodle is said to hold a 200-pound person standing on it!

* Environmental ambition! The Solidoodle project aim at using PLA filament to print with. This means possibility make filament of home-grown corn. Remarkable!

* Open-source software.

* Delivered fully assembled. Start playing instantly!

* A nice medium size 3D printer: 6x6x6 inches.

* Please comment if you have experience on how to print 3d using Solidoodle!

The Bad

* Only one extrusion head means longer time to print and limited colors and materials.

* Please comment if you have experience on how to print 3d using Solidoodle!

Size

This 3d printer lets you build objects that are up to 6x6x6 inches big (15,24×15,24×15,24cm). A big cup of tea for instance. Or yet another iphone case to put in your collection.

Software

The Solidoodle uses Arduino which is an open-source software for electronic 3D prototyping platforms.

Assembly, replication

The kit comes fully assembled after six to eight weeks. This means that you can start playing with it directly! No stress of worrying of not to get it to work or that there are missing or damaged parts. Talking of damaged parts, the Solidoodle isn’t made for domestic replication as far as we can see on the pictures of it. With looks of a small microwave oven, it basically only consists of metal parts and electronics. But hey, you can buy four of it at the price of one Makerbot Replicator!

How to print 3d, Printing material

Solidoodle uses melted plastic filament. The company that build the solidoodle recommends ABS filament. One interesting thing with the Solidoodle it probably work with PLA filament in the future. PLA is a polylactic acid that is made from corn. If the 3d printing industry grows, this would mean great environmental and economical benefits. Imagine Iphone cases made of corn! Will they turn into popcorn when heated? We’ll see…

Extrusion heads, print time

The Solidoodle 3d printer comes with one extrusion head. This means that it’s just as slow as other hobby 3d printers.

Miscellaneous

The team behind this project have great experience in building 3d printers. The main character, mr Cervantes, was earlier COO (chief operating officer) at Makerbot. He also has experience in construction Boeing 747 engines.

Summary

Solidoodle is cheap, easy, ready-to-use and has environmental ambitions. The team behind the 3d printer know what they are doing and have built a true 3d printer for the common geek (as in “geek with limited economic resources”). If we are to see the great invention of the 3d printer having a natural place in every home, we also need to lower the prices for 3d printers. The Solidoodle is a giant leap in that direction.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Scott September 7, 2012 at 05:38

Why do you say “The Good: 6″x6″x6″”, and then counter that by saying”The Bad” 6″6″6″?” I believe the size should be either good or bad, so which one is it? Is this volume that this devide can print good or bad?

Reply

admin September 7, 2012 at 15:51

Hi!

I guess I wanted to say that the 3D printer is neither big nor small. You are right that it’s quite contradictory. I’ll instantly change it to “Good = It’s medium sized”.

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