IMAG0284_1
…and other terrible, unforgivable puns, but 3D Printing hits PortablesofDoom! The Up! Mini 3D Printer was purchased for the PoD Shop Office and Worldwide Headquarters (aka my house); a consumer level, fully assembled “Ready to Print out of the box” 3D Printer! The Mini is fully enclosed to keep prints from warping and to soften the smell (it’s burning plastic of course!) and it prints at a layer height of 200 microns (.2mm) while accepting both ABS and PLA finaments. Should be a great tool for make cases, case parts, toys, and etc. Let’s check it out!

 
 


3D Printing has been used in manufacturing and industry for quite some time now, but only in recent years has it come to the forefront as a consumer product due to the diminishing cost of controlling hardware and consumable materials. DIY Kits like Reprap soon caught on, and now many companies like Makerbot, Cubify, and UP! are producing high quality, low cost, consumer grade, ready-to-print 3DPrinters that look more like an everyday appliance moreso than a hobby project.

For those unfamiliar with 3DPrinting, a 3D object is produced by melting filament, which can be made from a range of different meterials from an assortment of different Plastics to Nylon, Carbon, Assorted Metals, and more. It works much like a standard inkjet/laser printer, but adds depth to the item to make it an actual, usable product. The task is handled by a computer controlled extruding nozzle that feeds the melting filament into the desired path to make the object. We’ve had a few days with our UP! Mini 3D Printer and are quite impressed with the machine’s capabilities so far.


Specifications:
-Prints ABS & PLA Plastics, a more environmentally friendly bioplastic made from corn starch and other renewable resources
-Variable Layer Heights ranging between .20-.35 mm in .05mm increments
-Exterior Case to stabilize heat during prints
-Interior LED to view parts fabrication when case is closed
-Overall Printer 240(W) x 355(H) x 340(D)
-Print volume of 120 x 120 x 120mm

Pros:
-3D Printing OMG you guys
-Lightweight, compact size for easy portability (which is kind of what we do here)
-Automatically builds structure supports for part angles and object cutouts.
-Enclosed printing area to heat and combat melting plastic smell
-PLA smells like pancakes when extruding!

Cons:
-Build Volume a bit on the small size for larger projects at 120*120*120mm.
-Machine seems to beep constantly during use and it’s very loud; beeps when you turn it on, beeps when starting and finishing initializing stages, beeps when preheating nozzle and printbed, beeps when sending print, beeps when print received, 3 beeps when ready to print, you get the idea. It can get annoying very quickly, especially at it’s seemingly deafening max volume (a critique on a supplier’s site in the reviews had mentioned workers getting annoyed at the beeps on a construction site ), but nothing a wired potentiometer to control volume can’t solve.


Here’s some pictures of a few test prints that we’ve done so far, and we definitely have some bigger projects already in the works so expect more 3D printed goodness in the very near future.


Testing out the printer with a birdcage print. Birdcage print nearly complete NOT a companion cube. Hard to believe, I know. It's like printing (Hyrulean) money! Na na NA NAAAAAAAAAA
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Testing out the printer with a birdcage print.

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