Printrbot Go Large
The Printrbot Go Large is the largest of three in the second generation Go series of their 3D printers. The printer is not only large, but the capabilities of this printer are likewise grand. With a large print envelope, a triple extruder and stow-and-go capabilities, the Go Large is a pro-grade printer with tools aboard for serious use. However, due to its large size and limited availability, this printer may not be for everyone wanting to break into the 3D printing world. The printer does catch some slack after one initially finds out about its wood frame but those thoughts are quickly thrown out the window after actually having hands on the printer.
The Go Large arrives packaged very heavily, due to the fragility and high value of the case components. Instructions are to “team lift” the 67lb printer from its cage. For reasons of heftiness, the Go Large is only available in the US currently, and it is recommended that you refer to the manufacturer’s website for important unboxing information. The company strongly emphasizes how important the unpacking process is. For example, one must check everything closely for bubblewrap, tape and foam placeholders, because they are abundant and, as a great deal of reviews state, can be lost if not looked for closely. Printrbot has fully assembled the Go Large, unlike some of their printers that are available as DIY kits. The Go V2 series printers, however, are not available unassembled, except for the extruder spool keepers, which do require a little click-together assembly. The Go Large is constructed with a handle on top for easy carrying and set screws hold the handle and sides to the printer’s case. Removing these set screws allows you to unfold the print envelope bed and have a look inside.
Once folded down, the print bed should be anchored using provided hex screws and nuts. Wood stops are also included for securing the bed. While this unpacking may seem tedious and require good eyes, this is really the worst of the setup or use and it is all easier from there. Once safe and secure, you will be ready to move on to the next step: getting the network ready to rock. The Go series printers come with a Raspberry Pi installed, which is a plus considering other printers in the same range do not. Using Wi-Fi is simple enough by just connecting the included network dongle to the Pi and to the USB. If connecting the computer directly to the printer, do so by using only the USB. For untethered use, the printer is micro-SD capable as well. Printrbot has definitely made sure that options are plentiful for how you connect the Go Large.
The printer’s bed acts as a y-axis, and moves back and forth to supplement the x- and z-axis movements of the extruder head. All bars are 12mm thick for solid, accurate and tough printing applications. Dual motors are used on each axis for stability and control. The Go Large is equipped with a triple extruder, which is simply awesome. The extruder has a resolution of up to 100 microns. A cooling fan helps solidify printed plastics as they are extruded onto the aluminum and glass bed. An auto-level sensor works with the print software and firmware designed by the team for the Go series printers to keep the bed level and the print job accurate. The Go Large also features the largest envelope of all three in the series, at 24″ x 12″ x 12″.
The Printrbot Go Large comes with an ATX power supply and is battery-ready, which is a great option that adds value as a portable printer. When in service configuration, the printer does take up a good deal of room, but that is to be expected considering how large the items are that the printer can produce. Folded, however, the Go Large can be stowed easily, and even pushed to the back or corner of a desk, leaving quite a bit of room for other activities. Printrbot does send samples of PLA filament with the printer, but make sure you order more when you order the unit, because you will definitely need it due to the small sizes of the samples.
With support in the way of videos and tech materials found on the company’s website, the product is backed up by a very energetic and informative team of professionals. Laser-cut wood construction shouldn’t deter serious buyers; the Go series printers are advertised on the company website as “EXPERT-EXPERT Level 3D Printer(s)”. The printer isn’t designed to be the fan favorite or the casual user’s weekend toy, as apparent in its highly technical design and unusual and somewhat wonky handle/side panel design (although a stylish and comfortable padded leather handle is included). It is, however, designed to be accurate, portable to the max, and technically sound.
Overall, Brook Drumm and his team at Printrbot have designed and assembled an entirely unique, sound machine that is deservingly refined high-tech and a blast to use for creating. It is for this reason that we include the Printrbot Go Large on our list of iReviews 2015 best 3D printers under $2,000.
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