Steve Norris of www.NorrisLabs.com loves to make ‘Bots, so much so that he produces one every two months, photographs and writes about them in his blog. (Editor’s Note: Steve has about 20 of them detailed on his site.). As a Contributing Editor at Robot Magazine, he is continually challenging the status quo to create things that have never been seen before.
I have used a couple of other 3D printers. Involved in some kickstarter projects as well for others. This one is the first 3D printer that has ‘just worked’ (almost see below) and I highly recommend it. I have printed in the 5 weeks I’ve had it an amazing amount of ABS. With the holiday season many folks received an ‘I made this’ gift. The problems I’ve had. 1) SD card had to be removed, reformated before it would actually work. 2) ABS printing doesn’t seem to ‘stick’ as well as I would like. I wonder if a bit more heat on the bed would be good. The greatest thing about this printer? Excellent support! I have had a couple of issues and the tech support has been fast and excellent. And appears to be based in Minnesota so we speak the same language.
Reviewed by: Ralph Jenson from Minneapolis, MN. on 1/2/2013
This was a Christmas present for my husband, but it has been a lot of fun for both of us. The quality of the prints is very good, definitely good enough for small things and sturdy enough to give most things to our toddler. I’m glad we waiting a couple years for the technology to mature, but this printer is pretty user friendly. The setup for the printer once we received it was pretty simple. The only things that needed tweaking from shipping were the platform leveling, and entering the values from the included calibration print file after we printed it. So far most of what we’ve done is print other peoples’ designs from Thingiverse, but we also make some cool stuff in SketchUp. You need a free plugin to export the files from sketchup to the afinia software, and I had to check the “unsolid model” in print preference so it didn’t do weird things with overlaps, but overall it wasn’t too hard. If I could add one feature, it would be a bigger build platform, but the flip side is that it’s a pretty small thing to fit on your desk, which is nice. Dualstrusion (to print in two colors a once) and faster production would be nice, but not a must have. The lack of an integrated display is no biggie for us, since we just leave it cabled to the computer and get the status from the software.
Reviewed by: Ellen Weaver from Denver, CO. on 1/10/2013
So far, I’m very pleased with the unit. It worked as I expected it would. Easy to use and good print quality. The software is better than expected. I like the way it builds its own base below the actual print. My 10 year old daughter imported a cat into sketchup. We exported it into an STL, using a free plugin and it printed perfectly, without any tweaking. I’m looking forward to using it for more serious jobs.
Reviewed by: Kai Kaletsch from Saskatoon, Canada. on 1/13/2013
I am a Mechanical Engineer with 23 years of product development experience. I have worked at several fortune 100 companies and have used several different kinds/brands of expensive 3d printers. The AFINIA H479 3D printer works very well and the output is comparible to machines I have used. I was very surprised and amazed at how the printer and software handled a small helical gear (1.25″ dia. X 0.375″ tall X 48 teeth.) Printed gear was functional. Start up kit was complete and set-up straight forward. Software occasionally hangs up when sending a print job from the PC to the printer, but a reset of the printer resolves the issue. I would like to see some software enhancements that will provide you control over the fixed wall thickness of 1.5mm. I would also like to see the software “solid” function provide a more refined internal print matrix to achieve improved part density. This is a great product for the money.
Reviewed by: Thomas Bender from Madison Wisconsin. on 1/19/2013