[Blabber] Aluminum Prusa i3 Opinions?

James Carpino jamescarpino at yahoo.com
Mon Apr 11 23:26:48 UTC 2016

Almost every bearing in my Folgertech acryclic i3 went bad.  That includes at least one of every kind of bearing, including one of the Z motors.  And not heavy use.  Several bearings went bad early.  (And the stock feeder was just a nightmare.)

Also, Prusa i3's are inherently wobbly and you will find them flexing if you don't pick a rigid flat table to run it on, and don't move it around.  In contrast with mendelmax, makerbot, ultimaker, which all have rigid frames (and deltas/rostocks which have the *potential* to be rigid framed).  Also in contrast with the Printrbot style printers which are wobbly but unaffected by transport.  

Disclaimer, I have no direct experience with the aluminum extrusion-based i3's, they may be more rigid, right?  but I think most of the hardware is the same, and the configuration, and the inherent flexibilities may remain.  Judging by looking at it, I think it's a good starting point, just needs a little shoring up... but I said that about our Makerbot clone and look how that turned out. 


      From: Chris Stratton <cs07024 at gmail.com>
 To: Hack Manhattan! <blabber at list.hackmanhattan.com> 
 Sent: Monday, April 11, 2016 12:20 PM
 Subject: [Blabber] Aluminum Prusa i3 Opinions?
Does anyone have personal experience with any of the low-end aluminum
frame Prusa i3 derivatives?  I'm looking to get a printer of my own,
and while I like the mechanical integrity of the flashforge/ctc/etc
box designs, I hesitate at the limited Y travel and that fact that it
will forever be a large object - my apartment is rather cramped, so
I'd prefer something where I have the possibility of disassembling the
vertical pieces from the horizontal and storing or transporting it
flat.  Hence the Prusa i3, and for durability either an aluminum plate
or extrusion frame.

- Any opinions on plate vs extrusion?  I get the sense plate may be
stronger (and quieter) but extrusion offers more ability to alter the
design in the future
- what about Z axis motors on the top vs. bottom?  I take it 5mm
screws are preferred to allow the smooth rods to dominate positioning?
- how bad are RAMPS electronics?

Specific machines of current temptation are the Folger Tech extrusion
machine at under $300 or the Geeetech plate - which unfortunately
seems to have recently gained $100 in price pushing it well north of
400.  I worry the Folger has a reputation for being louder, and the
carriage designs seems quite overhung, but it seems a cheap collection
of starter parts...

Or anyone have a disused i2 or i3 project/machine they'd like to unload cheaply?
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