The 3D Printer

Aluminatus

The printer I settled on is an Aluminatus TrinityOne by Trinity Labs.

I ordered on 01/27/2013, order #1320. It's supposed to ship Feb. 20th. Cost: $1,899.00 USD Shipping: $91.66 USD Total: $1,990.66 USD

Quick Specs:

  • Build Area: X 300mm, Y 300mm, Z 350mm (which is over a cubic foot)
  • FootPrint: X 527mm, Y 590mm, Z 587mm
  • RAMPS Driver board running Marlin (with upgrade path to Smoothie... soon hopefully)
  • External LCD w/click wheel controller, SD card slot, for PC independence
  • 400W Kapton heater bed
  • Borosilicate print surface
  • Two 24V power supplies (one 17A for the heater and one 8-10A for everything else)
  • 0.4mm nozzle Jhead MKV-b hot end and uses a hobbled pulley made by blddk
  • Custom extruder with true planetary gear head nema17 motor
  • PLA or ABS (plus nylon and other new materials)
  • Z axis is capable or 0.025mm or 25micrometer layer heights
  • +-0.02mm repeatability and resolution per meter of travel

The hardware is all open source. The files are on Thingiverse. There is a very active support group on Google Groups. Videos of the prototypes on YouTube.

Notes:

After a quick bit of research and forum scouting, it was obvious that Ezra Zygmuntowicz, who founded Trinity Labs, has extensive knowledge in this type of printer, and more importantly, was serious about supporting them and making the best printer one could for the $2k price range. I loved the lead screw setup over belts, and the build size and speed of this printer is hard to beat for the price, build quality, and completeness of the Aluminatus. When it comes down to it, his enthusiasm and willingness to "make things right" on the groups and forums sold me immediately and I got in on the second batch order after only a few hours research. There seem to be LOTS of issues with the MakerBots and the forums are too full of newbs like me. And of the few others I considered, the Aluminatus has them beat in most factors.

I'd swore I wouldn't plunge into 3D printing until the DLP or Stereolithography style printers were more mainstream and affordable, ala the FormOne, but until that company and all it's issues are worked out, I'll stick to the tried and true FDM style for a year or so just to get going and see if it's something I want to pursue. I'd seen the bad quality and amount of time it took just to get the printer working much less to print anything worth saving, and decided the time investment wasn't worth it yet, but it seems the software and hardware are finally to a point that I can tolerate the time-sink. At least at this price point. Any other DIY or $500-$1000 printer you're looking at a lot of setup and figuring. We shall see!

Supplies:

Along with the printer I ordered some filament from Trinity Labs to ship with the printer:

I also ordered some 618 Nylon fillament from Taulman 3D:

I ordered a set of ball head metric allen keys to aid with construction of the Aluminatus (ball heads were recommended by a couple of guys who've already built theirs) from Amazon:

And to help with bed leveling, I ordered a cheapo dial indicator from eBay:

And to check print bed and hot-end temps... I ordered an IR Thermometer from Amazon:

Posted on February 12, 2013 and filed under 3D Printing.