Review Update: Big Builder Dual Feed: White Edition, More Materials, Heated Bed

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In October of 2014 I Reviewed the Big Builder Dual Feed 3D Printer and really liked the unique single-nozzle, dual feed extruder and the possibility to print very tall objects. Now, 6 months later, I was asked by the manufacturer if I could do a short update based on a new, improved version of the printer.

Although I recently decided not to do full 3D printer reviews for a while because of my limited time (running a business, being a dad), I didn’t mind spending a few days with the Builder just to see whats new. And because a lot of people asked about the optional heated bed after the original review, I got the chance to test that as well.

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ZYYX 3D Printer Review - Header with Christmas Yoda

ZYYX 3D Printer Review – Part 2: Usability, Print Quality & Conclusion

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It has been more than six weeks since I posted Part 1 of this Review, so I had plenty of time to test the ZYYX on a daily basis. It has been running smoothly overall, which allowed me to focus more on making new designs instead of tuning and fixing a 3D printer.

That’s the way it’s supposed to be! Especially for Creative Professionals for whom a 3D printer is merely a tool for creative output. This in contrast to the more established Tinkerer audience, that enjoys the actual tuning and improving of the technology over designing objects to print.

Of course I’m critical as ever,  so I also discovered some downsides of the ZYYX. Read on to find out how the pros and cons weight up!

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Cyrus 3D Printer Review

Cyrus 3D Printer Review – Part 2

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Please Read

I wrote this review in 2014. Since the beginning of 2016, I’ve been getting emails from multiple people claiming they ordered a Cyrus and haven’t heard from the manufacturer. I’m not sure if they got a reply at the moment you read this, but I advice you to contact the company before ordering.

It has been almost a month since I posted Part 1 of this Review, so I’ve had plenty of time to test the Cyrus 3D printer. The experience wasn’t completely flawless, but after getting used to the printer, it has been running steadily almost daily without any mayor issues.

Did this printer keep it’s promises: is it really that silent? what are the benefits of Bluetooth connectivity? Does the Bowden-setup perform well? And what about that granite heated build plate? Read on to find out! I’ve even made a video for this Review, so you can see the Cyrus in action!

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3D Printer Review Request Top 5

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In September I published my Shortlist of 3D Printers for Creative Professionals. Since then I’ve been able to test and review some printers of that list: the Builder Dual Feed, Cyrus & ZYYX.

But I’ve also been keeping track of the 3D Printers you’ve mentioned in comments, tweets and e-mails, and in the short survey that’s in my Newsletter Subscription Form to get an idea about the printers you’d like me to review.

I’ve made a top 5:

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ZYYX 3D Printer Review

ZYYX 3D Printer Review: Part 1 – Is this the true MakerBot Replicator alternative?

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While the prosumer 3D Printing market gets more competitive every day, 3D printer manufacturers start to focus on certain details to set their machines apart from the competition. I’ve been looking forward to testing the ZYYX 3D Printer, a €1550 (ex VAT) machine that’s marketed as “The Fume Free 3D Printer”. This is made possible by the completely enclosed build chamber with an active air filter that absorbs the bad smells some materials emit while printing.

Another unique selling point of the ZYYX is it’s build plate calibration system, which is fully automatic: a  sensor on the print head probes 3 dedicated spots on the build plate to calculate it’s angle. This deviation is corrected while printing in real time, so the nozzle is at the same distance from the build plate everywhere it goes.  This in to the assisted build plate leveling method of the MakerBot Replicator 5th Gen I reviewed earlier, which probes the build plate with the nozzle and instructs the user  to correct the angle manually. If you’ve read that review, you know that didn’t work as advertised at all, so I’m very curious if the ZYYX’ method does. If it does, it would take away a lot of the hassle associated with 3D printing, especially at very small layer heights.

As always, I’ll do this review in two parts: in this part I will cover the unboxing and setup of the hardware and software and after a few weeks I will report back on the actual day-to-day user experience and print quality.

The earlier comparison with the MakerBot Replicator wasn’t a coincidence by the way. There are multiple reasons for this. Read on to find out which!

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Cyrus 3D Printer Review

Cyrus 3D Printer Review – Part 1

This is an older, archived post. Comments have been closed.

Please Read

I wrote this review in 2014. Since the beginning of 2016, I’ve been getting emails from multiple people claiming they ordered a Cyrus and haven’t heard from the manufacturer. I’m not sure if they got a reply at the moment you read this, but I advice you to contact the company before ordering.

Another week, another 3D printer to review. This time I’ll be printing with the Cyrus, a €1499 (ex VAT) 3D printer made in The Netherlands that was originally launched as a Kickstarter project in April 2013. The crowd funding, however, was cancelled by the makers one month later. According to them, user feedback caused them to get back to the drawing board and design Version 2 – which I’m testing – to better alight with the needs of potential customers.

The Cyrus 3D printer is clearly aimed to stand on a Creative Professional’s desk: a stand-alone, silent machine in the form of a small  (37 x 37 x 40 cm – way smaller than the original which was 52 x 50 x 50 cm), shiny, black cube.

As always, I’ll write a first impression part, followed by a second part reporting on print quality and user experience after a few weeks of use.

Getting Cyrious? Read on!

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Big Builder Dual Feed 3D Printer Review - Collection of Prints

Big Builder Dual Feed 3D Printer Review – Part 2

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In Part 1 of this review I was positively surprised about the fact that it took me 20 minutes to unpack the Big Builder Dual Feed 3D Printer, install it and make my first print from the SD Card. Now that I’ve been printing with it daily for 3 weeks, I’ll report on the ease of use, print quality, creative possibilities of this 3D printer and the few minor problems I encountered with it.

Let’s not bury the lead: this was the first printer I tested that printed reliably, with little to no tinkering out of the box and has been doing so for 3 weeks straight. That’s worth something on itself, but let’s get to the details!

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Big Builder Dual Feed 3D Printer Review

Big Builder Dual Feed 3D Printer Review – Part 1

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After announcing which 3D Printers for Creative Professionals I would be reviewing in the coming weeks and the update about the first of them being a little bigger than expected, it’s now time to get hands-on with the Big Builder Dual Feed!

Like I did with my Leapfrog Creatr Review, I will split this one up in two parts. In the second part I will report on my experiences with 3D printing with the Big Builder, but first I’ll write about my first impressions while unpacking en setting up this 3D printer.

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3D Printers for Creative Professionals – MakerBot Replicator 5th Generation Alternatives

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I have decided to find out which 3D printers – with reasonable lead times – might appeal to creative professionals like me, that want to use them for creative output. In this post I not only share my research so far in the form of my current short list, but will also announce which printers I will be reviewing for you very soon!

If you’ve been following my blog over the last few months you know that I bought my first 3D Printer – a MakerBot Replicator 5th Gen – early this year had a lot of bad experiences with it that resulted in sending it back. So I had to restart my 3D printing market research after 3 months of using the Rep 5. A lot had changed and I decided to order the then-newly-released Leapfrog Creatr HS because of several reasons. That one got delayed so I cancelled it after more than two months of waiting. So I’m back to square one and based on the overwhelming feedback from readers I’m apparently not alone.

On top of that, the 3D printer market has exploded. On Kickstarter alone there are currently 178 active 3D-printer projects and that’s just a fraction of the ones that have been announced over the last six months.

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Leapfrog Creatr 3D Printer with Apple MacBook Pro Retina

Leapfrog Creatr Review – Part 2: Tuning & 3D Printing

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Continuing where I left of with Part 1 of this Review it was now time for some actual 3D printing! Or not? Well not quite! I did make a few testprints when I finally got the filament in but when I wanted to change filament again for another print, the whole filament-loading game started all over. This time I tried to load filament into the right extruder and wasn’t able to succeed after trying it for over 20 minutes.

This clearly isn’t supposed to be that hard, so I decided that it was now time for the “tuning” part I ended with in my last post. I didn’t expect this to be necessary for a printer that is advertised with the following description…

“The 3D printer is fully assembled and pre-calibrated when it arrives at your doorstep. This means that the installation of the printer does not take up a lot of your time and you will be printing your first object in about 30 minutes!”

…but it clearly is so let’s do it!

Leapfrog Creatr Review - Tuning the 3D Printer

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