Looking for an affordable 3d printer that meets your standards can be hard. Doing my own research, I finally ran into the Robo 3D R1.
This printer was found in 2013 by 2 guys from San Diego State. Their goal is to make an affordable 3d printer appealing to both beginners and experienced folks of 3d printers.
If you’re a beginner or are looking for an affordable printer, keep reading this Robo 3D R1 Plus review to learn if this fits you.
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What To Take Into Consideration
There are so many pricey 3d printers. The only exception seem to be 3d printer kits. New and veteran 3D printer users looking for quality 3D printers which are affordable need to look at this one.
For anyone who doesn’t want to get technical, the Robo 3D R1 Plus is a great option. Anyone else looking for a deluxe 3D printer like a dual extruder printer shouldn’t get this. There’s only so much you’ll get at a lower price tag.
Before buying this printer, there are a few things you need to look at. One of those things are features. Ask yourself what you intend to do with a 3D printer. Some features are more helpful than others.
Design is another factor to keep note of. This can be confused for design, but I’m looking at how the printer looks when I’m talking about design.
Another thing to look at is how user-friendly it is. Both design and features can overlap into the user-friendliness factor. Users who don’t want to get too technical need to take this into consideration.
The final factor to look at is print quality. Nothing else matters if this is bad.
Here are the 4 factors to look at when looking for budget-friendly printers:
1. Print quality
Robo 3D R1 Plus
Robo 3D is a startup which offers a few products, one of which is the Robo 3D R1 Plus.
Knowing that there is no other printer in the company to compare it to impresses me. And, the reason it does is because this product is really great already. I can’t imagine what another version looks like.
The R1 printer can handle multiple filaments. It’s easy to spot from other 3d printers too. Its design is a mixture between an enclosure and an open layout.
Users will love this printer because it’s affordable first and foremost. But, once they get the printer, they’ll see it’s easy to use. This ease of use is due to the design and features.
Other affordable printers on the market might be less expensive, but I don’t think they’ll compare in overall quality.
Print quality, user-friendly, design, and features are the 4 factors the Robo 3D R1 Plus excel at. Let’s go in-depth to see why.
- Steady frame
- 24/7 customer support
- Open source
- Can use a variety of filaments
- Can change printing speeds
- Model removal
This printer isn’t big at all. It only weighs 25 pounds making it portable. Although it’s portable, I recommend you find a designated spot for it because the filament printing leaves an odor.
Looking at the images, you might think it’s huge. In person, it doesn’t take a lot of space. It’s best to store it somewhere where it’s not interfering with other electrical machines.
The R1’s design keeps an open layout at both the front and back. In addition, this printer is a single extruder which means you can only output 1 filament at a time. You can get a lot done with single extruder printers though so don’t sweat it.
The printing bed of the R1 comes in at 10 inches all around. For the heating surface alone, the dimensions come in at 8.4 inches all around. Both are enough to get large models in.
Unlike other printers, this one keeps a steady frame. You don’t have to worry about models getting messed up because of the frame tilting.
A feature that I love is the 24/7 customer support.
What’s unique about this is since this company is known as a startup, the closer the communication is with the product team. You’ll find startups more responsive and hands-on.
If calling them doesn’t work for you, then you can check out their Q&A section on their website. The most common questions will be answered there. If that doesn’t work, try out the forum on their site. Someone should be able to help you there.
I also like the auto-calibration and auto-leveling features. If you’ve read my posts on dual extruder printers, you’ll know I’m not a fan of manual work.
On the other hand, if you actually read some of my other reviews, you’ll know I’m a fan of open source. The R1 makes their software and hardware available to the public.
An advantage with making your product open source is customers can improve on it. It’s like getting free upgrades without paying more.
Another desirable feature this printer has is its filament versatility. Most 3d printers can only use 2 types, this printer can use at least 5. Remember to find the one which works best though. You don’t want to buy any type of filament as some have their advantages and disadvantages.
You also have the option of printing speed. All you have to do is change the settings. The downside to that is you have to print at a lower resolution.
Changing the settings won’t be hard though. Remember, this printer is built for easy use right out the box.
Beginners should be able to use this printer right away. It’s ready out of the box, and you have great customer support if you get stuck.
People who haven’t used 3d printers before can find 3d printers to have a steep learning curve. I’m talking about hours from taking it out of the box to finishing your first model.
From the research I’ve done, it looks like first time users finish anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour from unboxing to at least starting to print.
The R1 is also compatible with most operating systems. I mentioned how this printer can use a variety of filaments. An underrated part of that is you’re not forced to only use 1 vendor. You have options when it comes to filament vendors reducing costs over the long run.
Everything from the features to the support make this one of the easiest printers to use. You should be up and running within hours when you take it out of the box.
Every time I think of print quality one of my first inquiries is resolution. I have to know how detailed a printer can get.
We already know this printer can print at fast speeds. But, that sacrifices quality. How well does it do if we give it time?
Well, this printer is highly detailed. It has 3 levels of resolution:
1. High: 100 microns
2. Standard: 200 microns
3. Low: 300 microns
One con I have about this is models are hard to take off the print bed. You have to forcefully pull it off. Just be careful of damaging the print bed. Another con with print quality isn’t really a con, but figured I should point it out.
You shouldn’t expect professional quality with a 3d printer at this price point. Professional quality comes at a much higher price tag.
Overall, this is a solid printer that can print at high resolutions.
Alternatives To The Robo 3D R1 Plus
Official Creality Ender 3
- Highly affordable
- Great print quality
- Open source
- Manual calibration
The creality Ender 3 is a great alternative for the R1. For one, it’s more affordable, and the second reason why is it has great print quality too. It also differs a lot in design too. Its design has an open layout with a thinner frame. It has most of the same things I like about the R1.
This includes an open source system with easy use. I just wish this printer automated its calibration.
ANYCUBIC Photon Zero
- Highly affordable
- Easy use
- Cooling system
- Limited to resin use
This is another affordable option. It’s a printer that’s limited to resin use, but resin is a filament which produces great models.
Similar to the R1, the Photon Zero is an easy use. You can start printing in minutes from taking it out the box.
Its precision is there too. It can print at a high resolution leaving little room for mistakes. One thing that separates it from the R1 is its cooling system. This makes the prints better as it completes models faster.
Monoprice MP Select Mini 3D Printer V2
- Highly affordable
- LCD interface
- Easy to configure settings
- Can’t pull of high-speed prints
You probably wouldn’t have guessed this, but this is another affordable option. The Monoprice Select Mini is a popular choice in the 3d printing industry. This is thanks to the ease of use and printing quality.
This printer comes with an LCD interface unlike the R1. This makes setting the printer up easy. You have menus that are easy to navigate to find what you want. None of this matters though if print quality sucks. Thankfully, that’s not the case.
The Select Mini prints at a high resolution giving it the ability to create great prints. A downside of this printer is it’s not great at printing at high-speeds.
Having said all that, give this a look if you feel like the R1 isn’t for you.
An Affordable Printer With Printer Quality
New 3d printer users looking for their first printer usually look for affordable options. The problem is there are a lot of options available, but finding the right ones are difficult.
The R1 is a great option not only because it’s affordable, and has great print quality, but it also makes things easier for the user.
Its features and user-friendliness can have you making your first print in 30 minutes to an hour. Some printers take hours just to assemble.
Click here to find out more about this printer. It’s good to do heavy research before committing to a 3d printer.