Printrbot Play 1505 3D Printer Review: High Resolution, Solid Build

If you’re in the market for a simple 3D printer that’s fully assembled and solidly constructed, then the Printrbot Play 3D printer is definitely one you should consider.Made from powder coated metal, this printer is both built to last and affordable. This is a great 3D printer for first time users, students and 3D printing enthusiasts.It uses open source software and is super easy to set up which means you can produce 3D print models much faster and more consistently.

To make it easy for you, we’ve done a lot of research to give you a concise review of this printer. Our review includes the printer’s key features, easy set up instructions and answers to some of the questions you may possibly have.

 

Print material
Auto CalibrationMaximum print size(inches)Heating bedlayer thickness Customer supportAssembly timeWarranty 
PLA,FlexiableYes4"x4"x5"No50-100 micronsExcellent10 Minutes30 days

 

 

Key Features

High Resolution

This printer has a max resolution of 50 microns, which is higher than the standard 100 microns that most printers at this price give. Resulting in higher detail and quality in your prints.

Full Metal Construction.

The Printrbot Play features full metal construction for durability and rigidity. This ensures that the printer is very stable and will give you good print results consistently.

Fan Shroud And Extruder Cover For Safety.

The fan shroud and extruder cover is an excellent safety feature on this printer. It means the heated elements are fully enclosed so you can’t accidentally touch the hot end.
This is also great if you’re planning to use the printer around children to protect curious little fingers from getting burned.

Excellent Build Volume For A Compact 3D Printer.

The maximum build volume on the Printrbot is 4 inches x 4 inches x 5 inches. This gives you plenty of scope to print a lot of different objects or models.
The printer does have the option of upgrading the Y-axis to increase the build volume if you find that you need it.

Print Via USB Or SD Card.

Once you have your printer fully configured, you can unplug the USB cable and load your print files onto a micro SD card so that you can print even while not connected to your computer.
This is ideal if you don’t want to leave your computer on for the entire printing time and also avoids a print stopping because your computer has gone to sleep.

Metal Spool Rack.

Unlike other 3D printers, the spool rack on the Printrbot Play is made from powder coated metal just like the rest of the printer. This will give your filament roll plenty of stability and will avoid filament tangles and hangs.

Can Print With PLA And Flexible Filament.

With the Printrbot you’re not limited to just using PLA filament. The printer can also handle other types of filament too. Any filament that does not require the use of a heated bed should work just fine on this printer.

Metal Print Bed With Auto-leveling.

Like the rest of the printer, the print bed is a metal plate so it’s solid and not prone to warping. The bed also has an auto-leveling probe which is easily controlled via the Cura software on your computer.
This makes it really easy to ensure that your print bed is level for each print job.

 

What’s In The Box?

  • The fully assembled Printrbot Play 3D printer.
  • A sample roll of PLA filament.
  • A laptop power supply with power chord.
  • A USB cable.
  • A 1mm Delrin spacer.
  • Some Allen wrenches.
  • A 3mm cube test print which has been printed on your Printrbot Play printer.

 

What Software Is Required To Run This Printer?

When you visit the Printrbot website link which is included in your instructions, you’ll be able to download the Cura Software (v15.04). You’ll need this to slice your print file so that your printer can print your models.

If your computer uses Windows, you’ll also be able to download the Teensy USB driver necessary for connecting your printer to your computer.Also available at this download link is the STL file for the test print cube and the Getting Started Configuration Profile.

 

What Set Up Is Required For This Printer?

As the Printrbot Play 3D printer comes fully assembled, there’s very little set up required. To see how simple this printer is to set up, here are the steps required:

  1. Once you’ve unpacked your printer from the box and shipping bag, you need to pull out the foam inserts which hold the extruder and print plate in place.
  2. Then loosen the thumb screws to remove the fan shroud.
  3. Feed your filament through the top of the shroud, press the lever on the extruder and feed the filament into the extruder.
  4. Once you’ve loaded the filament, re-attach the fan shroud with the thumb screws.
  5. Next you’ll want to connect the USB cable into the printer and then attach to your computer.
  6. Plug in the power chord and turn on the printer.
  7. To help your prints to adhere to the print bed, you’ll want to cover it with some basic blue painter’s tape.
  8. Then it’s time to configure your printer in the Cura Software. Use the configuration wizard in Cura to do this.
  9. Now you’re ready to load your first print file and set your 3D printer to work.

 

What Other Settings Should You Use In Cura?

Configuring your printer in Cura is quite simple. Here are the basic steps you need to take:
For the machine settings, which you’ll find under the ‘machine’ tab, use:

Maximum width – 100 mm

Maximum depth – 100 mm

Maximum height – 130 mm

Next under the ‘file’ tab, select preferences and change the ‘printing window type’ to Pronterface UI.
Once you’ve done this, you’ll be able to load any STL file of your choice and Cura will slice the file so that your printer can start the print job.

 

Are There Any Upgrades Available For This Printer?

For those who want even more flexibility with their Printrbot Play, a heated bed is available as an upgrade. With this upgrade you’ll be able to print using ABS filament as well. On the Printrbot website there is a step-by-step slide tutorial which explains exactly how to install the heated bed upgrade.

This also comes with a Y axis upgrade which allows you to increase the build volume. Obviously you’ll want to be quite familiar with your Printrbot Play before you consider any upgrades.

 

What Kind Of Maintenance Is Required For This Printer?

You’ll find that most 3D printers will require a little maintenance from time to time and the Printrbot Play is no exception. Here is a quick run down on the maintenance you should perform on your 3D printer on a regular basis.

Every 3-6 months you should replace your hot end tips. Over time the nozzle will accumulate charred filament causing the filament to jam and not run freely. After installing the replacement nozzle you should re-calibrate the auto-leveling probe to ensure that your print bed is level.

Every 9-12 months you should replace your belts as they become worn over time.

Every 6 months you should lubricate your linear rails or smooth rods. You can use either Teflon or P.T.F.E. Lubricant.

Every 3 months or so you should ‘Flash’ or upgrade your firmware. This will ensure that your printer runs optimally.

 

What Is The Best Way To Remove A Print From The Bed?

Before trying to remove a print from the bed it’s a good idea to let it cool for about 10 minutes or so. If it’s a small model, you should be able to gently pry it off with a pair of pliers or even by hand.For larger prints, you can use a putty knife. Just pry off the print slowly by going around the edge of the model. Make sure that your fingers are out of the way!

 

Is It Normal For The Nozzle To Ooze A Little Filament Before The Print Starts?

A little oozing from the nozzle is actually quite common as PLA will start to melt at around 150 degrees Celsius but the optimum temperature for extrusion to start is 185 degrees Celsius. Bear in mind though that this oozed filament could negatively affect your print, so it’s a good idea to remove it before the print job starts.

You can do this simply by pulling off the ooze with a pair of needle nose pliers before the hot end reaches the desired temperature. Remember to always keep your nozzle clean to avoid ruining your prints or creating a jam in the hot end.

 

Can You Get Support Online?

Printrbot have their own online forum where you can ask questions and peruse the many threads on the different aspects of this printer. This forum is moderated by Printrbot’s technical staff so it’s easy to get an answer to any questions that you may have.

There’s also an active group of Printrbot users on Thingiverse as well as numerous print files of things you can print even including accessories for your 3D printer.

 

What Customers Are Saying

We read many customer reviews of the Printrbot Play and most customers were happy with both the value of the printer and the quality prints that it can produce. There were a number of comments about the sturdiness of the machine and many were happy with its compact size.

Many first time 3D printing users were impressed with the ease of setting up this printer and the subsequent print quality. There were also some comments stating that 3D printing does involve a bit of a learning curve and this is quite true with most 3D printers. Of course, as with most products, there were some negative reviews however these mostly revolved around a lack of knowledge regarding 3D printing.

Overall, most customers were very happy with their purchase with the majority saying that this is a great first printer especially for the price.

 

Final Verdict

For anyone looking for a fully assembled and affordable 3D printer, the Printrbot Play 3D printer is an excellent choice. It only takes a very short time to set up and will have you producing quality prints in no time. The printer is solidly built making it stable and consistent.

There are also plenty of tutorial videos available on the Printrbot website to make setting up and upgrading the printer easy and effortless. The fully enclosed hot end makes it completely safe to use around children and also in classrooms. It the possibility of fingers getting accidentally burned. This is a great 3D printer for newbies, students and printing enthusiasts alike.

 

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