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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Makerbot vs uPrint

My day job has got a uPrint 3D printer by Stratysis which is also a FFF machine like my Replicator, so I decided to print amodel out on both of our machines to see which one looks better.
The final judgement is surprisingly neck-and-neck:
  • The uPrint has comparable resolution to the Makerbot, in fact the Makerbot is slightly higher even, but the uPrint has more stable layers and more control over how much filament they put out (probably because I didn't more precisely test and measure my filament's diameter.)
  • The Makerbot has colors, but other models of uPrint also has colors.
  • The uPrint has disolveable supports which makes for much better overhangs.
  • Both had corner ringing (which surprised me).
  • Both slicers had trouble with fine details (like the fan grills on the back. The uPrint looks like it's got more detail, but that was just some corner rining.
  • Both prints took a comparable amount of time to do. The Makerbot was slightly faster (with sailfish) but it didn't have to print supports.
  • The uPrint software was much easier to use and send off to the printer, much more like printing a document than it is with the Makerbot.
The biggest difference is price. The uPrint is 5 times more expensive. But over all there's too many similar factors to call one a clear winner. With the uPrint you get an easier print process and excellent overhangs. With the Makerbot you get colors and pay about 1/5 the price.

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