Ordering a Mini - Accessories to get?

So it’s been back and forth for two months now as to what printer to get if any to replace my old Printrbot Simple Metal. After much angst, I have decided to go with the Lulzbot Mini printer and I’m getting one year of extended warranty, plus a roll of HIPS filament. Now the question is: What, if any, additional accessories to put on the order? Your input please?


Interesting that you’re going with the Mini… Its the same build area as the PSM and you’ll be dealing with the same issues since there is no enclosure. The only benefit will be the 24V heat bed. The compact extruder and inductive auto-leveling is better in my opinion… just stick a PEI sheet on the PSM bed. I’d look at a printer with a larger build volume and possibly dual extruders… Skip the HIPS, PETG for easy prints or ABS if you’re experienced.

Regardless, I’d get a good removal tool with your Mini… something like a set of these tools or =http://www.amazon.com/Darice-5-Piece-Painting-Knife-Set/dp/B004669XQ6/ref=pd_cp_469_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=0A4NCAGMP62ZEK645WRXartist spatula. The flat wide blade will get under the print and provide good leverage to remove with damaging the PEI.

Ah yes that painting knife set looks like just the thing. I have been using a putty knife that does the job but not as wel. Ty!


I’m curious as to why you don’t like HIPS, kcchen?

I have had excellent results with HIPS, better than ABS. It sure is strong plastic! The one thing I learned with it is that you must preheat the bed to 110c as the printer doesn’t wait for the bed to fully heat up and some small prints won’t stick.

ABS is hygroscopic, so you could have storage issues with it, if your work area is humid. From what I’ve read, HIPS does not have that issue.

I print with that all the time now.

PETG also prints well.

And thanks kcchen for the link to the tools! I just ordered a set. They look to be MUCH better than the tool that comes with the mini.

I would highly recommend getting the Flexistruder and getting some Ninjaflex at some point! This stuff is amazing! It’s also strong and very flexible.
To swap out the extruder takes less than a minute, once you’ve done it a couple of times.

Although the Mini is my first printer, I am loving it. I think you will too! This thing is so much better than I expected!


I’m curious if anyone here is using a wiper on their filament and/or oiling the filament as it goes into the extruder. I see a few designs for wipers/oilers posted here and there. We’ve not had problems that I can relate to this at this point (though we’re still on our first roll of filament). Just wondering if others find it necessary, and if something like that would be good for new users to install.

I’ve only been running for a couple months and about 2 rolls of filament, but no, I haven’t seen a need for either. I can’t see that it would hurt anything if you are so inclined though.

@kent & all: The reason that I have chosen to go with a Lulzbot Mini to replace (or augment) my Printrbot Simple Metal is YOU! Well, that and features like heated bed and hexagon hot end, reputation is high with both though the Lulzbot at twice the price is a step up in elegance or quality i suppose. Actually both printers have very high ratings in the reviews so I’ll have two winners on my hands.

So back to YOU, the user community. I am going by my reading of this forum. When I was into music, I fell in love with the www.electro-music.com community and forum. There I met some friends for life and though I no longer frequent the place, it was a valued experience to say the least. Now I don’t necessarily expect to get quite that strong a sense of community here, but at least there is fertile ground for upgrades, repairs, and operational hints and tricks.

Actually truth be told, I found the Ultimaker community forum to be even more expansive and similarly friendly, but their prices are out of my range. Even the one model I can afford at Ultimaker has far too small of a build volume. So with a Printrbot Simple Metal and a Lulzbot Mini, I’ll have two solid winners and a great community to interact with here.

The Printrbot community may be strong but I cannot find a central forum… or maybe I didn’t look hard enough for wanting a change. You see, there was a design flaw in my Printrbot and it took a huge amount of back-and-forth plus about $100 in purchases before the issue was resolved, so I’m not too keen on Printrbot maintenance issues.

But as they say “3D printing is hard.”, so we must accept some challenges along the way. It’s just too early stage a technology and we are all early adopters. Of course I’m preaching to the choir here! Well, just some random thoughts on why I chose a Lulzbot Mini for my third 3D printer - FWIW.


Oh, also regarding NinjaFlex: Yes, I have tried NinjaFlex and FilaFlex on my Printrbot Simple Metal with mixed success. Actually I spent a good bit of time printing adapters and upgrades and learning my extruder inside and out so I could print in flexible materials. I had to use a metal extruder to print a plastic one to print with flexible filament, haha!

I have also experimented with some of the exotics including carbon fiber and two types of electrically conductive filament, plus magnetic iron as well (it’s crumbly on small details but wow the utility of it for motors and such!). I plan to use my Lulzbot Mini to print in wild and crazy filaments that I cannot print otherwise. In particular maxing out both the nozzle temp and the heated bed temp (almost that is), one can print with Polycarbonate (IIRC), which is the stuff they make small airplane fuselages out of if I am correct, plus the whole host of nylons and HIPS which needs a high bed temperature, not to mention the mildly abrasive ones like metals and woods.

Well, being able to print with essentially ANY filament out there is awesome IMHO!


Here is a Printrbot forum that I went through before making my first 3DPrinter purchase.


I ended up with the Mini for many of the reasons you mentioned. I find it to be a much more robust platform with the flexibility to print many different types of materials. On the topic of accessories (probably not considered an accessory per se), I ended up getting a Astrosyn NEMA motor dampener for my Y-Axis and could not be more happier with the results. There was another forum post regarding this change. Installation was a breeze and its bearable to work in the same room with it running.

I almost wish the Mini came as a kit, so I could learn how to do all future repairs myself. But then again the OHAI kit is so well detailed it doesn’t really matter. That kit was another reason that swayed me.

That reminds me… I have a roll of Polycarbonate here I need to test with… :slight_smile:

The Y damper is that big of a difference? Interesting. I’m going to have to try that. I don’t really mind the sound it makes, but it’s nice to have options.

Lots of things to like about the Mini… Features, filament compatibility, reliability, open source, and this forum.

Well… we’re happy to have you among our Lulzbot extended family.

If you (like me) still have the PSM, see the following forums for support: http://www.printrbottalk.com/

Have fun with the Mini, if you ask me you should have jumped to the larger form factor TAZ. :slight_smile:

Oh yes, I would have gone with the Taz 5 if i could, but the budget was $1200 from my family (plus accessories, filament, taxes, and shipping). I am a poor boy so they help me out with hobby costs - ahhh, feel the love!

Ty for the links to both Printrbot forums.

I, like everyone here most likely, am a big fan of open source, so Lulzbot and Ultimaker are both good choices. Problem with Ultimaker 2 Go is teensy build volume. The Lulzbot Mini’s 6" cube is the same as my Printrbot Simple Metal and I have only on occasion needed more room. The great thing about the Mini is filament choices - or am I repeating myself? lol.

My friend says to sell my Printrbot because I need to travel light. I don’t see any other reason to sell it. Should I?


Sell the PSM, apply to budget for TAZ5. :smiley:

Just kiddng. The PSM is solid and has great accuracy. It’s a great printer to have around, though I haven’t printed on mine since getting the TAZ. For that reason, I’ll probably send it to my nephew for his tinkering.

Donate it or sell it on eBay, I’m sure someone will pick it up.

I bet there is a local school that would love to get their hands on that PSM. You’d get a tax deduction to boot. If you are not prepared to just give it up, consider lending it to a teacher for a project?

Sorry to drop the ball and not mention that earlier, but Les, you MUST get that dampener for the Y axis motor, unless you print in another room!!!
That’s the only one you need.

Out of the box, you will hear a SHREAK from that motor. Notice it when you print. It is super loud as it’s the only one directly bolted to the chassis.
Then install the dampener and the Y axis motor all of a sudden makes NO NOISE at all!!

I found it too hard to do to the other motors and they are very quiet compared to the Y.

Also, I did nothing more than install the dampener. I did not raise the pulley (it has stripped set screws), and I did not remove the belt. There is ample play to just wiggle the motor out from the belt when you remove the mounting screws.


Akent’s post just reminded me…

Get a really good set of metric allen wrenches. Ball end Eklind are pretty good. I have the TiNi set.
Another source is your local hobby store. The R/C guys have very good tools typically.
Make sure your set has a 1.27mm allen wrench for those pulley set screws. DON’T use the ball end here! 0.050" is the same size as 1.27mm.

Have fun with your machine!

OK I have links to the dampers and hex L-key (had to buy just one L-key to get the 1.27mm size due to out of stock items). I’m getting the L-key from ALLEN, the original maker as far as I know of the Allen key. I have a growing list of “must haves” that are on my list. Thank you kindly, my brethren of the Roctopus!