Cabe Atwell

April 17, 2014

4 Min Read
Printrbot Unveils All-Metal 3D Printer

This year's 3D Print Show featured a host of interesting projects that were used in everything from new fashion designs to furniture printed using wood. Those, of course, were featured alongside the latest in 3D printing technology, where companies get to show off their latest printers and materials for the home hobbyist to corporate manufacturing.

One of those companies, Printrbot, unveiled its latest addition to its Simple line, constructed entirely out of metal.

The company is noted for its affordable wood-based frame 3D printers, which feature open-sourced hardware that can be expanded upon depending on project requirements. Unlike the laser-cut setups Printrbot is known for, the all-metal Simple printer also features a bigger self-leveling build-plate (from 4 inch x 4 inch x 4 inch to 6 inch x 6 inch x 6 inch) along with a longer Z-axis rods (8 mm to 12 mm), which allows for larger project builds.


According to Printrbot's press release, the all-metal Simple 3D printer combined with a GT2 belts and pulleys allows the machine to produce prints (at up to 100 microns) that rival more costly (in terms of thousands more in price) setups currently on the market.

The printer comes in multiple powder-coated colors, including black, red, white, and industrial-looking silver (looks more like grey), and can either be bought as a kit (at $539) or fully assembled (at $599).

Brook Drumm, who successfully funded his first creation through the crowd-funding site Kickstarter, founded Printrbot in 2011. The idea was to create an affordable 3D printer that home hobbyists could assemble themselves for small, simple projects. It has since gained momentum and popularity in the maker world as a trusted equipment provider; however, the company makes it clear that they are not responsible for any fault in the kit builds because it "can't guarantee the technical proficiency of its customers" (talk about a waiver).

Printrbot also garnered media attention recently when it introduced the Printrbot Go V2 portable printer, which comes in three sizes, including the Go Small, Go Medium, and the Go Large (or Go home). All three come fully assembled and feature a Raspberry Pi pre-loaded with OctoPrint software for wireless printing. The printers feature the same GT2 belts and pulleys found on the all-metal Simple printer, and boasts some of the company's larger build areas. Each portable 3D printer is outfitted with an onboard ATX power supply and can be powered by a laptop battery (not included) for printing in the field.

The costs for the portables are more expensive than the desktop models (ranging from $1,299 to $1,699); however, unlike the desktop models they can be used virtually anywhere from submarines to space stations (as long as you're able to get around the gravity problem).

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About the Author(s)

Cabe Atwell

Cabe is an electrical engineer, machinist, maker, cartoonist, and author with 25 years’ experience. When not designing/building, he creates a steady stream of projects and content in the media world at element14,, MAKE ─ among others. His most recent book is “Essential 555 IC: Design, Configure, and Create Clever Circuits.

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