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Why buy a Bukobot?

There are cheaper 3D printers around but this page has some reasons why you should buy a Bukobot. These reasons have been posted not by Deezmaker but by users who have bought one.

  • Quality Components. The parts provided by Deezmaker for the Bukobot are not selected for lowest price. The materials, electronics and motors are all quality parts. Motors with sufficient torque that you can drive them at a good speed and acceleration without them skipping steps. 3d printing has enough challenges without starting out with poor quality printer components or an out of alignment printer.
  • Precision. The extruded aluminium frame used by the Bukobot are precision components. It is milled to exact specification and forms the core of both the Bukobot's movement and rigidity. Many new printers use steel frames which may be cheaper but usually lack the precision construction required. If the printer frame is out by even a few millimeters this can cause all sorts of printing problems.
  • Designed for ease of construction. The precision aluminium beams with their exact dimensions and square angles makes it very easy to get the rest of frame true during construction. I was expecting to have to do a lot more fiddling to get all the frame and movement tolerances down - this wasn't the case - the extruded aluminium makes it easy.
  • Designed for ease of use and calibration. Clever design makes the printer very easy to use and calibrate: with thumbwheel adjustments on the endstops and a 3 point table leveling systems which is much simpler to use than printers with four table level adjustments. The extruders are designed for easy cleaning and filament change-over.
  • Rigidity. Initially I was concerned that because the frame appears to be “free standing” rather than buttressed (e.g., A frame) or braced in the perpendicular direction (e.g. box) that it could lack rigidity. This is not the case. The extruded aluminium beams are very strong. What is not obvious from initially looking at Bukobot design is that the Y-axis has a metal-to-metal join with the main frame. The rigidity of the beams means that the Y-axis beam itself is able to brace the frame in the perpendicular direction. Also as the extruder/carriage only move in the X & Z direction and it is the bed that moves in the Y direction, then there also very few forces on the main frame in the front-back (Y) direction to start with.
  • Tatsu drive gear. This part deserves its own point. The are many poor drive gears out there but the Tatsu drive gear developed by Deezmaker is one of the best available. This is an important printer component - a poor drive gear will cause constant problems with the filament slipping or restrict you to certain suppliers. The Tatsu drive gear is also made out of stainless steel and so will last far longer than the soft brass drive gears used by many others.
  • 3mm filament support. The Bukobot uses a more expensive geared extruder motor that allows both great power but also precision in driving the 3mm filament. Many printers use thinner 1.75mm filament so that they don't need to use these more expensive drive components. Unfortunately for you the 1.75mm filament is around 3 times more expensive by volume. So these more expensive extruder components will quickly pay for themselves.
  • Open frame design. The open frame design of the Bukobot (rather than closed in box/cabinet) makes the part far more visible during printing. This makes it far easier to see problems and their cause. It also makes far easier to work on or make adjustments to the printer.
  • Expandability. You can easily expand the Bukobots in any direction just by replacing the steel rods and corresponding extrusions. This is especially attractive if you can only afford a Mini to start with but want the option to upgrade later.
  • Quiet. Vibration in 3d printers are inevitable as the hot end and bed are moving about - especially when doing “zig-zags” involved with sparse in-fill patterns. The Bukobot's extrusion-based frame and plastic guides are very good at dampening those vibrations; whereas printers with laser-cut acrylic, wood or metal bodies can act as a resonating boards and so can be much louder when printing.
  • Track Record. It is much easier to produce a slick promo video than it is to produce a quality, reliable & precise printer. You know you are getting something that works from Deezmaker.
  • Open Source Hardware. Deezmaker's commitment to Open Source Hardware means that you will have access to all the designs for your printer parts and components. This means you can be assured that you can modify, improve or replace them if you need to. If Deezmaker improve the design of a plastic component then it also means you can simply print it out and upgrade your existing printer.
  • Open Source Software. The Bukobot hardware allows you to use a wide range of the current 3D printer firmware and slicing programs. You can also modify your printer firmware or participate in the active open source community which is not possible with closed-source tool chains. The functionality and support of the software grows over time with the community rather than being “support discontinued” after a couple of years (e.g. Bits From Bytes printers after the 3D Systems merge).
  • Support. The Deezmaker guys offer great support both in solving problems in the online forums and in person at their shop if you are in the Southern California region.
  • Community. With a wiki and forum for Bukobot users there are plenty of people to share ideas and tips with.

Also, if you are interested in reading the Make magazine review of the Bukobot 8 printer you can find a copy here:

why-buy-a-bukobot.txt · Last modified: 2013/04/16 06:16 by buildrob