Robo 3D’s R1 Plus printer is an update to their R1 printer that was funded on Kickstarter a few years ago. Meant to be affordable yet versatile, the printer is aimed at beginner and intermediate printer users. It has everything you could need on a printer, but it does have a few shortcomings that are to be expected.
What’s in the Box
The Robo 3D says they ship their R1 Plus fully assembled and calibrated, ready to use out of the box. Several users report printers that are not fully calibrated however, and it is good practice to make sure everything is calibrated on any printer before hitting the print button.
The R1 Plus includes with 300G of blue PLA, 20 pre-installed models to test the printer out with, a 6 month part replacement warranty, 24/7 customer service, micro USB and micro SD card, Robo3D software, and surprisingly, 1 free year subscription to Autodesk Fusion 360.
Capabilities of the Robo 3D R1 Plus
The R1 Plus is a reliable printer once it gets going. An all medal hot end allows it to use any filament on the market (so long as it’s 1.75mm). It may not be the fastest printer around, but the R1 Plus makes up with high quality prints. Automatic bed leveling uses 9 points to level the bed before each print, ensuring successful prints. It has a resolution down to .1mm (100 microns), on par with any good consumer printer on the market today.
The large heated bed is the most notable feature of the printer. Advertised in inches, the print volume is a relatively massive 254mm x 228.6mm x 203.2mm. The bed is made of glass so any desired adhesion technique is viable, from Blue painter’s and kapton tape to glue sticks and hairspray.
The R1 Plus is not the quietest printer; some find it too loud to be around while it works while other simply shrug it off, claiming it’s quieter than a typical vacuum cleaner. That will come down to personal preference. Several users have reported issues with the endstops of the printer, which result in failed leveling or can occasionally damage the Z-screws or drive motors if the printer crashes. The SD card slot is also mostly criticized for being too inaccessible or small. Changing fillaments can also be difficult due to the placement of the extruder and body covers.
Because it is an open-source printer, it uses RAMPS as a control board and users are free to customize this printer. Many recommended customizations can be downloaded straight off the internet, like clips and spool holders, while others can be ordered and added on later, such as LCD displays or extra cooling fans.
Robo3D recommends the use of Robo 3D for their printer, however most users find it to be lacking and cumbersome to use. Since the R1 Plus uses RAMPS however, it is very easy to switch to one’s preferred printer controller.
Perhaps the most surprising addition to the R1 Plus’s bundle is the 1 year subscription to Autodesk’s Fusion 360 software. While a free version is available to students, enthusiasts, hobbyists, and start-ups (as of writing) Several advanced features are only available in the full version. Fusion 360 is a cloud-based CAD package that incorporates traditional drafting methods with T-spline modeling for more organic shapes. It also includes CAM tools (for subtractive manufacturing), rendering tools to get realistic depictions of your model before you make it, simulation tools to test your models virtually, and even a built in 3D printer controller. While many features may be beyond the average hobbyist, the ability to draw up a part you need and print it from the same program can be a huge convenience.
The Robo 3D R1 Plus is a great affordable 3D printer for anyone serious about printing. The large build volume is going to allow you to make any part you an dream up, while the heated bed and metal extruder will let you make it out of anything that can be printed on an FDM printer. It can have a few flaws in construction, but otherwise it will work reliably and accurately. This would be a great printer for those who want to get their hands dirty, but don't want to build their printer from scratch.