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Review: The CraftBot Plus is a 3D printer worth having

Lucas Mearian | April 5, 2016
This printer is simple to use, well thought out and fairly accurate.

I later found, however, printing multiple objects continued to reveal problems with print bed adhesion.

I settled on covering the print platform with masking tape, and that solved the issue. Everything stuck after that -- but CraftUnique should really try a different platform surface.

Other issues

I found a couple of smaller issues as well. For one, the CraftBot has no native data storage or wireless communication. The lack of wireless communications and onboard storage means you must either keep your computer tethered to the printer via a USB cable throughout a print job or else print models from a thumb drive via the printer's USB port. But since I consider having a source of removable storage (the thumb drive) on the 3D printer to be the next best thing to onboard storage, it's not a huge deal.

Another little issue I ran into was that, on several occasions after completing a print job, the print platform failed to return to its lowered home position. This made it difficult to remove objects, because the print platform remained snugged up against the extruder head.

It was easily fixed -- I simply had to use the handy LCD menu on the printer to manually lower the print bed. It was either that or remove the metal plate from the platform using two thumb screws -- also an easy fix. It would be nice if returning the print bed to a lowered "home" placement were automated, though.

Bottom line

Overall, this 3D printer was well thought out. Little things demonstrated that a lot of thought went into this machine, such as placing the USB cable connector port on the side instead of the rear so there's less distance for the cable to travel between a computer and the printer.

I'd place this 3D printer near the top of my "recommend" list because of its reasonable price, speed and accuracy. However, its drawbacks such as buggy software and the problem of objects detaching from the heated print bed keep it from getting the highest marks.

CraftUnique's crowdfunding pitch was simple: Create one of the highest quality desktop 3D printers at an affordable price. I think in many ways the company has achieved that goal. This is a good, but not a great, 3D printer for its price.

Now... just a few more tweaks and it would indeed be among the very best.

At a Glance

CraftBot Plus

CraftUnique

Price: $1,099 (vendor price); $1,249 (Amazon price)

Pros: Well constructed; simple to set up; good user interface; fast and quiet operation; accurate printing for the price

Cons: Software still has glitches; problems with the heating bed; no native data storage or wireless communication

 

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