Out Of The Box: LulzBot Mini A True Champ

You cannot go wrong with this 3D printer -- from Aleph Objects

A new 3D printer in the shop is always fun and exciting, even when it is just a media loaner, as this LulzBot Mini is from Aleph Objects. Like probably every adult child who receives a cool box-load of gear, I set to opening it immediately.

From the fun #Rocktopus on the box itself, all the way through to first print, Aleph Objects delivers a seamless, customer-friendly, downright easy experience for the new 3D printer enthusiast.

Right out of the box, as the saying goes, this machine is amazing. Finely tuned and ready to print; I even have the checklist, signed by an employee that they tested various aspects before shipping. I love that the control panel gives you lots of details about the printer, including the active temperature of the extruder, the printer bed, etc.

During the 3DRV roadtrip, when we traveled around the USA in a bright blue RV, to get a pulse on the rapidly growing 3D printing phenomenon. I had my fair share of time with 3D printers during that 8-month trip, mostly which belonged to the likes of Ford, GE, and more than a few makerspaces and hackerspaces.

On board the RV, we had a Stratasys Mojo which was a dream printer especially when compared to the MakerBot Cupcake and Rapman that I had back in my home shop. I had spent more time trying to get the latter two to print than I ever did actually printing.

Sad, but true. To be fair, it was due to a lack of time to lovingly nurture those older 3D printers as they have given many users, many happy miles of extruded filament…

So, let’s get back to the Lulzbot Mini. This is one of the easiest setups I have ever done. A short booklet of roughly 11 major steps and I had the printer humming on its first print, which they very kindly load into the open source Cura software for you – the Aleph Objects logo and mascot – the #Rocktopus.

35 minutes later, your first 3D printed model is ready to be removed from the heated bed.

All in all, I would estimate that I spent 10 minutes taking it carefully out of the box, another 45 minutes slowly going through all the steps (after all, this is a loan – you want to treat it a bit more tenderly than you do the “rental car), and then the 35 minutes of actual printing.

To go from zero to 3D printed model in approximately 90 minutes, I would say that is rather amazing. The important specs for me include a heated print bed, one year of customer support, and a small form factor. The Mini has a print area of 6” x 6” x 6.2” while not huge, offers a great volume for first time owners and those who are planning to do smaller pieces on a regular basis.

There is only one thing to note (which they do on the site, too) – the LulzBot Mini does NOT come with any material, so make sure you order a spool or two of material.

On page two, I share some of the specs from the LulzBot site directly.

Overall, this printer is a charmer. If you are in the market for your first 3D printer, the LulzBot Mini is a machine to consider. At $1,350.00, it might seem a bit high for some in the DIY and maker crowd, but it is an elegant, durable machine that is built to impress.

Some of the technical specifications about the LulzBot Mini 3D Printer

Warranty and Support

    30 day money-back guarantee

    One-year warranty

    One-year customer support

    Additional 1, 2, or 3 Year Extended Warranty Available!

Printing

  • Print Surface: Heated borosilicate glass bed covered with PEI print surface
  • Print Area: 152mm x 152mm x 158mm (6in x 6in x 6.2in)
  • Print Volume: 3,650 cm3 (223 in3) of usable space
  • Top Print Speed: 275mm/sec (10.8in/sec) at 0.18 layer height
  • Layer Thickness: From 0.05mm to 0.50mm (0.002in - 0.020in)
  • Capable Materials: ABS, PLA, HIPS, PVA, wood filled filaments, Polyester (Tritan), PETT, bronze and copper filled filaments, Polycarbonate, Nylon, PETG, conductive PLA and ABS, UV luminescent filaments, PCTPE, PC-ABS, Alloy 910, and more every day.
  • Discouraged Materials: 3D printing with carbon fiber filaments is not recommended at this time because carbon fiber filaments can degrade both the nozzle and hot end of the LulzBot Mini Tool Head.
  • Usable Filament Sizes: standard 3mm (0.1in)
  • Multi-Software Compatible: Freedom to use any number of 3D printing software programs, Cura LulzBot Edition comes standard. Other compatible software includes OctoPrint, BotQueue, Slic3r, Printrun, MatterControl, and many more.

Physical Dimensions

  • Overall Dimensions: 435mm x 340mm x 385mm (17.1in x 13.4in x 15.2in)
  • Weight: 8.55kg (18.85lbs)

Electrical

  • Power Requirements: 100 - 240 VAC with auto-switching power supply

Operating Temperature Range

  • Maximum Tool Head Temperature: 300°C (572°F)
  • Maximum Heated Bed Temperature: 120°C (248°F)
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