Unboxing and Photo
Unboxing the Ord Bot Hadron is fairly straight forward, but it does include a mountain of pink foam peanuts to contend with. However, the packing peanuts do a very good job of protecting the printer, and I found it to still be suspended mid pile even after its trip from Punchtec.
The peanuts do manage to make their way into every nook and crevasse that the Ord Bot Hadron has. Because of this, I would advise everyone to check for hiding peanuts several times. I checked twice and missed one that was hiding on the hot end of the extruder, but I quickly found it upon heating the nozzle up for the first time.
Additionally, I would advise owners to dig deep into the box as the filament spool mounting hardware is tossed in somewhere. I would have liked to see these taped to the chassis or in some sort of bag that made it easier to find and not overlook. Other than that, everything else is secured to the printer.
The Ord Bot Hadron's digital display is a pretty common design seen on many 3D printers that utilize RAMPS 1.4 electronics, and can control everything from setting the z-height in the software, as well as pre-heating the printer for PLA or ABS printing. You will notice a green knob over the rotary dial; this was something I added to the printer after it was unboxed. Also seen here is a buzzer and an emergency stop button. The power switch is also pictured here.
Unlike many of the 3D printers I have owned and had the chance to check out over the years, Punchtec utilizes machined aluminum Z-axis motor couplers. Many other printers use either printed parts or small aquarium plastic tubing for this job. While it is needed on some models to account for inaccuracies in the design or setup, the Ord Bot Hadron is so rigid that solid machined coupler can be used.
Here we can see the business end of the Ord Bot Hadron, as well as several other key highlights. Obviously, the Ord Bot's hot end is the most prominent, and you can clearly see that it is a heated block design that utilizes a heater core instead of a power resistor. The benefit of this is that the block heats up much faster than it would with the power resistor. The downside is that heater cores are much more expensive to replace than a $0.50 resistor.
You can also see that the hot end utilizes a smaller nozzle than typical 3D printers, which is something I definitely like. I feel that the Ord Bot's hot end has just enough mass to remain thermally stable during high-volume printing, but light enough to heat up quickly. The stock nozzle size is 0.35mm.
We can also see that the Ord Bot Hadron's glass bed is affixed to the heated platform via high-temp silicone, and that the bed can be leveled on all four corners with spring-binding screws. The heated bed also features a blue LED that pulses when optimum printing temperature is reached.
Finally, this is a good image to understand how the tensioner on the extruder works. The green lever pivots on one of the stepper motor's mounting screws, which causes a roller bearing to put tension on the filament against the feed wheel. Tension is achieved by a small spring on the opposite end of the lever.
An overall look at the back of the printer show's us Punchtec's commitment to a clean design and how much attention it pays to cable management. All of the wires that snake down the chassis have been bound and secured in wire loom, while the wiring remains neat and orderly where it connects to the RAMPS 1.4 board. Even the wiring entering the PSU has been bent on a 90 degree angle to prevent stress from causing the wires to break.
Here you can also get a good look at how the Z-axis is set up. Instead of the lifting arms being attached to the lead-screw nut, it is allowed to freely float onto and rise as the nut's housing rises and lowers. This is a very ingenious design, and I really hope I see it in other printers in the future.
Just a quick look at the RAMPS 1.4 board shows you how much thought Punchtec put into the cable management, wiring, and cooling that the printer needs to correctly function for hours on end. The small fan that has been mounted above the stepper drivers is something I like to see on printers. Those small Pololu drivers get very warm after hours of use, and even though they have heat sinks mounted on top, a cooling fan ensures that they remain stable even during the longest prints.
Here you can also see how Punchtec has went the extra mile and used a T-Coupling to split off the wiring harness to the Y-axis. This is something I have never seen in a manufactured 3D printer before, and I applaud Punchtec for stepping up and keeping the wiring as clean as possible.
This may just be my favorite part of the entire printer. The fact that Punchtec took the time to find a proper mounting point for the PSU and did not make the footprint any larger speaks volumes to me at how much attention to detail this company puts into its designs. Additionally, properly sized wires were utilized in the wiring of the Ord Bot Hadron, and they may even be slightly oversized, but that means that users will not have to worry about anything heating up and shorting out during prolonged use.
This is also a good shot to point out the V-Rail that is built into the MakerSlide extrusions. Normally 3D Printers must rely on LM8LUU linier slide bearings, but MakerSlide allows the printer to utilize V-Wheels to easily slide along the V-Rail. This makes for a self-aligning design that is very smooth and efficient, and is the main reason the Ord Bot Hadron can achieve 400mm/s print speeds.
While this image is not relevant to the review, I wanted to include it as it shows why you should always run your printer only when you are home. I started this print and made a quick 30 minute trip to the grocery store. When I returned, I expected the print to be mostly finished, but what I saw was a blob of tangled plastic. This happened because the print broke free of the bed and allowed the nozzle to drag it around while I was gone.