Setup and Use
Setting up the Ord Bot is not that challenging at all, and everything you need has been pre-configured and is easily installable. To get started, users can head over to Punchtec's website that currently recommends downloading and installing Cura. For this review, I used the Repetier Host, Repetier Firmware, and Slic3r combo that was the previously recommended software suite. You can find the Cura download info here (http://www.punchtec.com/software/), or you can download the same package I used here (http://www.punchtec.com/softwareArchives/). Punchtec has a very good getting started video, which walks you through the entire setup process.
I have tried running Cura, and there is a noticeable improvement in quality. Unfortunately Cura was not recommended until after this review was mostly finished, and I was unable to run any prints in time to make the review. However, if there is a demand, I will update the review with the Cura sliced prints.
Once all of the software and drivers have been installed, the bed needs to be leveled. On previous printers, this process has been a real pain in the rear, but Punchtec has made it quite simple. Since the glass surface is permanently attached, all you need to do is move the nozzle to about 1-inch off of each corner and adjust that corners height until a piece of paper can barely slip out from between the nozzle and bed. Double check this on all four corners and in the center of the bed and everything is done.
Now power up the printer and home all axes. Then use the rotary knob to navigate to the Set z-height option, and adjust the Z-axis height so that the nozzle is just touching the piece of paper placed between it and the bed. When the paper feels like it is beginning to get stuck, you have adjusted the Z axis too low. When it's correct, set the z-height.
With everything calibrated and leveled, the printer is now ready for printing and testing. I like to print a few objects before testing so that the printer is "broken in" and giving consistent results. This ensures that any casting flash, blemishes, and oddities have had time to wear in and not produce any false results.
Before you can print, you need to install the filament spool holder and a spool or two of filament. In the image seen above, I have two spools of 1.75mm filament as well as a spool of 3mm filament. While the 3mm filament is incompatible with this printer, I placed it on the rack to show that three spools will safely fit on the rack. I did have some issues with the rack's design, but I will go more in-depth into that later.
Finally, the Ord Bot comes with an SD card that does allow you to print objects straight from Gcode files stored on the SD card. I did test this out, and it does work well, but I feel that printing from a PC with Repetier host running is the better way to print.