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Punchtec Ord Bot Hadron 3D Printer Review

By: Charles Gantt | 3D Printers in Maker & DIY | Posted: Apr 18, 2014 10:03 pm
TweakTown Rating: 93%Manufacturer: Punchtec

Final Thoughts




Overall, the Ord Bot Hadron from Punchtec performed very well in my testing. I am quite pleased with the print quality as well as the overall construction quality of the printer itself. Punchtec has taken their time developing what I consider to be one of the best 3D printers that has ever crossed my workbench. Punchtec's attention to detail is second to none. I love the cable management and the clean and well throughout axes paths. This printer is truly an excellent 3D printer that would fit well in any techie's arsenal.




Unfortunately, there are some downsides to the Ord Bot Hadron that I do have to mention. The biggest issue lies within the filament spool holder's design. While I love the design and feel that it is a very handy way to enable quick change-over of filament colors, the utilization of printed arms makes for a very poor implementation. In my 3 months with the printer, I have had these arms crack, break, and bend a total of 6 times. Each time, I would print a new set on either my Lulzbot AO-100 or Lulzbot Taz 3. I printed each set at 100-percent infill and even tried beefing up the design, but the things still managed to break due to stress.




When the axes move, it injects a small amount of vibration into the frame of the Ord Bot Hadron, which is then transferred to the weak plastic spool holder arms. If movements become fast, this vibration causes the printer to gently rock back and forth and side to side if you have 2-3 spools mounted. I have had the entire spool holder assembly break off and crash down to the table's surface, which scared the crap out of me. This issue is easily fixable, though, and simply requires some mounts that have been cut from steel, aluminum, or a stronger plastic such as Delrin. I have ordered a set of laser cut and machined arms from a friend and will update this review once I have them installed.




One other minor issue I have is with the extruder design. While it is fully functional, and has managed to print through more than six pounds of plastic in three months, it is tribally difficult to service. When filament jams happen, the feed wheel's teeth get clogged up with plastic dust, and the entire extruder must be broken down to clean this. The same happens if you happen to get stuck when changing filament. If the piece you are removing breaks or gets stuck, you must disassemble the entire extruder to fix things.


I would have liked to seen a Wades Extruder variation utilized, but as I said, it has printed through more than six pounds of plastic and is still going. The lever design is also something I am not fond of. I would much prefer tensioning screws over a lever and a spring.


With that said, I feel that the Ord Bot Hadron from Punchtec is truly one of the best 3D printers on the market today. It's built solidly like a tank. With a price tag of just $1,395 USD, you will be hard-pressed to find a better printer that is as reliable as the Ord Bot Hadron for any lower price. In the three months that I have had the printer, Punchtec has updated the firmware twice, issued a few update notices, and even chosen to go with a completely new software suite as it results in better prints for its customers.



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