Code-P West BV / 3dprinter4u.nl/en/
Price as tested $1,688
Print volume 8.6″×8.25″×6.9″
Heated bed? No
Print materials PLA
OS supported Linux, Mac, Windows
Printer control software Pronterface
Slicing software Slic3r
Print untethered? No
Open-source hardware? No
Open-source software? Yes
The Builder is a solid printer from the Netherlands. At roughly $1,688, it isn’t exactly cheap, but you get a lot for your money.
The machine’s print bed is quite large, 8.6″×8.25″×6.9″. It can print layers as fine as 100 microns, and does so with impressive speed. The extruder is solid as well; we didn’t experience any problems with it throughout the entire testing period.
One caveat: The bed sits directly on four adjustable bolts, making for easy leveling, but can cause damage to the nozzle if you bring it too high — this is where having a spring-loaded bed would be beneficial.
Aesthetically, this thing is gorgeous. The powder-coated steel frame protects the important bits and gives the Builder a polished look that you don’t often find among machines in this price range.
The documentation provided is comprehensive. The PDF manual walks you through unboxing, software/driver installation, and preparing a model for your first print. And the company includes sample G-code as well as Slic3r settings, although we were disappointed to find that they included screenshots of the settings instead of a simple INI profile for importing directly into the software.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by the Builder. I walked into the review knowing nothing about the machine and exited thinking it would be right at home on the workbench of an artist, engineer, or aspiring maker.
- Fast print speeds
- Large build area
- Metal frame for sturdiness
- Easy-to-remove build platform
- Use simple blue painter’s tape on the bed, as PLA adheres to it better than the supplied brown tape.