Deezmaker / deezmaker.com
Price as tested $799 assembled
Print volume 5″×6″×5″
Heated bed? No
Print materials PLA, nylon, Laywood
OS supported Linux, Mac, Windows
Print untethered? With SD card, initiated from computer
Open-source hardware? Yes
Open-source software? Yes
Printer control software Repetier-Host or Pronterface
Slicing software Slic3r
Following up the Kickstarted success of their Bukobot 3D printer, Deezmaker, an open-source 3D printer store and hackerspace in Pasadena, Calif., has created something entirely new with the Bukito. We consider it the new standard for portable 3D printing: small, simple, and high-performing. (For more on Deezmaker, see page 106.)
Portability Without Sacrifice
With portability, there usually come sacrifices. That’s not really the case with the Bukito, as it was designed and optimized for printing on the go. Its build volume of 5″×6″×5″ is small when compared to its big brother the Bukobot, but it’s enough for most users’ printing needs. And it’s rock solid, using V-slot extrusions (another Kickstarted project, by OpenBuilds) for its frame and linear motion components. V-slot is an extruded aluminum profile with chamfered interior slots for plastic wheels to ride along, so it does double duty as a structure and motion component, simplifying construction.
Looking around the machine, you can see that Deezmaker has really built the Bukito to be mobile. There’s little exposed wiring: Wires for the motors, hot-end, and thermistor are nicely routed and sleeved, and the power cables are tucked away neatly, but the power button and the power and USB jacks are still easily accessible.
Users will likely notice the lack of a heated print surface (Deezmaker has plans for upgrades), so PLA is the material of choice. This decision was also likely a result of portability, as it decreases the overall power requirements. The Bukito also comes standard with SD printing capabilities, though users still must initiate print jobs from a computer.
Unique and Innovative Hardware
Users will notice a couple of differences between the Bukito and other 3D printers out there. Notably, the Bukito uses syncromesh cables instead of the typical flat-toothed timing belts. Syncromesh has a smaller overall profile than typical timing belts, which allows it to be routed inside the aluminum extrusion slots for a more streamlined integration. It also has the added benefit of being less prone to slipping and wear.
Another difference is the use of a Bowden extruder: The drive mechanism for pushing the filament is located off to the side rather than on the carriage. This allows the Bukito to achieve very fast speeds since the print head (hot-end) doesn’t have to carry around all that extra weight. During testing, we were able to increase speeds by four times the default and the Bukito didn’t miss a step! No spooling mechanism is included with the Bukito, so a lazy susan is recommended for your plastic management needs.
In our testing, we ran Deezmaker’s recommended settings and found the Bukito to be a really formidable machine. It was fast, quiet, and accurate with minimal fuss. One area that could use improvement was retraction, i.e. when the filament is pulled back while the print head relocates. We experienced noticeable stringing when printing multiple segmented features. This is likely a result of unoptimized retraction on the Bowden setup, and presumably will be addressed when the machine goes into production.
While we were testing, the Bukito successfully raised its fundraising goal on Kickstarter. Documentation and the usual resources were unavailable, but comparisons can likely be made in looking at the Bukobot (see our review on page 84).
The Bukito is a printer that’s good for multiple types of users: hackable enough that enthusiasts can modify to their hearts content, but simple enough that teachers can put it on students’ desks. The small footprint and overall portability make it a really adaptable machine, and the PLA-only option is good for all environments, with no unpleasant odors to contend with.
The success of the Bukito will be contingent on the quality of the setup and troubleshooting documentation for the new user, but we’re impressed with this machine.
- Synchromesh cables provide the accuracy and durability of cables and the easy mounting convenience of timing belts.
- Spitfire extruders have a unique “snap shut” filament tensioning system that impressed our testers.
- V-slot extrusion frame is light, rigid, and very portable, with a carrying handle.
Who’s It For?
- Put a fan on it! At time of testing, the Bukito did not have a built-in extruder fan, which is critical when printing with PLA-only machines. We recommend that you either add one or use a freestanding fan to improve print quality.