LulzBot AO-100

3D Printing & Imaging Workshop
LulzBot AO-100

Aleph Objects

Your basic MendalMax, with a better manual and accessories.

THE AO-100 IS ONE OF THE EASIEST WAYS TO GET A REPRAP MENDELMAX – it ships assembled, so setup is a simple matter of removing clamps and ties that protect the machine during shipping and plugging in a few cables. It also ships with a bunch of nozzles, knives, wrenches, and pliers, which is good because you might need to do some tweaking.

2013 MAKE Ultimate Guide To 3D Printing

  • 3D Printers Buyer's Guide — 15 Reviewed
  • Getting Started in 3D
  • Learn the Software Toolchain
  • 3D Design for Beginners
  • 3D Printing without a Printer

Buy now!

Just Released! 2014 MAKE Ultimate Guide To 3D Printing

Important Note: Aleph Objects wrote us to point out that the reviewers of their machine were not happy with the software programs used (Slic3r and Printrun), saying they “are neither beautiful nor intuitive.” But other reviews, by other authors/testers, found the same software “straightforward,” “no trouble,” and the “popular standard.” This ended up penalizing Lulzbot for software that many of the other printers use (and were not harshly graded for). This is unfair and we apologize for this characterization. These two reviewers had trouble with the software while others did not. Your mileage may vary relative to your knowledge of this type of 3DP software, your tolerance for eccentricities in software interfaces, your aesthetic sensibilities, etc. Again, we apologize to Aleph Objects for this unfortunate slight.

  • Primo Features Good manual, handy accessories
  • Print volume 7.9″×7.5″×3.9″
  • Print speed 150mm/sec
  • Print material ABS, PLA
  • Resolution (z-axis) 0.1mm (0.004″) to 0.75mm (0.029″)
  • Machine software Printrun
  • Slicing software Slic3r
  • OS supported Windows, Mac, Linux
  • Open Source Yes
  • Price as tested $1,725 assembled
  • Pedigree RepRap MendelMax
  • Print without PC? Yes, SD card

4 thoughts on “LulzBot AO-100

  1. wittend says:

    I agree with this review on several points, but disagree with some comments as well. I was not aware of these reviews when I made my decision if, in fact, they existed

    I purchased a Lulzbot A0-100, and I am happy with my choice.. I have had it almost three weeks. I had never used or even seen a 3d printer up close before, so I am no expert. But the manual was a great help. I have made about ten successful prints so far. I have botched a couple as well.

    For many people the most significant point of difference is with the price in the printed review of US $2500.00. Besides being a suspiciously round number, it is quite different than the price (US $1725.00) that I paid. The number indicated here seems to be corrected from the print version. A ~33% difference in price certainly alters the value proposition.

    My criteria in selecting this unit included the following:

    1) The ‘Open’-ness of the hardware design was important to me. These are early days still in the market for 3dprinters, and sadly vendors and designs will come and go. I did not want a device that might end up unsupported with parts that might be difficult to find.

    2) I wanted a printer that came assembled and reasonably well aligned. I love building things, but I did not want to have to build a printer to find out how one should work. Also I am no longer so young that time invested in learning new things comes without a cost.

    3) I wanted reasonable value for my money. RepRap derivatives have a long history. I was confident that a design in this family would have a support community with enough collective knowledge to help me if some rough edges appeared.

    This unit came with everything that I needed to make it work. It included a supply of filament and an assortment of useful tools

    The printer as I received it did not exhibit the setup problem with the print head height described in the printed review. I do think that the design of the print head height adjustment needs improvement. The current stop switch adjustment does not feel robust and could easily be altered in shipping or unpacking.

    I have experienced difficulty with the filament feed several times. This is something that does need to be improved. I am looking into the alternative suggested by this author.

    The example files provided for the printer worked well. The calibration plot is very useful. I am not certain whether I installed the correct config file for Slic3r. But all of the initial conversions from .stl files came out with the bed and nozzle temperatures set too low. I did have adhesion problems on these files until I changed these settings. The manual is very specific about what the defaults should be, but I scratched my head a bit before I figured this out.

    Also the filament reel does require watching. My unit came with three large (2.3kg) spools of filament. A full one of these is just too big for this printer at one go. Perhaps this should have been obvious. It now seems to work much better with around 1 kg (2.5 lbs) or so. It would be good if the manual made a comment on this.

    There is one other thing that tripped me up. The connections, defaults, and precautions are very well described in the manual. But I only found one small reference to an ”on’ switch, and without a picture, I spent a long time wondering why my printer wouldn’t go. After an embarrassingly long time I finally spotted it conveniently placed on the left side of the upper cross beam, plainly visible to anyone but me. Foolish as this may seem, it might deserve a picture in the manual for as well.


    1. wittend says:

      Since I went on so long above, I may as well go ahead and describe one small issue that I sorted out. The instructions are decidedly vague about how to use this printer with Win7 and Win 8.

      Lover of open source OS’s though I am, I had only a Windows machine available to drive this printer. Recognizing that the interface between the printer and the PC is through the USB cable on the MEGA 2560 used in this system, It seemed important to find a driver to use.

      Not finding any obvious downloadable packages to install, I decided to install the Arduino 1.01 package. In doing so I successfully added the driver components required. It also gave me a way to do all sorts of tests.

      Anyway, once I installed Arduino on my Win7-64 and Win8-64 machines, printrun began to recognize the hardware on the system, and the fun could begin,


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