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UP Box+

By Ryan Priore / Nov 7, 2016

UP Box+
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UP Box+

FORM FACTOR

It’s easy to mistake the UP Box+ for the original UP Box, as the exteriors are nearly identical. It wasn’t until I looked inside that I noticed the new UP flex board atop the familiar UP perforated print board. The unit was professionally packed for shipment with custom foam inserts and nylon ties holding key components in place. The underside of the lid contains a wealth of information for setup and operation of the printer, which was very convenient even for an advanced user.

MANUAL OVERRIDE

The UP Studio Software is a straightforward installation, with new features like Wi-Fi control and independent temperature control of the extruder. I used the convenient multifunction buttons on the printer’s side for initialization and filament loading. Although the printer is capable of automatic bed leveling using a built-in probe, I found that manually leveling the bed via the software was a better alternative. This consisted of moving the print head to 9 points across the bed and typing in the necessary Z offset to achieve that nice grip between the hot end and calibration card. To adjust the amount of active cooling that the print receives, the plastic base of the extruder mount has an air flow adjustment knob which may be flipped from fully open (for PLA) to closed (for ABS).

SMOOTH AS SILK

Although there is no secure digital card slot on the UP Box+, both the USB transfer/disconnect and the Wi-Fi transfer are very convenient. The default layer height for the UP Box+ is 150 microns. Combined with the rather hot extrusion temperature of 260°C for UP ABS+ filament, this yields silky smooth prints. The top, flat surfaces of the test probes looked fantastic; however, it was rare to have a completed print that did not exhibit at least one discolored blemish, which I attribute to burnt plastic on the hot end becoming dislodged over the course of the printing process. I tested the blackout recovery feature by yanking the line power from the wall and was ecstatic to see the process pick up from where it was interrupted. The various colors of the LED light bar were mesmerizing to watch during the printing process.

A BIT QUIRKY

The prints were a bit challenging at times to remove from the UP Flex Print Board, and much care is required to not slam the print scraper into the nozzle height detector in the rear of the unit. In order to take advantage of the leveling compensation benefits, one must use a raft, which is enabled in the default profile and is overkill for an enclosed printer with a heated bed. Despite the print removal process from the bed, the raft separated from the part with ease.

CONCLUSION

It’s hard to argue with the outstanding results of the UP Box+, which excelled at top surface finishes and accuracy. It’ll look great in any workspace thanks to the Up Box line’s curvaceous but boxy design. The included hepa filter keep the printing fumes at bay, and you will hardly notice when it’s printing due to its near silence. I applaud the ability to bring your own filament with the filament profile management and extrusion settings in the Up Studio. The Up BOX+ is a worthy upgrade to the traditional Up BOX line of printers.

Specs
Up Box+ Tiertime
Price As Tested:$1,899
Build Volume:255×205×205mm
Bed Style:Heated with Up Flex Print Board
Filament Size:1.75mm
Open Filament:No
Temperature Control:Yes, tool head (260ºC max); bed (100ºC max)
Print Untethered:Yes (unplug USB after starting; wireless)
Onboard Controls:Yes (3 multifunction buttons)
Host/Slicer Software:Up Studio
OS:Windows, Mac
Firmware:Closed
Open Software:No
Open Hardware:No
Maximum Decibels:67.5
Hot End:No, standard

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Why To Buy

Gorgeous prints combined with a professional looking machine are a one-two combo for anyone looking to either start out in the 3D printing realm or upgrade to a reliable, turnkey printer. Automatic print resume after power failure is also a great feature!

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Pro Tips

The multifunction side buttons are very useful; but they might be confusing if you don’t use them regularly. I recommend having a cheat sheet mounted to the printer’s side before you accidentally press the wrong one. Be sure to allow for enough time for the part to cool down prior to removal as the flex board keeps those prints in place.

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