Monday, January 11, 2016

New Matter MOD-t Printer - 3 Month Review/Update

New Matter MOD-t Review



My previous blog covered the un-boxing and initial setup of the MOD-t from New Matter a Kickstarter Campaign that ran from May 2014 until July 2014. The goal was $375,000 in 60 days and they hit $683,804 in that same time! 

As of December 13, 2015, They have shipped 1,619 and shipping 223 during that week. I purchased at the Earlybird level and paid $149 + $50 shipping. Today if you were to purchase it, the cost is $399 and it comes with a 1/2 kilogram spool PLA. That could be at least 50 print jobs depending on the size of the jobs.  

I have been printing a lot in the 2 months that I have owned the printer and I have learned   a lot about this neat little printer and I can tell you, I like it a lot.

After writing my blog about the unboxing of the MOD-t, I was one of the first to review it via blog and I was rewarded with a wonderful note and they gave me one of their T-Shirts from the World Maker Faire!  



My first two prints are below. The top one is the New Matter Logo which is the test print and then right after that I went to their online store where there were only a small number of prints available to print and we were closing in on Halloween so I figured I would print out a Jack-O-Lantern. Good detail on both of the prints.



So let me tell you about printing first. Initially I had issues, learning about the device and understanding what it could do. First off, they have 3 ways you can choose to print an object. 

The first through their website which their library is becoming larger every day. They even categorize the objects for easy searching. I have printed at least 80 items from the store so far.



They have a decent monitor on the site giving you details of the print job, hot end temperature and how far along the job is. You can also load and unload your filament too. From reading the forums there are people who have had trouble connecting the Printer to their Wireless Networks and there have been many times that the store is reporting my printer is offline. When that happens, you cannot print anything from the store. 

This has been a complaint of many users that the printer should not rely on a website connection in order to print. While I agree to a certain degree, this is a printer meant for the consumer who isn't a 3D Printing wizard. So New Matter's Setup is meant to make the printing process easier. My only concern is that is happens more often and that can affect users overall experience. But there is hope! 


As I said there is hope when it comes to connectivity issues with the New Matter Store. When you first get your printer you are told to download the MOD-t Printer Utility that allows you to connect your printer to your Wireless Network, Install new Firmware, Load and Unload Filament, tie your New Matter Store account to the printer and lastly and most importantly print directly (via USB) to the printer. 





It can accept .GCode files, and I didn't know what they were but, I quickly learned how to convert .STL or .OBJ files into GCode by using a great service called 
AstroPrint


or you can use CURA a free software you can Download by clicking the link below:
Cura from Ultimaker


Its easy to use and once you have created the GCode file you can download it to your computer and then send the job via the Printer Tool. There are a few steps however to follow and at the New Matter Support site there are several community members that have the details on how to setup CURA for Printing. The New Matter Support team is excellent, and they have always answered all my questions and have been extremely helpful. You can visit their support site by clicking the New Matter Logo below:

Support New Matter

The last way you can print an object, is by going to sites like Thingiverse, downloading the .STL file from Thingiverse then uploading it to your New Matter library on their website.

Thingiverse

Here are a few of the items in my library I have sliced from Thingiverse to New Matter and in most cases the print came out really good!




I have printed around 100 prints and out of those 100, I had about 20 of the prints not print properly. 80% isn't bad for a first generation product and the detail on the successful prints were excellent! But some of the things I don't like about the printer are the following.

The Print spool is on the back of the printer and the spool enters the back of the printer at the 90 degree angle and then through a long tube to the extruder and hot end. I have had the PLA break many times during a job that is frustrating and they did come up with a solution for it but I just quit and start over again. I don't like the design as it would be best having the PLA thread come from above but that would be difficult for many reasons. I have read that some community users have PLA filament spools hanging in their work areas and they just slide the color they want above the printer and load the filament that way.



Sometimes a print job just stops! No reason it just gets stuck and stops. I was bummed on this one as it took almost 7 hours to get to this point on the model X-Wing Fighter. 


If you look closely, the print head stopped and just gobbed a huge pile of PLA goop on the print job. 


Here are my worst failures, which in the grand scheme of things, isn't that bad. 




One of the more frustrating issues is that a print job looks like its going well and you leave it alone and when you come back in it spits spaghetti all over the place. The job is ruined! Back to the drawing board! 




Now take a look at some of the neat things I have made with very little issues.
Headphone holders, Puzzles and tons of buttons and charms!




Ring Mustaches!



Love the pumpkin carver! I made a few and gave them to our neighbors! 


iPhone 6 cases with the Star Wars Rebel Alliance Logo!!!





Emoji!!



Wine Glass Charms for Thanksgiving were a big hit!




When you need to look a little older, just print a Mustache! 


Even though this is illegal, the detail on these replica Brass Knuckles are AMAZING!




I gave out a bunch of 3D Printed Christmas Ornaments and again they were a hit!





Pan flute that works, whistles I gave to our volleyball team Coaches for down ref duties, tape dispensers, iPhone holders, coasters and more!!!



So after having this for 3 months, I am beyond pleased with the results. The support team has been very helpful when I have had issues, they are an engaged company on Social Media and they delivered on their promise in their kick-starter campaign. If you are looking for a 3D printer to start with or need it for your classroom, or you just want to print some cool stuff, this is the printer to start with! 

 New Matter 3D Printer









Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The New Matter MOD-t 3D Printer

In May of 2014, I saw a neat kickstarter on Indigogo on a 3D Printer and thought that I always wanted a 3D Printer so why not!

Click the image below to see the Original Indigogo Campaign.



For $149 I was an Early Bird adopter of this device! I couldn't believe it but with lots of Kickstarters, it had a lot of challenges to take on to make this a reality! There were delays and some setbacks but all along they kept working at it. They introduced us to everyone that they hired, and gave us tech updates on the printer as well.

So after 1.5 years and 59 Updates they delivered to me today, the MOD-t 3D printer and I will take you through the un-boxing and setup of this fantastic device!

If you want to know more about New Matter, click the image below!



First of all, my wife didn't think this was going to happen, I have backed a bunch of kickstarters and they failed to deliver or it took so long that we cancelled. I was so happy that this finally arrived! It really came down to all the updates and details they were sending me that made me know that this was going to happen!

 So when I got home this is what I saw on my doorstep, and I did a HAPPY DANCE!!


I brought it inside and the printer was inside another cardboard box, so I pulled out the printer in its own, nicely made box.


When you opened the front, the box opened like a drawbridge on a castle and a welcome card was taped with the instructions on unpacking it.You just slid the unit right out of the box! So easy!



I went to work on unpacking the box and I was very impressed by the shipping protection they engineered to make sure the printer came safely and with no damage. Well done!!


The 3 boxes that protected the printer were also accessory holders, the filament, power and other items. Very smart design! I was so impressed!!





The other half of the power supply, a USB printer cable and wire brush, scraper and wire cutters.




This picture was of the filament spool holder and the power supply.



You headed to their webpage and downloaded the install files and it installed the printer software pretty quickly.




The software asked you to plug in the power and USB cables and then it installed the firmware! 








After the software installation there was a onscreen wizard that took you through the steps to put the final pieces together. First the tray...






Then the filament, (a 0.5 Kilogram amount) which had a nice little holder to allow it to spin on the back freely. We chose Pink as our color to start with!



After loading the filament it did a quick test and this is what it made!


Then it gave me the option to do a test print job.






It took about 35 minutes to print the New Matter Logo out but its quality was very nice.


With the glass case on the printer it is very quiet and it looks amazing just sitting there!



We printed another quick print of a Jack-O-Lantern Pin and that turned out awesome. 


From Start to finish it took about 2 hours to unbox and finish these two print jobs! Not bad for a $149!!

Right now the printer is working on a puzzle cube that looks like this,,,


I will have more on this printer and the projects that I will be doing in future blogs! So stay tuned!!!