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Printrbot Simple Metal vs Ultimaker Original

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Hi all,

I am currently going through a conundrum I am sure a lot do when choosing your 1st 3D printer.

So right now, in South Africa, I am able to get a Printrbot Simple Metal kit with the optional heated bed for $735 USD or I can buy the Ultimaker Original (without a heated bed) on special for $1050 (it's normally $1400).

So my question is this, what's a better choice? Currently I have an Ultimaker 2 Extended at work that's great and it's kinda why I am interested in the Original. Saying that, the reviews on the Printrbot Simple Metal have been positive. I am pretty technical and have a strong technical background so the need to fiddle does not scare me but tbh, I just want to make sure I make the correct choice to begin with. Printing with only PLA is fine with me as well.

So is the Ultimaker Original worth the extra money considering I don't get a heated bed? will it be a better printer in the long run?

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Hi Young,

Welcome to the forum!

I personally have no experience with Printrbot, but I hear they are pretty good machines, especially for the value.

Obviously, since I work for Ultimaker (and you are on an Ultimaker community) I am biased. Regardless of what the Printrbot has to offer, the Ultimaker Original would be a good choice.

You say you are already familiar with the Ultimaker 2 Extended, so you know what Ultimaker products are like.

We have a strong community to back that up.

I must add, the user experience between Ultimaker 2 Family and Ultimaker Original is different. The Original requires a more hands-on experience, levelling the bed and calibrating the machine. Over where the Ultimaker 2 Family is more straight forward.

Having said this, if you go with the Ultimaker Original+ you have to do far less calibrating.

The heated bed with aluminum Z-stage is a great upgrade and allows you to print with the same materials you are used to with your Ultimaker 2 Extended.

This can be PLA, but also PLA based materials like Woodfill, Bronzefill and Copperfill.

If you don't want the heated bed it is still an upgrade in experience.

Without the heated bed it is still a wonderful machine, but know in advance that you have to level your bed a little bit more often than you had to do on your Extended.

The build is overall pretty easy, and you only need a screwdriver (which is supplied with the kit by the way).

Overall, I think both machines are good choices. Look at what company you can identify with most and look into specs like warranty, support & service and communities and do what feels best.

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Hi, thanks for your input!

So I ordered a Printrbot SImple Metal, the local agent gave me a great cyber monday deal which was really hard to refuse. So it looks like i'll be working on both machines which is pretty cool tbh.

I don't expect the Printrbot to be anywhere near as easy to use as the Ultimaker 2 (which is just really a great machine) but its what the budget allows for now :)

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I've had a printrbot metal simple since July and I've got a UM2.

The printrbot is nice because everything is exposed and easy to replace. That being said I've only had it working great (after quite a bit of tuning) for a few weeks before my belts broke. Since then I've had extrusion problems that I have not been able to solve.

I also tried their new all metal hot end but sent two of them back because of QA problems with them.

On the other hand my UM2 printed great from the moment I first turned it on.

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Luckily the local agent seems to know the PSM in and out, actually if it wasn't for him and his enthusiasm and passion for the product, I wouldn't have gone with it. In the same breath, the local Ultimaker agent came across very professional but less hands on so 2 very different

approaches and it's why it's taken nearly 3 weeks to make a decision :D

I think it's going to be an interesting journey :) I'll also test the same prints on the different machines and see how they compare. So far the Ultimaker 2 has been nothing short of fantastic.

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worth noting I have not levelled my UMO bed for nearly 10 months :) and it is not just luck - I have 2 of them - and swap nozzles around all the time - great machines.

No hbb - I have bought the upgrade, just need time to install, and I print woodfill, PLA ninjafex and nylon bridge, with XT possible on painter tape (which I keep under my glass build platform)

But I think it is a tinkerer's machine, I keep it oiled, clean and I love it! (them)

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