Printrbot Play: First Impressions & First Prints

Do you like this post? Writing posts, developing libraries and programming online font creators is actually hard work. I order most of my electronics from a Chinese website called Banggood. It is save and the items usually arrive in good quality. With every order you do there by following this link you are supporting the blog. Thank you!

Yesterday my Printrbot Play finally arrived after 3 Weeks since I gave the order. After hesitating for a long time I finally made the order on december 31, then on January 11 it was shipped and 9 days later on January 20 it arrived at my home in Switzerland (but I wasn’t home:-() and I could pick it up at the post office in the evening.

Should you decide to buy a Printrbot Play (or any other 3d Printer ) take the time to read or watch the instructions carefully. Having my daughter on the lap when watching the instruction video didn’t help and I made some avoidable mistakes.

First Impressions

I compared a lot of printers before ordering the play and I liked the play for its price, for the reviewed quality and the apparent sturdiness of the frame. I knew about the relatively small build size but decided that I was OK with that. When took the printer out of the box I was surprised, since I had imagined it a little bit bigger. Which is good because now it will be easier to find a place for it. The frame makes a really good impression in matters of quality and precision.
Then I started printing… My first print of the 3mm cube failed and at first I wasn’t sure why. I tried to calibrate as showed in the demonstration video but that just left a trace in the painters tape. After a few more experiments I decided to switch the painters tape to another one which had a rougher surface and that did the trick: the 3mm cube turned out well. The next print was the little robot that comes with the Cura software and that went really smooth. I scaled the robot a bit down to speed up print time and the result looks really great in my opinion. Watch the time lapse film I did:

Next thing I tried was to create something myself with OpenScad and print it out. I did a little “We love Mami” plate to impress my wife and printed it. Within a few minutes form design to print the result was quite good!


After a few prints I’m really impressed with the quality of the products and the printer itself. I paid USD $399 for the printer, $80 for shipping and around $60 for customs. All in all I would say it is a great entry level 3D printer, relatively easy to use, but not as easy as a 2D laser printer. The limited build size might soon turn out to be a problem but I will see to that problem when it becomes painful… Printrbot offers an upgrade kit which increases the build size from 10x10x13mm to 20x10x13mm and adds a heated print bed for printing with ABS.
First picture after unpacking. You can see the knees of my excited daughter;-)

First proper print: a tiny robot

Close up of the tiny robot.

Posted by squix78

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