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Industry 3D Printing
Founded 2011
Founder Brook Drumm
Headquarters Lincoln, California

Printrbot is a 3D printer company created by Brook Drumm and originally funded through Kickstarter. It is aimed at beginner home users through its small size factor, low cost and ease of assembly (claimed to take 45 minutes).[1][2][3] Printrbot uses fused deposition modelling to produce plastic models of 3D objects. Since creation, the original Printrbot has been discontinued and replaced with newer versions which vary in price, size and functionality.[4] As of April 2012, Printrbot was the most funded technology project on Kickstarter after receiving $830,827 USD in December 2011.[5]

Design and operation[edit]

Printrbot is sold as fully assembled or as a kit requiring assembly.[4] Models are printed by depositing molten ABS or PLA plastic filament onto a hotbed from a print head which moves about the X and Z axes (the Y axis is controlled by the movement of the hotbed itself) using electric motors, guided by metal threaded rods.[6] The models to be printed are sent to the printer via a USB interface using specialized software such as Pronterface (recommended by the manufacturer).


As of November 2012, current models of the Printrbot are sold as fully assembled or as kits. According to Printrbot's return policy, returns are only accepted if the device "has never been assembled, powered up, programmed or changed in any manner". If repair is needed, many of the components for the printer are available to be purchased separately.[4][7]


Current Printrbot models can print in ABS or PLA plastic filament which can be purchased from the official store or other sources.[4] Printrbot models can be outfitted to accept 1.75mm or 3.0mm diameter filament. The filament is available in many colours; the colour of the filament will determine the eventual colour of the model printed from it. Although the Printrbot hotend and extruder system is advertised to work with PLA and ABS, it is also capable of extruding many other filaments. Printrbot sells "exotic" filaments such as Nylon, Ninjaflex, and Carbon fiber-reinforced PLA.


All Printrbots are controlled by nearly similar open source circuit boards called Printrboards. The Printrboard has experienced several revisions and are identified by revision letters printed on them. For example, the most recent official revision of the Printrboard is Rev F, which can be purchased separately. The Printrboard can have many types of Firmware loaded on it, but they are sold with an open-source firmware called Marlin. The printer is controlled through a USB interface.[1][6] The Printrbot interprets Gcode produced by a computer program called a slicer, turning commands into outputs for 4 stepper motors, heated bed and extruder outputs, and a cooling fan port. Printrbot does not come with any software and the official getting started guide recommends using the freeware program Pronterface to interface with the printer. A more complex freeware program with more advanced 3D visualization called Repetier-Host is also used.


Current models[edit]

Model Image Years available Build volume(inch) Price - kit Price - assembled Filament Comments
Printrbot Simple Metal Printrbot Simple (360° turntable view) (14007316573).jpg 2014- 6×6×6 $539 $599 1.75mm PLA (Heated build platform for ABS use available)
Printrbot Metal Plus 10×10×10 - $1199 ABS+PLA
Printrbot Play[8] 2015- 4×4×5 $399 $399 PLA
Printrbot CNC Beta 01[9] $1,499.00 N/A N/A

Discontinued models[edit]

Model Image Years available Build volume(inch) Price - kit Price - assembled Filament Comments
Printrbot GO 2014 8×6×6 (small)
16 x 8 x 8 (medium)
24 x 12 x 12 (large)
N/A $1299 (small), $1499 (medium), $1699 (large) Largest model available
Printrbot Simple 2014 4×4×4 $349 $449 1.75mm PLA only
Printrbot Jr. 6×6×6 $599 $699 PLA only Can be folded for storage.
Printrbot LC 6×6×6 ABS+PLA
Printrbot GO 2013 8×7×6 $1499 n/a PLA+ABS Suitcase form factor, designed in collaboration with Ben Heck
Printrbot (original) Printrbot.jpg 6×6×6 ABS


  1. ^ a b "Printrbot: Your First 3D Printer", Kickstarter, Nov 17, 2011
  2. ^ Matthew Humphries,"Printrbot: an all-in-one 3D printer kit for $499",, Nov 21, 2011
  3. ^ Strange, Adario (Sep 21, 2012). "Printrbot: The cheap and simple 3D printer for the rest of us". (SyFy). Retrieved Nov 18, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Printrbot shop"
  5. ^ Dobby, Christine (April 18, 2012). "A case for crowdfunding; New U.S. rules for raising growth capital spark Canadian funding worries". (National Post). Retrieved Nov 18, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b Stephen Cass,"A desktop 3-D printer builds plastic objects layer by layer", MIT Technology Review, April 25, 2012
  7. ^ "Printrbot Return Policy"
  8. ^ "Printrbot Play (4x4x5)". Printrbot. Retrieved 8 June 2015. 
  9. ^ "Printrbot CNC Beta 01". Printrbot. Retrieved 8 June 2015. 

External links[edit]