The increasing popularity of the amazing 3Dwox desktop 3D printer from Sindoh tells me readers may be interested in two subtle updates about the device.
If you’re not familiar with this machine, it must be one of the most notable desktop 3D printers currently available due to its ease of use, reliability, part quality and low price. We prepared a detailed three-part review of the machine earlier.
Output from this very inexpensive machine (USD$1,299) frequently approaches that of far more expensive models. As a result, many people are buying this unit and running through many 3D prints.
This notability seems to have generated an interesting result: the 3Dwox now appears as the number one recommended 3D printer on MIT’s FabLab equipment list.
MIT publishes a detailed list of recommended equipment for public FabLabs to consider. Their list focuses on “bang for buck”, showing equipment that performs well, yet doesn’t cost a lot. The idea is to get FabLabs delivering effective service at the lowest cost. Part of that functionality is 3D printing.
They’re recommending the 3Dwox, and optionally an Ultimaker as a secondary choice. Given my experience with the 3Dwox, I definitely concur with their recommendations. The 3Dwox is a particularly wonderful machine.
But that’s not the only update on the 3Dwox.
One of the knocks against this machine is that it employs filament cartridges instead of “open filament”. This restricts choice of materials severely, and places buyers in a position where they have one source for materials that could be costly.
Several other 3D printer operations make significant profits purely from their monopolistic materials practices, and the fear is that any vendor requiring such proprietary materials could raise prices.
While the 3Dwox will continue to use proprietary cartridges, there’s been a development. Readers may recall we reviewed an early version of their refillable cartridge some time ago.
This week it seems Sindoh has now released the elusive refillable cartridges on their US Amazon sales site. You can indeed order the refillable cartridge and refill spools.
Yes, you must first order a full “refillable” cartridge, You use this cartridge in the normal manner, then when it’s empty you can crack it open, toss the empty spool and replace it with a refill. The refill spool comes with a new tracking chip that replaces the original chip in the case.
It’s easy to use, but the best part is the pricing. The refillable cartridge, containing 700g PLA (or 600g ABS) is priced at USD$50. The refill spools (and paired chips) are priced at only USD$30. This is not a bad price at all, particularly for filament that is almost guaranteed to work properly.