How To Deal With An Old 3D Printer

By on August 8th, 2013 in Ideas

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Personal 3D printing has been evolving at a very rapid rate over the past 3-4 years. It’s been proceeding so fast that you might find yourself equipped with a few older, obsolete models that idle powerless in the corner of your workshop. 
 
What should you do with these ancient, no-longer-useful 3D printers? Here’s some ideas:
 
  • Upgrade. If possible, buy additions, upgrades and enhancements for the old 3D printer to bring it up to, or at least closer to, current specs.
  • Simple prints. Sure, the old 3D printer doesn’t have the resolution or capabilities for advanced prints, but perhaps you just need to print a doorstop, mounting block or coat hook? Why not print “simple” items on your “backup” 3D printer? 
  • Museum them. In a few more years these original 3D printers will literally become museum pieces. Why not create a small shrine for them equipped with original prints for future generations to giggle at their primitive capabilities and outmoded mechanical concepts. 
  • Donate them. If they’re still working, consider donating them to a local school or other organization where children and others may get some value from them. The value may only be in educating people on concepts, but it is value nevertheless.
  • Throw them out. An obvious choice, but for many this will be the eventual fate of their original 3D printers. 
 
We’re museuming. How about you?

 

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

10 comments

  1. I own the oldest Ultimaker, with serial number 00004. It is signed by its inventors, who have # 1,2 and 3. The machine is still running well and used in the Doodle3D Kickstarter development. On the condition that is is kept in its original 2010 state.

    People are amazed how will it performs compared with other machines from that era. and even with current ones. Number 4 will be donated to the Ultimaker museum.

    My 2009 RepRap was dismantled, but the [email protected] we built at Picnic2007, is on display at Texel Island.

  2. I own the oldest Ultimaker, with serial number 00004. It is signed by its inventors, who have # 1,2 and 3. The machine is still running well and used in the Doodle3D Kickstarter development. On the condition that is is kept in its original 2010 state.

    People are amazed how will it performs compared with other machines from that era. and even with current ones. Number 4 will be donated to the Ultimaker museum.

    My 2009 RepRap was dismantled, but the [email protected] we built at Picnic2007, is on display at Texel Island.

  3. My Cupcake is still my main printer. It's been upgraded with a Z-axis extender and a heated build platform, but I can't see putting any more money into it.

    It would be great to move beyond the MK4 extruder design to something stepper-based, but the expense (and hassle) of changing things up would be a bit too much.

    Printing LAYWOO-D3 on it is incredibly satisfying though, the wood burning smell makes it feel more old-timey!

  4. My Cupcake is still my main printer. It's been upgraded with a Z-axis extender and a heated build platform, but I can't see putting any more money into it.

    It would be great to move beyond the MK4 extruder design to something stepper-based, but the expense (and hassle) of changing things up would be a bit too much.

    Printing LAYWOO-D3 on it is incredibly satisfying though, the wood burning smell makes it feel more old-timey!

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