Well, it’s been almost 2 months since the Solidoodle printer (version 2) arrived. No matter how well it now performs, one must suspect that such a long wait would make the reader think the Solidoodle is not a good printer. Nothing could be further from the truth! It turns out that the approximately six weeks of troubleshooting the printing problems seen with the printer were most probably caused by university-adopted antivirus (AV) software.
While trying to discover the cause of problems when the printer would seemingly freeze in the middle of a print job causing a mound of lava plastic to develop around the nozzle, we tried a multitude of things including using four different computers, two Macs and two Windows PCs along with different software loads and different printing software. We thought we had eliminated the computer as a cause of the problem. The AV software as a cause to the printing problems was only identified after taking the printer to a CTLT staffer’s home to give a last ditch attempt, and he tried a home computer that had a different flavor of AV software.
So how is the printer? One could say it is remarkable, especially considering it is $500-$600. Most posts in the forums, SoliForum and Solidoodle on Google Groups, were printing within an hour of receiving their printer. The printer has been working so well that we printed several parts to re-brand and improve the printer, and then Fred Hagemeister decided to use that printer for a demonstration at the Educause 2012 annual conference session in Colorado. Upon returning to UR, the printer will join the Makerbot and perhaps take over as the primary 3D printer for further exploring 3D printing opportunities. In fact, due to the overwhelming growth in Solidoodle printer demand and resulting impact on shipping delays (see prior post), the CTLT had ordered a second printer in August and will warmly accept the printer around the end of November.