The Mojo prints flawless prototypes ideal for a professional environment, but the price range and proprietary filament signify the maintenance costs are beyond the means of a big portion of makers.
|Printing Area||127mm x 127mm x 127mm|
|Layer Resolution||170 microns|
|Supported Filament||ABS, Support Material|
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Design and Features
Opening the top cover and peering into the belly of the Mojo reveals a professionally engineered machine that even the most stringent designer will find satisfying. The smart positioning of various parts (including the inner brackets for the filament), the quality of said parts, and the clean look of the innards point towards the caliber of the printer in contention here. The configuration is a thing of beauty.
The two-shade gray color of the casing is on the drab side but has the benefit of smooth contours and an uncluttered look. The printing area feels contained and ordered hinting at Stratasys aim to provide an intuitive, easy to use printer free of the tinkering and messiness synonymous with barebones hobbyist alternatives. The Mojo wouldn’t be out of place within the hustle and bustle of a fast-paced professional design studio or prototyping workshop.
The design itself is centered on a fully-enclosed heat regulated chamber supported by a full metal frame and plastic outer casing with a reasonable footprint weighing in at a total of 60 lbs. The heated chamber is vital here because the Mojo only supports ABS filament and as any versed maker will know, temperature and humidity regulation is a core concern when printing with ABS, which is prone to warping.
Although the printer has a dual extruder setup that uses Fused Deposition Modeling technology, it differs quite radically from what we’ve come to expect from this duality. Typically, you’d expect two types of filament or at least two different colors of PLA or ABS, but with the Mojo, one extruder is used for ABS, while the other extrudes SR-30 soluble support material. The focus on supports is incredibly important in the systematic quality of the prints.
Stratasys has made it so that the Mojo doesn’t just use any run of the mill open source ABS either. The Mojo uses what is termed ABSplus, which is a production-grade thermoplastic that more or less mimics the durability of bonafide production parts with the added benefit of working in unison with the support material to print intricate recesses, cavities, and overhangs.
As you’ve probably guessed, Stratasys ships ABSplus in a proprietary filament cartridge coined the QuickPack Print Engine with a capacity of 80 cubic inches available in nine different colors. Not only does the Print Engine contain the ABS, but also a disposable snap-in print head that is ostensibly as easy to switch out as a cartridge on a standard inkjet printer. The new print head with every spool is not just for ease of use, but to keep part quality.
Additionally, a chip is fitted into each Print Engine that communicates to the printer how much filament is left so the printer won’t trigger prints it can’t complete, and each cartridge is foil-wrapped to keep the ABS from going brittle. The Print Engine design is one-time use.
Going back to the support material, Stratasys also ships each Mojo with a WaveWash 5S support cleaning system, which is none other than a bin for cleaning off supports. Just add in an Ecoworks tablet (a dissolving detergent provided by Stratasys), a splash of tap water, turn on the cleaner and it will set the right temperature and amount of swirling to remove the supports without damaging the ABS print.
The Mojo has a comparatively small build area of 127mm x 127mm x 127mm, and the printing process sticks to the tried and trusted Cartesian configuration. The limited size is at odds with the price of the printer, but the truth is that for the majority of prototypes the available surface is more than sufficient. The printer steps up when it comes to the quality of the prints to counterbalance the limited space as we’ll see below.
The Mojo only prints at one layer resolution of 0.17 mm or 170 microns, with only one print speed available. The idea here is to provide detailed prints at every turn at the detriment of a quick test lower resolution print although it isn’t uncommon to see professional grade 3D printers with resolutions as high as 20 microns. Given that Stratasys is flogging the Mojo as a prototyping machine, the attention to detail makes sense but might irk users who desire a little more flexibility.
The attention to detail also carries over to practicality with features like a set of internal brushes that clean the nozzles and collection bins that pick up any of the excess filament removed by the brushes. In the same vein, the front door has a locking mechanism to ensure the chamber remains at a uniform heat while printing.
As for software, the Mojo comes with the Stratasys Print Wizard utility that resembles a streamlined slicing application that’s intuitive and incredibly easy to use. The Wizard does most of the hard work by scaling STL files to fit the printer, queuing prints if the parts are too large for the build area, and communicates directly with the printer. The only real hands-on aspect is setting up the support style (basic, spare, surround) and orientation, which we found self-explanatory and easy to navigate.
We understand that Stratasys is banking on most of the heavy design work being completed in CAD software which is then carried over to Print Wizard for conversion then printing.
Connectivity wise, the Mojo is limited to a USB connection via a PC running Windows 7 or Windows 8.
The Mojo ships with the printer itself, one QuickPack Print Engine cartridge of ABSplus and one of SR-30 support material, WaveWash 55 support cleaning system, 24 Ecoworks tablets, a modeling base (read build plate), USB cable, power cord, and official documentation.
For an all-in-one, pre-assembled configuration, two large styrofoam supports on the top and bottom adequately protect the printer. It ships as is with the filament in the brackets and the startup kit sitting on the build plate alongside boxes for the cleaning system. It’s all very minimal in keeping with the functional ethos of the Mojo.
The setup is among the most straightforward we’ve ever encountered. Not only was installing the handful of parts a doddle, but the instructions were concise. We had to remove the cable ties holding the Print Engine cartridges in place, remove the packaging, place them back into the brackets, hook up the print head to the extruder, fit the cleaning brushes inside the chamber by merely putting them on a set on spindles, and finally snap on the modelling plate to the build area. It all took no more than 20 minutes.
The printer auto-calibrates so there’s no wasting time leveling the bed by toying with a set of screws and a piece of leveling paper. From here, we plugged in the power cord, connected the USB cable, and hit the ‘’on’’ button.
The print quality was nothing short of perfect. Within the space of the seven days we had access to the Mojo, not once did it fail, print blemishes, imperfections, or layering issues. The prints were of the highest quality, systematically. Speed wise, the Mojo isn’t the fastest, but this does mean through and through quality with every print. The support system worked well to ensure each job had the right foundations to come out flawless every time.
The small things also made the printing experience that much better. For one, Print Wizard gave spot on estimates for print timings, even providing an exact time for when a project would be finished that it hit without fail. The bins that collect excess filament on the nozzles are excellent for keeping the chamber clean.
Equally, from powering up the Mojo to starting a print job, we are talking less than 15 minutes, and this includes initializing, diagnostics, and heating the chamber. The Mojo is by any standard quick to get going.
The absence of any lingering ABS odor is a nice departure from open-plan 3D printers where you’ll need to crack open a window to be able to breathe comfortably. It’s also inexplicably silent to the point that at times we had to check that it was still printing.
The WaveWash 55 worked well although it does take time to complete a cleaning cycle that can vary from two to five hours depending on the print job in question.
Unfortunately, the Mojo is no longer in production, so any assistance is vendor specific beyond Stratasys offering user guides, videos, and a customer support contact on its website. The Mojo ships with a one-year warranty as standard. The company also still sells the proprietary Print Engine filament.
With the Mojo 3D printer, manufacturer Stratasys isn’t holding back: we have here a professional grade device with all the precision, versatility, reliability, and a price tag to match. A hobbyist will shy away at the approximately $10,000 price tag, but professionals will find an affordable printer that gives competitor models with similar qualitative results a run for their money. In other words, for those with a budget to match, they will be hard pressed to find much wrong with the Mojo.
Our only real criticism is the ongoing cost of operation; the cartridge design which incorporates a new print head with every Print Engine cartridge doesn’t come cheap. Heavy usage racks up quite the bill sentencing the Mojo to prototyping designers with the financial backing from a profitable company to keep the printer running.
On the flip side, print head failure is the number one cause of issues with 3D printing, and by extension, poor quality prints. In light of this, the additional price does equate to peace of mind and assured printing success.