If you want a professional-quality 3D printer for your home or small business, the Robo R2 would be a great choice, presuming you can justify its high initial cost.
If you’re in the market for a high-end 3D printer, you could do far worse than a Robo. This company has released several high-quality products including the fan-favorite Robo C2. Today, though, we’ll be taking a close look at a different printer: the Robo R2.
We’ll be examining this 3D printer for any strengths or weaknesses it might have, with the ultimate goal of helping you decide if the R2 is the right model for you. How does it hold up under pressure and is it worth the money? We’ll answer these questions and more below.
|Extruders||1, an optional second|
|Supported Materials||30+ supported inc. PLA, ABS, PVA, HIPS, exotics|
|Connectivity||USB, WiFi, Ethernet|
|Printing Speed||Up to 16 mm3/s|
|Build Volume||8 x 8 x 10”|
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Straight away, it’s obvious that this isn’t like most 3D printers on the market. It’s sleek, it’s modern, but more importantly, it’s powerful. Notice the large build area: how likely is it that you’ll be printing something larger than that?
It’s a fairly speedy model as standard, but while the R2 comes with a single extruder, you can actually add a second, accelerating the printing process even further. We’re big fans of the enclosed build plate, too; this helps maintain a stable temperature, preventing sticking and ensuring that your ABS prints fail less often.
Here’s something you don’t see every day: an onboard camera. By pairing the Robo 3D app to the printer, you can supervise your prints no matter where you are. There’s little practical use to this, but it will definitely appeal to those of us who like to check in every now and then.
As expected from a high-budget model, the Robo R2 creates exquisite prints. Tiny details are faithfully represented, and our only concern is that the edges tend to be less well-defined. Still, this is nothing that can’t be fixed with a little post-processing. Individual layers are barely perceptible, especially on the 20-micron setting.
The Robo R2 boasts some of the widest material support we’ve seen to date. More than 30 different filament types are supported, including some exotics like glass-infused PLA and magnetic iron. Of course, you will need a metal extruder head to print with these safely.
There are two large, onboard fans, which is great. These, like the enclosure, help keep the temperature stable over time. They can, of course, be swapped out with different versions if you’d prefer, but the base models are more than sufficient for general, day-to-day 3D printing.
Robo 3D has taken great pains to ensure that this printer is as easy to use as possible. It’s capable of automatically leveling the bed and calibrating the print head, which is fantastic. These were two of the most annoying and boring steps of the process, so it’s great to see them taken care of.
Additionally, users can use the large, 5” touch screen to view and slice models directly. The printer comes with a USB stick pre-loaded with test models, but you can also manage them via Ethernet or WiFi if you’d prefer.
As if that wasn’t enough, you’ll also get a free toolkit, a copy of CURA, and one year’s subscription to Autodesk Fusion 360. Considering this service usually costs $310 a year, that’s a pretty significant inclusion. Best of all, this printer can be used with any major operating system: Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, and iOS.
Now, obviously, this printer isn’t for everyone. It comes with a hefty $1,499.99 price tag, so it’s mostly going to be purchased by businesses and serious 3D printing enthusiasts. However, if you just look at it a little differently, you might be able to justify getting one.
For instance, the R2 uses standard 1.75mm filament: the least expensive kind available. Yes, the price will go up if you use exotic materials or print frequently, but there’s actually very little wastage. Plus, it’s absolutely suitable for mass-production and injection molding, so you may as well be able to profit from it.
There’s an old saying that’s relevant here: “You have to spend money to make money”. Sure, the Robo R2 has a hefty startup cost but with dual extruders and a bit of configuration, there’s nothing standing between you and your own mini production line. The best part is you get quality as well as quantity.
Robo 3D has a fairly substantial support center specifically for the R2 model. There are “Getting started” guides, troubleshooting tips, operation manuals, and maintenance checklists for new owners to peruse. You can also consult the forum if your problem, in particular, hasn’t been addressed.
The Robo R2 comes with a standard one-year warranty, and after registering your product, you can book a repair or even schedule an appointment for one-to-one help. Customer support can be contacted via snail mail, email, or over the phone, so you can reach them in whichever way is most convenient.
Simply put, this is how customer support should be done. If something goes wrong with your product, it’s on the company to help you out. Robo 3D approaches this with a professional, business-like manner. Our only suggestion would be to include some form of live chat service, although we appreciate this isn’t always practical.
Now that you’ve read our Robo R2 review, you might also be interested in checking our review on the TEVO Tarantula too!