The SeeMeCNC Rostock MAX v3 is a good 3D printer and on par with other Delta-style 3D printers under 300 USD. We were especially impressed with the quality of the parts.
So you’re in the market for a high-end 3D printer. The good news is that there’s a lot of options. The bad news is that there might actually be too many of them. Don’t worry – we’re here to help! We’ve decided to take a closer look at some of the most popular 3D printers on the market to see if they’re worth your time and money.
Today we’ll be examining the Rostock Max v3 – an unusually shaped filament printer with a lot to offer. We’ll identify any strengths or weaknesses it may have so you can tell if it’s suitable for your needs. Without further ado, let’s begin!
|Supported Materials||ABS, PLA, Exotic|
|Connectivity||USB, SD Card|
|Build Volume||10.8 x 15.7”|
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While most 3D printers are cubic in shape, the Max v3 is large and cylindrical. Its exceptional size allows users to create objects far larger than most mid-budget printers would allow so it’s a powerful choice for printing models that can’t be assembled from smaller parts.
Users can import models either directly from their PC or by transferring them via SD card. This is quite standard, but for a high-end printer, we’d really expect to see some kind of WiFi compatibility or even a dedicated mobile app. Still, the import is the least essential part of the process so this is only a tiny annoyance at worst.
On the plus side, both the hardware and software used are open-source. This means that you can print up a few replacement parts in case anything goes wrong, and guarantees you don’t have to pay for the software itself. Construction takes a long time, though, at around 20 hours.
This printer uses standard 1.75mm, 1lb filament spools. The materials you can use are fairly limited for such an expensive printer, but unless you’re making specialized display models, PLA and ABS will likely work just fine. At up to 100mm per second, the v3 is a little slower than most, but are the finished models worth the wait?
Absolutely. The Max v3 is capable of producing very high-quality objects, even from fairly complex models. Once properly configured, very little material is wasted, and you’ll find that it replicates finely detailed structures very well indeed. It does take a bit of trial and error to reach this point, though.
With a minimum layer size of 0.1mm, your prints look very professional, with nicely concealed seams. It’s worth mentioning that while exotic materials are supported, you’ll want to buy a metal nozzle for any fiber-imbued filaments since one isn’t included in the box.
This printer features a small microcontroller, but this can be a little difficult to use. Instead, we recommend using the included copy of MatterControl – it’s fairly simple once you get the hang of it. We liked that there are four fans built-in, although some users have reported problems getting the printer started if the ambient room temperature is below 17°C.
One of this printer’s biggest strengths is its automatic bed-leveling feature. With a single click, you can remove much of the frustration associated with getting ready to print, leaving you free to focus on the fun part: actually generating the object you see on-screen.
We loved that there’s a lot of extra space both on the frame and electronic parts of this printer. This allows experienced users to tinker and expand its capabilities by adding their own mods, although if you’re a beginner, we’d obviously recommend familiarizing yourself with the base design first.
It costs around $1000 for a version of the Rostock Max v3 that you have to manually assemble. This is a long and difficult process, so you might want to spend an extra $500 and get a pre-made one instead. This removes the risk of damaging components during the construction process, something we’re all a little afraid of.
You aren’t limited to using proprietary filaments here, and both PLA and ABS are pretty affordable. This allows you to keep your costs down, even if you print every day. We’ve heard reports of the hot end burning out, but they usually last around 5km before this happens, and are fairly inexpensive to replace.
Ultimately, you’re trading a higher upfront cost for lower running and maintenance costs. This printer might be a little expensive for hobbyists, but it’s more or less perfectly priced for low-yield 3D printing companies.
There’s a pretty good selection of customer support information on the SeeMeCNC website. You can contact the team for help by phone, email, or by submitting a ticket, and the customer service team works full-time during office hours so you should see a pretty speedy response to any queries.
There’s also a user forum where you can ask any general 3D printing questions. Interestingly, the company provides a curriculum or educators looking to introduce 3D printing into a learning environment. This is an unusual step, but one that we welcome wholeheartedly.
We like that there are download links for several popular printing applications, not just the one that comes with the printer. Additionally, there are some fairly in-depth tutorials, so all of the most common problems you’ll encounter can be solved as quickly as possible.
The Rostock Max v3 takes a lot of work to fully assemble, but once it’s all set up, it outperforms lower-budget 3D printers in almost every area. Its prints are of an exceptionally high quality, and you can mod it extensively to better fit your needs.
Sure, it’s not the fastest printer on the market, and we’d have preferred to see a wider range of supported filaments, but all things considered, we think the Max v3 is a strong choice for anyone looking to upgrade their existing low-end printer.