Dremel Idea Builder 3D Printer: Turn your ideas into 3D objects. This 3D printer features a preinstalled extruder and comes with a spool of white PLA filament, so you can start creating models right away. Easily select the file you want to use with the 3.5" full color touch screen.
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A solid 3D printer by Dremel
Posted by: JasonReynolds_BBYSTAFF18 from: Minneapolis, MN on
The Dremel Idea Builder has a slightly industrial feel to the enclosed printer, with an LCD screen on the front to display print status and to allow printer maintenance and adjustments to be made.
The bed is plastic and easily removable with a little clip at the front. This helps keep the bed level, as you're not prying things off while it's still attached. There are two plastic stickers that are placed on the bed to help things adhere to the bed. They can be replaced if they are damaged, but they are sturdy and last longer than tape does on other printers.
The bed requires some guided manual adjustment with the included instructions.
The Idea Builder has a good build size at 5.9" deep by 9" wide and 5.5" tall, allowing for some wider pieces to be build.
The small LCD touch screen lets you manage settings on the printer and start prints from an SD card. It also has a USB cable to connect to your computer and prints can be sent directly from the Dremel software.
Dremel3D is available on Mac, PC and Ubuntu Linux. The software allows the object to be moved, rotated and scaled before it's printed or exported to an SD card. At that time, the resolution can be selected as Low, Standard or High.
The Dremel3D software does not have the option to add supports. Supports will be required for some builds that have overhangs like an outstretched arm or platform. It even mentions picking up Meshmixer and using the tools to add supports to an .stl file. This isn't a very difficult process, but is an additional step and something to learn. If you're a fan of other Dremel tools, it shouldn't be too far of a stretch to think having some more control over supports with Meshmixer is a better option, but it'd be nice to have it built into the software.
The printer uses PLA plastic, which doesn't need a heated bed and is more biodegradable and eco-friendly than ABS. During our testing, the Dremel Idea Builder was able to handle a variety of objects with good results. Using models with supports built in made for much better prints when overhangs were present. As with any 3D printer, it did handle some objects much better than others. Simple geometric shapes without overhangs or complex patterns did best. Spheres and anything with little surface area on the bottom of the print tended to release from the plastic bed and end in a ruined print, but this happens on other 3D printers as well.
The software is simple to use, but doesn't have any type of library to store stuff you are printing. You'll need to manage your files manually on a computer. The quality is good and I didn't have any bad prints unless there just wasn't enough surface area to adhere to the bed.
Overall, the Dremel Idea Builder is a solid printer for makers or those looking to get into printing. The software lacks some advanced features, but makers will find other tools out there to handle adding supports to files.
-- Enclosed printer keeps the noise down a little.
-- Build platform is 5.5" x 9" x 5.9", which provides some extra width.
-- Support for Ubuntu Linux in addition to the standard Windows and OS X.
-- Software does not allow for adding supports or rafts to a build. You need to use third-party software for that feature.
-- PLA filament only.
-- Cable got hung up on the inside back of the printer and I had to manually untangle it. It only did this once.
29 out of 31 found this review helpful.
Posted by: claphead from: on
This thing is awesome! Very high print quality and easy printing right out of the box. Compatible with other brands of filaments (Hatchbox). If your print is failing then you probably need to level the print bed.....which is simple. Can't stop printing and the hardest part is prioritizing what you want to print next.
8 out of 8 found this review helpful.
Good 3D Printer for a Beginner
Posted by: Cyric666 from: Orlando, FL on
I won't bother repeating all the information the last reviewer said, but I agree this is a good printer. Personally I was looking for something that did 100 micron resolution and that was also enclosed. A lot of these devices are just an open platform.
The reason I ended up deciding on the Dremel out of all the different ones I looked at was the brand, I figured Dremel would have good support for the product, the price was not so cheap as to make me feel like it wouldn't be a good device and not as high as a lot of others out there that do the same resolution and seemed to have a higher difficulty curve for a beginner.
I did have a problem when I set this up. The touchscreen would not respond when I pressed the Tools button and it would basically just reboot the device. Dremel support knew what to do and it was an easy fix. I had to take the bottom off the printer (6 screws) and find a microSD card on the circuit board. Ejected and reinserted the card. Put the bottom cover back on, and I was up and running.
The only cons I see right now:
-The touchscreen is not very responsive, especially when you're used to your smartphone and tablet and ATM machines and everything else with a touchscreen. It's not a huge deal but it's a little annoying.
- The door is very flimsy feeling. It is just connected on one side by a couple of plastic pegs. Ii feels like if you have the door open and you bump into it too hard, you might break it off.
I'd recommend this printer if you're just starting out. There is software you can get that will let you do supports later on when you get used to using it.
9 out of 11 found this review helpful.
Simple plug and play, but software is lacking
Posted by: BeingHonest from: austin, tx on
This is a nice printer and the easiest one I've used. Ready to print within minutes out of the box. Install software and you're good to go. The printer itself is easy to use with the lcd display. You can do all settings and calibration straight from the menus. The bed leveling is easy, just use a piece of paper and follow the on screen instructions to level the three knobs. You can use other brands of filaments if you print a different spool holder, but it may void the warranty. This printer can produce great results with the right software, and that's where this printer disappoints. It's a closed system with proprietary file format and the included software is lacking all but the very basic features. You can use Autodesk Print Studio but even that is lacking the more advanced features like generating good support structure. You'll need to buy Simplify3D ($150) in order to take full advantage of this printer. Dremel support seemed good. Mine came with a warped print bed and a few minutes with live chat and I had a new one sent. They also offer a year warranty, which longer than most. The main drawback is that this only prints PLA, which fine for most hobbyists, but there are other printers out there for the same price that can do other plastics. Overall, if you're a beginner, then this printer just works. Upgrade slicer software and you'll have a nice printer.
Tip: if you have both Dremel software (needed for firmware updates) and Print Studio installed, you'll have to disable one for the other to connect. Do so by going to service, disable print manager.
3 out of 3 found this review helpful.
Junk Printer and AWFUL Software
Posted by: Mike from: on
I bought this after reading reviews on several different printers and chose the Idea Builder due to its print resolution and price (in that order). I totally regret this purchase. The machine is very glitchy and very frequently aborts printing before a job is completed. Filament doesn't stick to the build table, resulting in lots of wasted filament, which isn't cheap if you're using the Dremel brand (as they require for not voiding the warranty). The printing software is absolutely terrible. Sliced files are littered profusely with distortions and glitches that aren't present when slicing the same model using other software. Dremel3D slicing software also does not fill in horizontal flat top faces, leaving the infill pattern exposed. This is a terrible product and I cannot fathom why it has so many positive reviews. I guess if you like throwing money away on filament with nothing to show for it then this is just the machine for you. Otherwise, spend a little bit more on a better product (dual extruders, heated build table, larger print volume, etc).
3 out of 3 found this review helpful.
Bumpy Start...Great Finish
Posted by: KrisMac from: Quincy, MA on
The first item printed perfect, second little off...then there was an issue. I called the Dremel Support line and a patient knowledgeable rep talked me through a little adjustment. There are some good pieces of software, MeshMixer and Simply 3D that will add tremendously to the product, especially Simply 3D. Use Youtube to watch a few tips on using the software. Lots of great sites to download things to create, but having the software will help make sure it prints properly, uses less filament, operates quieter and quicker. The printer is an absolute champ once you learn how to make the most of it...but it is also good for some smaller simpler projects too.
4 out of 5 found this review helpful.
Good for beginners
Posted by: Solaris5125 from: on
My first 3d printer, and it is fairly simple to operate. My only complaint is with the included build tape. After cleaning it after a print i had to add a small film of glue from glue stick to keep 1st layer of filament to stay in place
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.
Great product for beginners
Posted by: Leah from: on
My husband loves his printer. However, the user interface on the computer could be easier to use. It's clunky. Also, the instructions given for changing the filament is not how you are suppose to do it. He had to call customer service, because the filament kept getting jammed after following the document that came with the printer. Customer service walked him through how to change it so that it doesn't completely mess up extruder.
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.
What a prize!
Posted by: JKWalker from: on
This was purchased as a raffle prize. The winner was thrilled! I want to use it!
1 out of 2 found this review helpful.
Posted by: Tchoron from: on
Great fun. And easy to learn software. Loving the different things I've made already.