Frequently Asked Questions

What is a 3D printer?  A 3D Printer uses a digital file to create a physical plastic part. 3D printing is an additive process, where the plastic part is built up in successive layers. Watch a video of the process:

What is the difference between the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Generation Solidoodle 3D  printers?  The Solidoodle 4th Generation is our latest and best printer. It features, a full enclosure for improved performance, magnetic door, redesigned spool mount, enclosed electronics, and an improved look/user experience. The SD4 has an  8 x 8 x 8 build platform similar to the Solidoodle 3. The Solidoodle 3rd Generation also has an 8 x 8 x 8 build platform. Our most affordable printer, the Solidoodle 2nd Generation, has the 6 x 6 x 6 build plate. The resolution and other functions of each machine remain identical.

I plan to buy the Solidoodle  3D printer.  Is that all I will need to start printing? Yes, the printer comes with everything you need to start printing.

This includes:

  1. Solidoodle Printer
  2. A small amount of starter filament (enough for a test print(s))
  3. Power Supply
  4. USB cable
  5. 2.5 mm Hex Key
For more information, please read about our items in the Solidoodle Online Store.
 
Are there any other items you recommend to add to my order? Since your printer will come with only a small amount of starter filament, we do recommend including at least 1 spool of filament.

For all of our printers, a tool kit and an extra hot end on hand are highly recommended. In addition, depending on the model you order, extra Kapton Squares are another great recommendation.

Do you have a warranty?  Do you repair the machines? We do not have an official warranty. Despite this, we do stand behind our products.

Our policy is to treat everyone fairly,  If something breaks down and we can diagnose the problem, we may provide you with a replacement part as long as your machine has not been altered from factory conditions. Our friendly tech support staff is ready to help guide you through all replacement procedures in order to get your printer working correctly.

For more information please refer to our return policy.

What is your Return Policy? In order to be considered for a return, the following are required:

  • A photo of the merchandise in question
  • Your original Order ID
  • The address that the merchandise will be arriving from (as it appears on the shipping label)
  • The serial number from the printer.
Please submit the above criteria at support.solidoodle.com.
 
Are your machines actually “In Stock”? I’m confused as to the actual wait time. 
Please review store.solidoodle.com for current lead times.

Can I add items to my order after a purchases has already been made? Yes! Simply contact us through support.solidoodle.com. As long as the order has not shipped, we will be able to add any item available through the store to your order. You will then be invoiced the cost of the item(s) as well as any difference there may be in shipping costs. Once you have the quote, payment may be made via Paypal transfer to email address: support@solidoodle.com.  Please note that this address is for payment purposes only.  All support requests must be submitted via support.solidoodle.com.

I ordered a Solidoodle, but my order still says “Pending.” What’s wrong? All orders are marked as “Pending” by default when an order is placed. Shortly after, the order will be marked “OK to Ship” and be placed in the queue for orders to be processed by our shipping department. Please keep in mind, all orders are processed chronologically as they come in.

While delays occasionally happen, we strive to get all orders shipped within this time-frame. Once the order is shipped, you will be notified by email with a tracking number.

Does the Solidoodle require maintenance? The Solidoodle should require very little day-to-day maintenance. Every few months the rods should be greased with multipurpose lithium grease. Occasionally, filament dust may accumulate on the driver gear. If this happens, use a toothbrush to clean the drive gear through the access port on the front of the extruder (no disassembly required).

One thing to note is that during shipment, it is possible that some calibration may be needed upon arrival. Our packaging ensures the printer is well protected from damage but depending on shipping conditions, some of the calibrations could be thrown off.

Is the Solidoodle easily modified by users? Although you are free to modify your printer, please understand that if you modify your Solidoodle it will make it much  harder for us to give you support. If you modify a component and it becomes defective, you will be disqualified for a replacement.

Can the Solidoodle be modified to use dual extruders? The short answer is no. While many companies use a more generic extruder assembly, we assemble ours in house, out of custom parts. This means it would most likely be tricky to modify the printer to use dual extruders.

Why do you recommend using your ABS plastic? Does PLA also work? While both ABS and PLA will work with the Solidoodle, we recommend ABS primarily as it was tested with our machine to be our default material. The ABS you can buy from our website was tested and modified to ensure a smooth and even print flow. In addition,the Solidoodle’s default heat and extruder settings were determined with the plastic that we offer on our website.

PLA will work with our printers although there are some distinct differences that should be made in your settings. Primarily PLA has a lower melting point, therefore you should set your extruder to a lower temperature. You may have to mount a fan on the extruder to prevent the PLA from softening, but note that this is an example of modifying your machine and would disqualify you from any replacements, should anything go wrong.

When we find a suitable PLA and can determine the right heat settings for it, we will start selling it through our website.

What about more exotic plastics? Do they work? Currently, the only filaments that are recommended for use are ABS or PLA. We will continue looking into other materials in the future but for now, alternative materials may not perform well and could clog you hot end.

What is the resolution of the Solidoodle? The resolution is determined by the height of each layer. The default print resolution is 0.3 mm, which achieves a good balance among part quality and printing speed. It is possible to print hi-res at .1mm resolution – at this resolution it’s difficult for an untrained eye to tell that the parts have been created with a 3D printer. 100 Microns is for all intents and purposes, synonymous with 0.1 mm resolution print quality. Overall, the Solidoodle is capable of printing as large as 0.4mm and as precise as 0.1mm.

If you are interested in seeing the print quality of our machines for yourself, you might consider ordering or sample pack. This includes a 0.1 mm resolution print and can be ordered here: Solidoodle Sample Pack

Check out our Store Slideshow and Gallery for sample photos.

How does this compare to other 3D printers? We are are primarily experts with the machine we sell. We are well aware of the presence of other printers on the market and while we look into them at times, we are mostly focused on honing our skills on our product and further improvement. We believe in our machine and we can say that for the price bracket, it is worth every penny.

What about finishing techniques? Sanding? While most of our customers love the models directly off the machine, some have endeavored to “finish” them. Finishing techniques for ABS models may include sanding, and acetone vapor baths. Both of these techniques take some skill, but are relatively effective. Great care should be taken while working with acetone – it is flammable, and the fumes may irritate your lungs. Using a respirator is highly recommended.

Will the Solidoodle work with my 3D design software, such as Solidworks, Google Sketchup, Rhino, etc? Most likely the answer is yes. Our Host software software requires a specific file format known as the STL, which is a universal file format. As long as your 3D design software can Save/Export as an STL file, you should be good to go.

How much does it cost to print one part?  How long will my filament last? Our ABS filament costs $43 for a 2-lb spool. This will keep you printing for a long time. For example, the Yoda on our Gallery Page is about 3″ wide and costs about USD 40 cents to print. This also depends on the amount of “filler” your objects have, our default is 20%. with these settings, you should be able to print one object a day, a 2-lb spool should last you a few months.

Does the Solidoodle have to remain tethered to the computer in order to print?
At this point the Solidoodle must remain tethered to the user’s computer. Although our motherboard is populated with an SD card slot, we have not implemented functionality to it yet in our firmware. We may add this functionality in the future but for now please see the following:

A bright Solidoodle fan has modified his Solidoodle to use a SD reader – check out the details here

Does Solidoodle offer any larger models? 8 x 8 x 8 just isn’t enough. Can you build a larger model as a custom order? At this point, we do not have any plans to create a larger Solidoodle. Our current focus is to provide an affordable, reliable 3D printer. Because of the large number of orders Solidoodle is receiving, it is not possible to fulfill custom order requests. As our company expands, other print volumes may become a possibility.

What software does the Solidoodle use? We supply pre-configured software packages of Repetier-Host and Slic3r. Our Windows installer comes pre-installed with the necessary printing profiles to print with our different printer models, Genration 2 and Generation 3. OS X has a slightly different look to it and the profiles need to be loaded manually. Check out our friendly guide on How to Install the Software, which will be updated with pre-calibrated downloads.

Our Repetier-Host packages are compatible with Windows MAC and Linux.

Does the Solidoodle print support material? Yes, the Solidoodle can print support material for overhangs from the same ABS or PLA plastic material you use to print the actual model with. The support material is automatically generated from Slic3r and can easily be peeled off after the print is completed. Please keep in mind that most prints that you will be making, will not require support material. The Solidoodle can typically print 45 – 60 degree overhangs, check out the Yoda (first photo) on the Gallery Page, which was printed without support material.

Is the support material water soluble? No, the support material is made of the same ABS plastic as the model itself. A craft knife such as an X-Acto knife will remove the supports very well. Our printers are not able to create dissolveable support structures.

What are the technical specs of the Solidoodle 2?

  • Technology: Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) a.k.a Thermoplastic Extrusion
  • Electronics: Modified Printrboard Rev-E
  • Extruder: Moves in the horizontal plane (X-Y), build platform moves in the vertical direction (Z).
  • Nozzle Size: .4mm nozzle
  • Weight: 17 lbs
  • Printer Size: 12” x 12” x 11 1/2”
  • Build Size: 6″ x 6″ x 6″
  • Material(s): ABS filament recommended, but use of PLA is possible
  • Power Supply: Works on US Voltage (120V) or European Voltage (240V)
  • Consumes 110-120 Watts
  • Spring loaded extruder drive virtually eliminates the need for adjusting the extruder – no thumb screws to adjust or release filament
What are the technical specs of the Solidoodle 3? 
  • Creates plastic parts up to 8″ x 8″ x 8″!
  • Uses 1.75mm plastic filament (ABS recommended)
  • 13.5″ x 14″ x 14″ case footprint (L x W x H)
  • Durable metal frame
  • Fully Assembled & Tested
  • Heated Build Platform – allows you to build large prints up to 8″ x 8 ” x 8″ without bottom warping. 1/8″ aluminum plate.
  • Redesigned Spool holder to hold filament and eliminate tangles (makes unattended printing much easier)
  • Interior lighting
  • Open design (no outer cover/door)

What are the operational temperatures for the Solidoodle? The Solidoodle 3D printer has two temperatures to consider (excluding the Base Model).

The first is the extruder hot end and the second is the heated build plate The appropriate operational temperature for the extruder is 215C. The appropriate operational temperature for the heated build plate is 105C.

Please NoteIf you have the legacy Sanguinololu Motherboard your operational temperatures are: 195C for the extruder and 95C for the heated build plate.

Do you ship to my country, territory, private island? Yes, we ship around the world! You can get a price estimate on your order through our store.

- Add your desired items to the shopping cart – Click on “Shopping Cart” to the top right – And choose the option under the list of items called “Estimate Shipping and Taxes” – You simply need the postal code, country, and region/state.

Shipping times are as follows:
Domestic: 3 – 5 business days
International: 6 – 10 business days.

If outside of the United States, must I pay customs duties, import taxes, VAT, etc?Customs fees, import taxes and VAT may apply and are not included in your order.

Please note that we cannot estimate your country's import taxes at this time. We suggest you try a duty estimating website like: Duty Calculator Although it will not be exact, it may give you a good estimate of cost.

I am interested in distribution. How can I get more information? Solidoodle receives several inquiries a day from prospective distributors. While we would like to consider everyone for a distributorship, we cannot. If you would like to be considered for a distributorship, please email yahea@solidoodle.com

 

We understand that some customers may choose to modify their printers. Solidoodle tests and warrants its products based on their configurations as sold. We are unable to guarantee the performance or safety of products that have been modified by users or third parties.

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