Professional desktop 3D printer is easy to use

June 14, 2012
The Mojo is a new desktop printer from Stratasys, Eden Prairie, Minn., that I really like. At $9,900, it opens the door to more users such as small shops and small teams

Authored by:
Todd Grimm
T. A. Grimm & Associates Inc.
Edgewood, Ky.
Edited by Leslie Gordon
[email protected],
Twitter @ LeslieGordon

T. A. Grimm & Associates Inc.

The Mojo is a new desktop printer from Stratasys, Eden Prairie, Minn., that I really like. At $9,900, it opens the door to more users such as small shops and small teams. The Mojo has a small build volume, but this is not a problem since about 80% of all parts designers create fit in a 5 × 5 × 5-in. work envelope. The machine itself is 25 × 18 × 21 in.

Setup was easy. In fact, without rushing, 95% of users will be up and building their first part in less than 45 min. This includes unboxing, setup, software installation, learning the software, processing the first part, and launching a build. In fact, the entire process was identical to that of bringing home a new all-inone printer. Clear-cut and easy.

Basically, users just places Mojo where they want it and remove the packing material. Next, they install the print engines by dropping them in and snapping them in place. The print head is consumable, comprising the head and the material. As such, it is as easy as installing an inkjet ink cartridge. Next comes installing the build platform and plugging Mojo into a computer via a USB cord and also into a wall outlet via the power cord. It was easy to load the Print Wizard software and Control panel software. I was very pleased that there is no calibration or user-run setup routines. All of that is done in the background by the system.

Users need no tools except a knife to open the box. With the system ready to go, it was time to process my first part. I selected a Test Block from Windows Explorer and had the first part ready to print in 15 min.

The Print Wizard interface for print preparation is clean, simple, and intuitive, in part because the only thing a user has to do is select one of three support styles, and orient the part. Both tasks are very easy. There are also the options to do part scaling and make multiple copies. Once I knew how to process a part, it took me just 30 sec to open a test STL and make my selection. I then pressed Print to prepare and send the STL to the control software. That took just 19 sec.

When finished in Print Wizard, users open the Control Panel. It gives job details such as estimated time, shows the model, and the support material. It also lists how much material remains in the machine. In fact, the Mojo won’t let you build if there isn’t enough material to complete the job. From here, just hit Print and the machine starts building the object. When the job is complete, a notice appears on the Control Panel.

The only nit-picky thing that I can say is that a tad more vibration damping could be in order. On very fast moves (e.g., raster fill of a thin wall) there is a minor amount of shaking. I say nit picky because it didn’t bother me or interrupt my work.

So my first part built took less than 5 hr. It comprised 0.007-in. layers with a solid fill. All the details were present, including thin, 0.020-in. ribs, walls, and horizontal surfaces. The part was good looking and consistent. And the machine is truly office friendly. It didn’t throw off any heat, fumes, or odor.

Also exceptionally easy is support removal. As part of the package price, the company includes a nice support-removal carafe called WaveWash 55. Again, it is small, compact, and simple — just a plug, on/off switch, and Cycle Start button. Just drop in the EcoWorx tablet, the part, and add water. To accelerate support removal, the carafe heats the water and agitates it with a nifty magnetic-drive rotator. Also nice is that you need no plumbing connections, only access to a tap and drain — no plumbing is necessary.

© 2012 Penton Media, Inc.

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