As many of you who have read my posts know, I own a Bibo dual extruder 3D printer. The Bibo printer is fully enclosed and comes 90% pre-assembled. See my review here.
While pre-assembled printers save the home user hours of their precious time, they also tend to cost more. As the saying goes; ‘time is money’ and manufacturers have to pay someone to put these things together.
I wanted to explore the other end of the 3D printer spectrum – Do It Yourself Kits. In this post I evaluate the Maker Farm Pegasus 10″ dual extruder 3D printer kit.
Maker Farm is based on South Jordan, Utah, USA. The company specializes in their own Maker Farm 3D printer kits but also offers kits from Tevo.
The Pegasus 10″ 3D Printer – Key Specifications
10″x10″x10″ Build Envelope
50 micron layer height
Heat bed & Heat Bed Relay
Aluminum Heat Bed Mount
GT2 Pulley’s and Belts
Extruder Options:Pegasus Direct Drive Extruder (Optional Dual Extruder*) or Titan Extruder (works with 3mm or 1.75mm filament)
- 0.4 mm E3D-v6,
- 0.4 mm E3D-Lite6
- E3D hot end for 1.75mm filament or
- E3D-v6 hot end for 3mm filament
66 oz-in motors for all axis’ (pre-wired)
Firmware Bed leveling
V-Slot Extrusion (Higher print speeds and smoother operation)
Assembled dimensions 22″Wx20″Dx24″H (with spool of filament installed)
Micro Adjustable Z Endstop
Optional LCD Interface
Slot Covers for Wire Management
As noted in the introduction, this is a DIY 3D printer kit that requires the user to assemble everything including the gantry frame, X-Y-Z axis motor mounts, belts, printer hot ends and extruders.
Assembly will take the average tinkerer about 3-4 hours and while this may seem like a half a day of wasted time, the advantage of having to assemble all the components is that you get to see how it’s all put together.
Knowing how something is put together is a huge bonus when troublshooting system abnormalities. There are a lot of variables in the 3D printing process and spending 3-4 hours up front in assembly time can save you countless hours down the road in troubleshooting time.
Assembly time notwithstanding, there is also a certain amount of pride that comes with assembling an entire printer and successfully printing your first object.
The assembly instructions are well written, easy to follow and backed up by plenty of photos.
There are 16 main assembly steps involving around 80 M3, M4 and M5 bolts and associated washers and nuts:
- Frame/Gantry prep
- X, Y, Z-motor mounts; X-idler; X-carriage assembly
- Y-bed assembly
- Frame set up – positioning and attaching motor mounts; x-axis idler and bed mount
- Bed heater element installation
- X, Y, Z-axis limit switch installation
- LCD installation (optional)
- Extrusion hot end assembly
- Extruder assembly (dual extruders optional)
- Threaded Z-axis guide rod installation
- Cicuit board wiring and install
- Power supply wiring and install
- Spool holder assembly
- Leg supports
- Software install
- Wiring management
There are a couple of additional things I want to point out about the assembly of this printer.
The nuts and bolts are metric sizes M3, M4 and M5 ranging from 1 to 3 cm long. These are large enough to pick up and handle readily to get the threads started. On a side note, the fasteners that came with my Bibo printer were very small and somewhat difficult to hold while starting the threads.
The Y and Z motor brackets need to be precisely located at specific locations along their respective frame supports. There are no pre-drilled holes to locate the brackets so the user has to use a ruler. This is not a huge problem but adds another variable to the 3D printing equation should the user mis-locate the brackets.
The drive belts are not pre-cut to length. During assembly, you have to measure and cut the belts yourself and then secure with zip ties once properly routed through the drive mechanisms. It’s certainly simple enough to measure and cut the belts to the proper length but having to secure them with zip ties could lead to variation in the belt tension – yes, another variable to add to the equation.
What I Like and What I Think Could Be Better
- Large, 10″x10″x10″ build volume
- Heated print bed
- Dual Z-axis guide rods
- Customer service
- Easy to handle assembly fasteners
- Top feeding filament spool holder – prevents breaking brittle filament
Could Be Better:
- Have to source your own power supply, insulation for print bed heating element, glass print surface, filament and printer adhesion enhancement (glue stick or hair spray) – adds about $75 to total cost
- No enclosure
- LCD interface is optional ad on
- Frame extrusions have a rather small cross section
- Drive belt installation
- 30 day warranty
I’m sure the Maker Farm Pegasus 10″ 3D printer is quality. There are very few customer reviews available but all are positive.
It just seems to me that Maker Farm has not really kept up with the times. A few years ago, all the home user could buy were self-assemble printer kits. Those days are all but gone with affordable pre-assembled, or partly pre-assembled, printers offered by a number of manufacturers.
Many of the consumer 3D printers available are manufactured in China and if this is an issue for you, the Maker Farm is manufactured in the USA. Aside from a few minor translation issues in the owner’s manual, my personal experience with the Bibo printer, manufactured in China, has been very positive so made in USA doesn’t do much for me.
Finally, the price of this printer is a bit misleading.
The basic printer costs $475. Adding on the dual extruder and LCD interface options plus the power supply and filament puts you into $680-725 range depending on the options chosen.
Maker Farm Pegasus 10″ Single Extruder + LCD on Amazon
If you add on the lead screw and motor mount upgrades you’re in the $800 range – for reference my Bibo dual extruder printer cost me $859 and came with a laser engraver.
I’m not trying to sell you on the Bibo printer over the Maker Farm printer. I’m just using my personal experience as a reference point to help you make a more informed decision. See my post on How To Chose A 3D Printer for other dual extruder printers in the $800-900 price range.
I’d also say this is a good printer for those that want made in the USA plus the challenge and satisfaction of assembling an entire 3D printer. For me, I’d rather spend my time designing and printing objects rather than assembling the printer.
What will you create?
If you have questions, comments and/or experience with the Pegasus 10″ or any of Maker Farms printers, please give us your insights in the comments section. We would love to hear from you.