Just a few minutes ago, Stratasys announced a brand new product in the personal-class called Mojo. I had the pleasure of spending two days with this 3D printer, and I liked what I saw. In fact, I give this product a strong recommendation for anyone looking for an affordable, easy-to-use 3D printer that sits in the engineering or design office.
For a complete rundown — starting with setup and ending with finished parts — see my full review. Following are the highlights from that review.
For $9,900, you get everything you need to build and post-process parts. As far as I know, this is the first time that any company has published a price for a 3D printer and the peripherals.
What you get:
- Mojo 3D printer
- WaveWash 55 soluble support removal system
- Starter kit of materials and modeling bases
Stratasys even includes a long USB cable for the PC connection. Nice touch.
2. Easy, Fast Setup
Even those new to 3D printing will have Mojo up and running in well under 45 minutes. Just follow the simple, well-documented instructions to unpack Mojo, install Print Engines, load software, learn how to print, and initialize the 3D printer.
There are no user-run calibration routines. Mojo takes care of everything in the background.
Setup is so simple that the only tool needed is a knife to open the box.
3. Easy, Fast File Preparation
Forget the documentation for Print Wizard. This software is so simple and intuitive that you won’t need it. Just drag a file into the software, select a support style, select part orientation and click “Print.” For my test part, this entire process took just 19 seconds to have a ready-to-print part waiting for me in the printer queue.
Print Wizard has some slick features. It adds a visual element to Windows Explorer — you see thumbnail images of the STL file and get a right-click menu item of “Print 3D” to bring files into Print Wizard. Then some magic happens; the software automatically places (and scales, if necessary to fit) the STL file. But the slickest feature is the automatic creation of two or more print jobs.
As you bring in more STLs or increase the quantity, Print Wizard creates multiple jobs when the build envelope (5 x 5 x 5 inches) is exceeded. When you click “Print,” it processes all the jobs at one time.
4. Fast Builds
Okay, fast is a relative term, and Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) isn’t the speediest process out there, but relative to other products in Stratasys’ line up, Mojo is quick.
From a cold start, Mojo was printing my part in less than 13 minutes. It took about three minutes to initialize, perform diagnostics and calibrate and another ten minutes to bring the 3D printer up to operating temperature.
Once it got going, printing was fast. Stratasys states a 50% percent speed improvement over Dimension. My tests showed this to be true, and the secret to the speed gains lies in the Print Engine.
5. Disposable Print Heads
Mojo uses a new concept, the Print Engine, which makes both the material and print head a consumable.
The Print Engine comes with 80 cubic inches of material and a disposable print head. Whenever you refresh your material supply, you pop in a new print head . Contrary to the claims of the consumer-class systems, print heads need to be replaced to maintain part quality and avoid build problems.
The new print head design delivers much of the speed advantage. It is lightweight, so it can zip across the build envelope. And it heats quickly, so it takes only a few seconds for Mojo to switch between model and support material.
The bonus is that the disposable print head doesn’t come at a premium. The price material price is comparable to that for a Dimension, so you get the print head for free.
6. Quiet and Unobtrusive
Mojo is so quiet that I didn’t give it any thought until I was asked when I would start printing. I laughed and said it is running right now.
While building parts, Mojo was just 18 inches from me, and yet, the noise level never disturbed me. In fact, Mojo was quieter than my Canon all-in-one office printer. It was also odor and heat free.
At this price point, I expected sacrifice but found none. In fact, Mojo has many advances that I expect to see Stratasys fold in to the rest of its product line.
Note: If you get your hands on a Mojo, let me know what you think, especially if you find any of my observations to be incorrect.