Printrbot Simple Metal Kit

90% Recommended


The Printrbot simple was one of the first printers on the market widely available for hobbyists because of its affordable price point. The Simple Metal is a more robust version of that first machine and boasts exceptional prints as well as features like automatic bed leveling.

Product Details

Improve Printer Specifications
Printer Type
Print Bed Size (mm)
150 x 150 x 150
Layer Resolution
100 microns
Material Types
ABS, PLA, PLA Composites
Maximum Temperature
250° C
Open Source

Rating Summary

Print Quality
Ease of Use
Build Quality
Success Rate
Running Expenses
Customer Service

Printrbot Simple Metal Kit Prints 78

20 Reviews

5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
Small half life 2 gordon freeman 620x620 By arcmatt on Dec 19 2016

I loved my Printrbot, past tense, but I still like it. Lets go through the criteria first and then I will give my historic outlook.

Print Quality: 3 out of 5, lets face it, the Simple Metal has average print quality. Not bad, not phenomenal, but very acceptable.

Value: 3 out of 5, when it came out they became known for being a good printer for a good price. But over time the price is average and middle of the pack. The new Simple 2016 is ~$1000, getting kinda expensive for the once $599 printer; Simple Metal.

Ease of Use: 3 out of 5, should maybe be lower. Printrbot has a way of flip flopping on who they support for slicing, Cura or Repetier. Come on people, your running a company here, make up your customers minds. The slicing software is free, so... I guess you can just pick.

Customer Service: 1 out of 5, they dont have a zero out of 5, I have always had problems with Printrbot. You have to be careful when looking at their products, there is almost always fine print somewhere. Heated bed for ABS (fine print) only heats up to 80ºC, ABS likes ~100ºC heated bed. If you have a problem there is a lot of fine print you agree to when you buy, and they will probably refer you to the 'community' instead of their own non-existent 'support'. This is documented in most published reviews I have read of Printrbot.

Build Quality: 4 out of 5, pretty well build and designed, if you don't mind making your own modifications. Most that have a 3D printer consider themselves 'Makers'. Making is part of the fun, and although well built, they also leave a lot to be desired. An enclosed print area for environment stability is a good DIY way to improve their 'unique' design. 

Community: 4 out of 5, there is a community, whether it is out of necessity or a sense to belong, there is a community. I am not going to knock a bunch of people trying to help out due to the lack of a 'support' team from the company. But... you get what you pay for here, lots of opinions.

Success Rate: 3 out of 5, it is an average printer, some are better and some are worse.

Software: 1 out of 5, there is no zero out of 5. They don't have software, and they flip flop on which freeware they support.

Running Expenses: 3 out of 5, very average. They do support openware filament, so this is just as much up to the user as it is the company. You are locked in to Printrbot for little things like nozzles, but most repair items can be found on Amazon, besides if you have problems with your machine, don't rely on 'support'.

Delightfulness: 1 out of 5, lets face it, their 'support' sucks and that can ruin any good experience. I still like my Simple Metal Silver, and it serves me well, but at this point I could probably rebuild the thing from scratch, because I had to figure it out due to 'support'.

When I got my Simple Metal Silver I loved it. Then it caught on fire. See Printrbot still thinks putting a control board under the heat bed is a good idea. As a Physicist I understand Electrodynamics and run away currents. I fixed my 'Bot' by relocating the control board.

This is what a Printrbot owner does, they improve their bot. I also built an enclosure to stabilize the ambient work environment, greatly improving the success of prints and the quality. Thermoplastic lamination is a fickle thing.

I would talk with others who have a printer and ask them first what they don't like about their printer before buying a printer, and try to find one that people don't complain about. Don't get me wrong, I loved my Printrbot, and I still like it. But there are a lot of printers out there, and many already have what you want your Printrbot to have someday. Bv(

Small ben By TnaTmr on Jan 28 2017
Best Printer for Beginners

The Simple Metal was my first 3D printer and as a beginner I loved it. And soon I started upgrading it, such as getting a heated bed and a new Printrboard. But unfortunately because I didn't insulate the heated bed I toasted two Printrboards which sit directly under the bed (not particularly the printer's fault as it wasn't designed to have a heated bed anyways). I also managed to clog up the extruder to the point that I had to change it. Right now it has a Ramps and Arduino Mega powering it with an extruder I bough from China running on Marlin. And honestly, even tough I have had a loooot of problems with it, i would still recommend it to anyone since it is a really nice machine and is a great bang for you buck. Just be ready to repair it once in a while, which isn't a particularly bad thing as you learn how the printer works :) And the problems that I had were mostly my fault, not the printers. Oh, and even tough I had a lot of problems, the customer support is really helpful!

Small wes By 3DCrafters on May 07 2017
Durable, perfect for tinkerers!

I have 2 Printrbot simple metal printers. I bought my first one about 18 months ago. It was delivered as a kit. It took some tuning and I had to flash the firmware in order to get it to work. It was my first 3D printer ever and I made quite some mistakes with my printing.

I drove the hot end into the buildplate numerous times as I couldn't make the Z probe work properly. The printer still worked afterwards though. I must say this printer can take quite a punch.

I made hundreds of prints on them and they still work to this day. I didn't have to replace any parts. Though I wasn't quite happy with the print quality. After I upgraded my hotend to a Ubis 13S the quality improved drastically.

I upgraded my extruder to the gearhead extruder. I can't really see the difference with the old extruder. I'm not completely convinced about the gearhead extruder.

The 0.25mm nozzles for the Ubis 13S are great. It finally allowed to make good prints with a 0.1mm layer height.

With all the upgrades the printer can make some really nice prints. If you don't have to pay any border taxes this printer is really worth it's money.

Small cwcdesigns maker coin v3 By CWCDesigns on Mar 04 2018
Great place to start

Got the printer a couple years ago. It's served me well and was a great printer to learn on.

Avatar small By Big on May 28 2018
I've enjoyed making things and hacking some 3D models to print.

With some time and experimentation, I've been able to get some very good prints. 

It took a while to figure out how to orient models for best printing, and setting and managing temperature through out the print helps with print quality. I think it's still more magic than science, but if you have the patience and are willing to experiment, it is possible to get great results!

Honestly, the hardest part of the process doesn't have anything to do with the printer - it's the 3D modeling/creation/tuning that takes all the time. If you're just going to print other people's objects, it's a way lot less work!

I'm thinking about upgrading it for a larger print area. 

Avatar small By rlwally on Jul 10 2018
My Printrbot Simple Metal Kit

Built from kit  was fun to play with and learn

Avatar small By superhonda on Feb 11 2019
Down and ups

Started off with a broken controller board, this was 2014, Printrbot sent a new board, got it working and managed to print some test prints, then it broke again. Fixed it but had problem connecting to the printer, turned out to be the USB-cable. It's well built and still works ok, but there are better printers nowadays. Had problems with the printrbot PLA, so many hours trying different settings.

Avatar small By charlie galliher on Apr 04 2020
It's a tank - there is a lot better out there but it's reliable and gets the job done

Not much to say - it works. Heated bed, old now but you just can't kill it. I got my money's worth out of it.

Avatar small By gharris on Apr 18 2020
Oldie but goodie

I have had this printer for a long time. My only reget about it now is that printrbot is no longer around to sell replacement parts/upgrades :(

It was inexpensive compared to its comparables at the time, and it has held up very well. I have had it, and abused it regularly, for nearly 6 years now and the only thing I have had to replace is the hotend because I jacked up the old one.

Avatar small By nswanberg on May 10 2020
Getting it Started

Getting it to start poroperly is the most difficult part of using it. Double stick tape on the table is a must. My Fusion 360 script ran out. Now designing is the hardest part.

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