Lulzbot Mini review

The 3D printer that rocks

Lulzbot Mini
Lulzbot Mini

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We liked

The Lulzbot Mini might initially make it look like it has been built in a shed, but the quality of finish and materials is excellent. There is nothing in the design and build of this machine that comes across as cheap or not fully thought through. The use of 3D printed parts gives the machine an air of confidence from the moment you start using it, and the open hardware design enables you to upgrade and tinker with the machine as you see fit.

The quality of prints is good and this is a great printer for creating and testing prototypes and models. The use of the Cura Lulzbot edition software is a great software choice and enables you to get set up and printing quickly with little or no fuss, and if you don't like it then there's always the ability to use something else.

We disliked

USB printing is handy as you can communicate directly with the printer, however once the print process has started your computer is then locked into that location until the end of the print. An option for SD card printing would be welcome. Print quality is good but doesn't quite have the refined detail of the Ultimaker series.

Final verdict

Lulzbot Mini is an exciting 3D printer – it has the confidence to use 3D printed parts which are integral to the design. It also has a good community of users and excellent written documentation and support. You can even download the plans and build one from scratch although it doesn't really work out any cheaper than buying one pre-built.

Initial setup and configuration really couldn't be easier enabling you to unbox and print in minutes. Print resolution at the highest setting couldn't quite match the fine detail that can be achieved by the Ultimaker series, but then the Lulzbot Mini is cheaper than the base model Ultimaker Go.

The Lulzbot Mini is reliable and easy to use, and while it might not reach the print resolutions of the Ultimaker it is cheaper – and also, what will swing the decision for many is the open hardware design and compatibility with a wide range of filaments.