All things modern.
This is a rolling review of the RepRap Ormerod 1 including set-up, operation, problems, successes, upgrades and my opinion. This will not be a typical where I either recommend or not recommend this printer, but an article to help current users out and also to help persons new to 3D printing make up their own mind.
Because the printer is meant to be assembled by the end user, it can be packaged into a very small volume. However I was still surprised by the very small box which arrived at my lab. Packaging is definitely a strong point of RepRap, unlike some others. The setting up of this printer is covered in an article I wrote earlier so there is no need to repeat it here. If you are interested in the setup, you can click the link below: RepRap Ormerod: 3D printing Ikea style
One of the first issues I encountered with the Ormerod was the difficulty in levelling the print bed. The machine has a system for compensating for an unlevelled bed using its proximity sensor however the bed must be at least reasonably level before doing this. The problem is that the bed supplied with the Ormerod is made from very thin Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) which has no strength and warps under its own weight. I would level the bed using the adjustable bolts on the four corners, only to have to do it again a few days later due to the MDF warping. Having just bought a 3D printer, I decided that this would be best resolved by designing and printing out a new, more rigid bed support. The new support is a single piece therefore reducing the complexity of the machine. It supports the print bed in the middle instead of the corners and also spreads the weight over a larger area. The original MDF bed is retained for its heat insulating properties and to locate the print bed, but it no longer supports any weight. The new part is also more rigid, reducing the play associated with the ‘creaking’ noises produced by the original wooden parts. The new bed support is shared on Thingiverse and can be downloaded using the link below: One-piece Ormerod bed support Bed support attached to guide rails. The new suppport can be aligned nearly perfectly to the printer axes. The old bed support is used but does not bear any load. The bed support has since been remixed by another Thingiverse user for use on the new Ormerod 2. This remixed version can be found at the link below: Ormerod 2 one piece bed remix