Dremel Idea Builder 3D Printer: Is It the Right Choice for You?

Dremel Idea Builder 3D Printer: Is It the Right Choice for You?

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You must have heard of the Dremel Digilab 3D20 3D Printer. It’s considered a great entry-level idea builder for hobbyists and tinkerers. It promises to revolutionize how you bring your imagination into the physical realm.

But does this 3D printer really hold the key to unlocking your creative potential? 

This article reviews the Dremel Digilab 3D20 3D Printer. We delve deeper into its features, usability, and performance for a layman. So, join us on this exploratory journey as we uncover whether it is the right choice for you, the aspiring hobbyist or intrepid tinkerer.

Dremel 3D Printer Review

Key Specifications of Deremal 3D Printer
Build Area 9 x 5.9 x 5.5 (inches)
Print Speed 80-120 mm/sec
Filament Support PLA Filament (Dremel brand)
Layer Resolution 100 microns
Extruder Single (1)
Print Head Nozzle Diameter 0.4 mm
Hardware Fully enclosed
Warranty 2 months

 

Features of Dremel 3D Printer

Below are the main selling points of this printer: 

  • Plug-and-Play: Ready to use out of the box without requiring assembly or additional tools.
  • Self-Contained: Operates like a microwave oven, allowing you to start the printing process and return later to a finished product.
  • Closed Architecture: The printer’s design cannot be modified, ensuring stability and reducing the need for troubleshooting.
  • Better Quality: Offers superior control over print quality, delivering consistent and repeatable results.
  • Touch Screen Operation: Intuitive and user-friendly interface with a touchscreen for easy navigation and operation.
  • Quiet Operation: Operates quietly, creating a peaceful working environment without disruptive noise.

Performance

I have been using the Dremel 3D printer for over a month, and overall, I am quite pleased with its performance. The printer delivers good print quality and speed. I have printed various models, and the results have been impressive. The printer offers different print settings, and I found that the “best” setting provides excellent results for highly detailed pieces. In contrast, the “good” setting is sufficient for model-making with low details. The print speeds are set by Dremel at different levels, allowing you to choose based on your requirements.

Usability

Setting up the Dremel 3D printer is a breeze. The printer has a user manual, but I found the quick and to-the-point videos on the Dremel website more helpful. They cover everything from unpacking the printer to leveling the build plate and starting your first print. Dremel offers chat and phone support; their representatives are quick to respond. 

One aspect I appreciate about the Dremel printer is its enclosed design. It enhances safety, especially if you have small children or pets, and reduces the noise produced during printing. The color touchscreen interface is convenient, allowing you to select models directly from the printer’s internal memory or an SD card.

While the included Dremel3D slicing software is adequate, it lacks support structure generation, an essential feature. Therefore, I recommend using MeshMixer, a free program, for support. Alternatively, you can use third-party slicing software like Simplify3D, which provides more advanced features.

When I encountered a clogged nozzle issue, Dremel support promptly emailed me service documents to troubleshoot the problem. Eventually, they sent me a new extruder assembly without any extra charge, and I was able to fix the old one myself. Their willingness to assist and replace parts shows their commitment to customer satisfaction.

There are a few drawbacks to consider. One is the higher cost of proprietary Dremel filament compared to third-party options. While the quality of Dremel filament is good, it comes in smaller spools and is more expensive. However, using third-party filament is possible by either modifying the internal spool holder or using an external spool holder. It’s worth noting that Dremel claims using third-party filament may void the warranty, although it’s unlikely they can detect it.

Another minor inconvenience is the need for manual leveling of the build plate. While the process is fairly simple, it requires adjusting three screw adjusters. Getting the right level can sometimes be tricky. However, once leveled, the printer maintains its level for multiple prints.

Pros:

  • Excellent customer support from Dremel
  • Good print quality, even at lower settings
  • User-friendly color touchscreen interface
  • Enclosed design for safety and noise reduction
  • Ability to print highly detailed pieces at the “best” setting
  • Lowest cost per pound for proprietary spools

Cons:

  • Occasional clogging issue (resolved with support)
  • Higher cost of proprietary Dremel filament compared to third-party options
  • Difficulty in removing filament according to the outlined procedure
  • Enclosed design limits the time-lapse video recording capability
  • The manual leveling process can be a bit tricky

Best Alternatives of Dremel 3D Printer

Toybox: The Toybox 3D Printer is a budget-friendly option designed specifically for children. It offers one-touch printing of simple objects from iOS or Android devices or through a browser. The Toybox provides access to a vast library of over 2,000 printable objects and projects. It also allows users to import 3D files or even draw their own objects. 

Creality Ender 3: The Creality Ender 3 is another affordable 3D printer popular among enthusiasts. It offers decent print quality and a large build volume for its price range. The Ender 3 is known for its open-source nature, allowing easy modifications and upgrades. It also has a supportive online community that provides helpful resources and guides.

Prusa i3 MK3S: The Prusa i3 MK3S is a more advanced option that offers excellent print quality and reliability. It features an auto-bed leveling system and a filament sensor that detects filament runout. The MK3S has a solid construction and various innovative features, making it a popular choice for beginners and experienced users. However, it is more expensive compared to other alternatives.

Final Verdict

The Dremel 3D printer offers good performance and usability. It delivers impressive print quality, and the customer support is exceptional. The enclosed design and color touchscreen enhances the overall user experience. While it’s held back by a few quirks, like the higher cost of proprietary filament and manual leveling, they are manageable.

If you’re looking for a reliable 3D printer to introduce your kid to the world of 3D printing, the Dremel is definitely worth a shot.