A nice box showed up at my door earlier this week — a long expected Solidoodle.  So here are some first impresssions and unpacking pictures, along with some short clips of it working.  You can purchase one at www.solidoodle.com.

Here is a quick review, with more to come.  The unit is much smaller than I thought it would be, but the build area is comparable to a ThingOMatic!  The design is rather different from other machines of this type.  I especially like the Y axis system which is driven from both rails by belts.  This layout is very much like those of professional machines.

I followed the instructions for installing the software but because I have a 64-bit machine I managed to get things mangled up a bit.  Python has a 64-bit version, but if you have a 64-bit machine, don’t use it here.  I had to uninstall and clean out Python and then reinstall the 32-bit version (2.7.2) and then things started to work.  After going through all of the steps, pronterface found the machine and communication was established.  Soon after, the first print started coming out!  Even with my missteps, this was probably the easiest start up I’ve done on a fused filament modeler.

I also took the cover off, partially out of curiosity, but also to see just how it all was put together.  I’ll cover this later with some better pictures, but for now you can see the unit in action with this short clip of a build.