Introducing the Stanley Model 1 3D Printer
Isn’t it a great time to be alive? The rate of advancement in innovative technology has grown at an astounding pace in the last 20 years alone. Just 10 years ago, the first iPhone made its way into consumer’s hands, cementing the arrival of the smartphone. Fast forward to the present, where innovation has ventured into a place our parents only saw in sci-fi films. Impossibly thin ultra-thin high definition displays, full-room virtual reality, tiny storage devices that can hold hundreds of terabytes of data, even cars that are somewhat capable of driving themselves. And with each technological advancement that gains wide adoption, our lives change. Surely you can remember the last time a device or technological concept quite simply blew your mind, right?
By this point, you’ve at least heard about 3D Printing. Maybe though, you’re not quite sure how it works.. or why you would possibly need one, right? The concept might even be a little obscure. Well, good news is 3D Printing technology has advanced to the point where even you can print physical objects in the comfort of your home or office. Now, thanks to a company you’ve certainly heard of before, 3D Printing is well within your reach.
What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you see the word “Stanley”? Admittedly, my mind goes to Stanley Black & Decker, and rightly so. Stanley Black & Decker is synonymous with high-quality tools. Home improvement, if you will – drills, screwdrivers, hammers, etc. But maybe just maybe, it’s time to change your thinking when it comes to the company that also owns Dewalt, Irwin, Lenox and Craftsman.
On March 29th, Stanley announced their latest tool (if you can call it that) – the Stanley Model 1 3D Printer. The printer is a result of a partnership with South Korean printer company Sindoh, well known for their own lineup of innovative 3D Printers.
What makes Stanley’s entrance into the 3D Printing space worth getting excited about? Well for starters, Stanley is a company that’s been around for 170 years and has a market cap of $21.8 Billion. Basically, they’re the furthest thing from a startup you could envision. What that also means is they’re extremely well-versed in product launches, with a name brand that’s built well-earned trust with anyone who’s used their products. Which is exactly why we’re excited that they’ve brought a 3D Printer to market that literally anyone can learn how to use. Let’s take a look a little bit closer about what exactly the Model 1 bring to the table.
• Bed Leveling: Assisted bed leveling
• Build volume: 7.9” x 7.9” x 7.3” (200x200x185 mm)
• Connectivity: Ethernet, WiFi, USB cable, USB flash drive
• Filament loading system: Auto Loading/Unloading
• Printer size: 17” tall x 16.5” wide
• Filament Diameter: 1.75
• Layer Thickness: 0.05 ~ 0.4mm
• Nozzle Diameter: 0.4
• Print Head: Single Nozzle
• Web Monitoring: Available via the Stanley Mobile 1 App
• Weight: 42.2 lbs.
First and foremost, the package it arrived can only be described as large. The printer itself weighs 42 lbs., so add a couple more pounds to that for total package weight. Again, since the package is pretty wide, it’s a little bit awkward to carry (okay a lot awkward to carry) if you’re moving it by yourself.
What comes in the box?
You’ll open up the package and find the following on the inside:
• Model 1 3D Printer
• (1) Filament cartridge – white, PLA
• Power cord
• USB Cable to connect printer to your computer
• USB Drive – which includes the software, and manual PDF
• Putty knife – you’ll realize why after you print something
One thing to keep in mind – while the printer is WiFi enabled, it does mention in the instructions that you’ll want to connect an Ethernet cable to the printer to establish an internet connection.
Not surprisingly, there’s not an Ethernet cord included in the package – but if you don’t one readily available.. you really don’t need one. Connecting your printer via WiFi during the initial set-up is a perfectly fine way to go about getting everything up and running. In short – you don’t need an Ethernet cable, provided you have a WiFi network you can connect to.
One of the first features of the Model 1 you’ll interact with is the 5” touch panel. The screen is crisp and responsive, and looks. After powering on the printer, the touchscreen guides you through installing the filament cartridge as well as bed leveling, both of which (which we’ll explain in a second) are designed so that even your mom could figure it out.
Auto-loading Filament Cartridges
This is without a doubt, the crowning feature of the Model 1. For those not familiar with the majority of 3D Printers, you probably won’t appreciate just how important this is.
Installing the filament cartridge into the Model 1 takes only a second. Do yourself a favor and take a look at some of the other 3D Printers out there and you’ll see what makes the Model 1 so user friendly. Simply slide into the open slot on the right side of the printer, and press “Install” on the touchscreen. The Model 1 does all of the work for you – automatically feeding the filament directly to the printer. There’s virtually nothing required when installing it – I’d be tempted to argue that its even easier than installing an ink cartridge into a regular printer. You don’t have to think, which again is part of what makes the Model 1 so great.
One point I’d like to make as well. When researching the Model 1, I noticed a couple of reviews that questioned the proprietary filament approach taken by Stanley.. noting a lack of available filament replacement cartridges. Maybe at one point that was true, but it’s simply no longer the case. You can purchase brand new filament replacement cartridges for $49.99 on Amazon (in blue, green, black, red, white, and grey).. or you can buy just the filament replacement for $29.99 (which you’d install in an empty cartridge – not super difficult to do).
Assisted Bed Leveling
Another reason why we love the Model 1 – assisted bed leveling. Instead of wasting time trying to figure out how to align the bed inside of the printer, Stanley has taken the thinking out of the process.
To be clear – you do have to perform the process of bed leveling, but the touchscreen tells you exactly how much to turn for each of the two screws below the bed. The touchscreen indicated I needed to turn one of the screws .67 rotations – and after literally 10 seconds the printer accepted my adjustment and I was basically ready to go.
One of the things I was most curious about regarding the Model 1 was the software itself. What does it look like when you open it, and type of learning curve is there with the software?
Well, I was pleasantly surprised upon opening the software for the first time, and learned a couple of things. First, there aren’t any templates loaded into the software itself – which I learned isn’t an issue. Second, the software is very straightforward.
After finding and loading a template online, the object displays on the canvas and you can actually see what steps the printer will take when creating your object.
Other things worth calling out:
• You can change the views to see your object from every possible angle.
• It’s easy to change the print speed/quality
• The software gives you an estimate of how long the object will take to print – which displays on the upper right hand section of the screen after loading your template
Finding a 3D Model to print
There’s no shortage of websites out there to choose from when it comes to finding objects to print. If you haven’t done this before, it’s honestly kind of an eye-opening experience. Undoubtedly you’ll stumble on more than a handful of designs that make you think, “Seriously I can actually print that?” as you realize the seemingly endless world of possibilities when it comes to 3D Printing.
For the product review video, I found a template from Pinshape.com – a wrench, to be specific, which took about 2 and a half hours to print. I also printed a miniature Eiffel Tower which took just under 20 minutes.
Watching a physical object form in front of your eyes is a pretty mind-bending experience. After sending your print to the printer, the Model 1 turns on its interior lamp which honestly makes everything look that much cooler.
On top of that, you can open both “doors” (front and top) of the Model 1 while it’s printing – something I also wasn’t sure about.
The touch panel tells you how much time is remaining, in addition to the percentage completion (oh and bed/nozzle temperature as well.. spoiler alert: they’re both hot).
At the end of your print, the Model 1 lowers the bed all the way to the bottom, at which point you can remove the bed entirely from the unit. You’ll probably want to wait a few minutes to be safe though (see bed temperature comment above). At that point, simply use the Stanley puddy knife provided to remove your object safely from the bed. You just created something that literally didn’t exist. Pretty cool right?
The Mobile App – Monitor your print job remotely
I was curious to see how the Mobile App worked – and wasn’t disappointed. Thanks to an integrated web monitoring camera, the app shows you a live feed inside the printer while your object is printing.
This is of course a great feature, when you inevitably start printing something that takes several hours.
Final Thoughts on the Stanley Model 1 3D Printer
I can confidently say that the Stanley Model 1 signifies the arrival of 3D Printing for the masses. You can truly get up and running in about 15 minutes, which is amazing. You don’t need to be a tech wizard to figure out how to use it.. which makes the Model 1 a perfect entry point for those who’ve been looking for the right time to buy a 3D printer.
Think about the possibilities – print your own chess set, design a model home, design and print your own iPhone cases, make a trophy for your fantasy football league.. you know, the important things in life.
The Model 1 is a step forward for 3D Printing. Plain and simple.