FAQ

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The Micro

What is The Micro 3D?

The Micro 3D is a code name for a 3D printer which was successfully funded through Kickstarter on May 7, 2014. The name of the device is really The Micro.


Why do you call it The Micro 3D?

For several reasons. The main reason is because The Micro is not unique enough and can be confused with other things. You may also consider The Micro 3D short for The Micro 3D Printer. What you'll see throughout the Wiki is The Micro and The Micro 3D Printer.


Where can I find the Kickstarter campaign for The Micro?

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/m3d/the-micro-the-first-truly-consumer-3d-printer
The Kickstarter campaign has officially concluded, but you can pre-order one here starting at $349 for a limited time.


What will The Micro cost?

If you did not back during the Kickstarter campaign, The Micro will be available for pre-order on http://www.theMicro3D.com at a post-Kickstarter price of $349 for a limited time.


When will The Micro arrive?

It depends on your Kickstarter pledge. The earliest batch is estimated to ship in August 2014 with another batch every month thereafter(excluding September).[1] Keep in mind that these are just estimates and can be changed. The post-Kickstarter pre-order batches are set to begin shipment in February 2015 and on.


So the KS-campaign has come to an end. When will the surveys be sent?

Surveys will come after the Kickstarter ends but at least one month before the date for your reward tier.


Does The Micro come with a warranty?

Yes, it does.[2] Though it is not specified how long and what it will cover. But The Micro is designed to last thousands of hours.
M3D: "We guarantee that when the Micro arrives, it will work properly. In the rare case that something goes wrong, of course we will replace it. We are creating our brand, and happy backers and customers are important to that. So, we'll go out of our way to ensure they are happy with The Micros they receive."


How often will there be updates for backers after the KS-campaign?

M3D: "When we receive funds, we will have dedicated staff to help us communicate regularly with Backers and provide customer support. We're not sure what the sweet spot is for communication after the 30-day Kickstarter campaign. Right now my guess is approximately weekly."


How is the Micro powered and how much power does it consume?

M3D:"The Micro uses about as much power as a 10" tablet being charged."


Will there be a heatbed in the future?

M3D: "We don't have plans to provide a heated print bed upgrade in the future. We actually think you'll get worse performance with a heated print bed because the heat allows the part to heat and cool over a long period of time, increasing warp as the drafts cool sections of the part. We've carefully designed the Micro to give you the best results as it is."


What kind of nozzle will be on The Micro? Will it be somehow replaceable by users?

The Micro will come standard with an industry leading 0.35mm nozzle made mostly of ceramic and stainless steel 304. If it needs to be replaced there will be some affordable options in the future.


Will consumers be able to order spare parts, like a nozzle or a print bed, directly from the :M3D: web site?

M3D: "At some point in the future we are likely to sell individual parts, though we feel they should not be needed unless the user is hacking/experimenting"


How loud is the printer during printing. Would it be reasonable to leave the printer in your bedroom printing over night?

M3D: "We pride ourselves in how quiet the printer is and believe it is the quietest available. To give you an idea, we've had people not notice it printing even though they're just a few feet from it."
We do not recommend using The Micro in your bedroom because of odor and to prevent health issues. Please take care of good ventilation!


Do I have to calibrate and level the printbed manually?

The Micro will provide auto-levelling and auto-calibration.
M3D: "Our auto-leveling is absolutely critical to a great user experience because even printing 0.15mm too far from the printbed will result in the print coming off the bed too easily. That would result in failed prints, especially with ABS. This is why it's especially important to use auto-levelling with ABS. This bonds the first layer well to the printbed. For other layers, a fan maintains dimensional stability."


Can I change the printbed to glass?

If you want to change the print bed to something custom like glass you could do that and The Micro would auto level to it.
As an added note, the M3D team has explained that the printbed itself is an ABS compound that allows ABS to stick to it very well while still being easy to remove from the bed. This ensures maximum print quality with ABS without the need for a heated bed. If you change the bed, you may find yourself having other problems down the line.


What about firmware updates?

The Micro firmware will be upgradeable from the computer to ensure that it's capabilities will be enhanced even after the Micro is delivered. We'll provide regular updates that you can allow the M3D software to send to the printer. This is similar or the same as other update systems.


Can I connect The Micro directly via WiFi? How do I connect?

Not yet. You need to connect The Micro via USB to a computer running WIndows, MacOS or Linux. Windows RT very likely will not be supported. Your computer will keep buffering code over USB during the print. There is a display status bar in the M3D software to show status, pause, restart, etc. Maybe a Raspberry Pi will do this job. But M3D has said that they do have plans to develop a Wifi and SD-Card add on module that is compatible with The Micro once they've finished fulfilling Kickstarter rewards.


Can I leave the room while The Micro is printing?

M3D: "You can safely leave the room or go to bed without cause for concern. We've designed The Micro to be safer than any printer, including a heating system that can not overheat. This will also include getting many needed standards of safely, like UL/CE. Also prints are cool to the touch immediately after printing is done."


What kind of mechanism is feeding the filament?

M3D: "You will absolutely be able to rely on our feeding mechanism, it was actually one of the components that we spent the most development time on, since its a consumer 3D printer. We use mostly stainless steel metal parts."


Can I have a dual head for The Micro?

M3D: "Maybe someday we'll make a dual head version of the Micro. At the moment we're just single-mindedly focused on getting the current Micro with all its great features out on time."


Is The Micro capable of printing something assembled with moving parts?

Yes, it's possible to print things that have moving parts.


What slicer can I use?

The Micro will accept marlin/reprap/sprinter type standard Gcode commands. So pretty much any open-source software is compatible with default settings.


How much Reprap is in The Micro? Will there be parts of it that are open source?

M3D:"There is no significant reprap in The Micro, except perhaps Gcode command structure, we rebuilt everything from scratch to make this printer this affordable."


Do I have to use the M3D software or can I use any open source software?

You can use Pronterface, Ocotoprint and "any software that is guided by standard Gcode". There is a controller board in the Micro. "All interfaces are USB based"


I heard 3D printers positioning rods have a tendency to bend, ruining a few prints and wasting filament before they fail; Will that happen with The Micro?

No, not really. The positioning rods that the head is supported by are made of carbon fiber. This makes them extremely rigid and simultaneously self-lubricating. The rigidity also means that instead of bending and causing a few ruined prints and wasted filament, they will break making it immediately obvious that you need to replace it.


I want to create accessories. What are the exact dimensions of The Micro?

M3D:"A good time to release those dimensions will be when the units are in stock from the injection molder in a few months."


Filament

What kind and colour of filament will be available for backers?

There are 16 PLA colours and 12 ABS colours you can see here. The weight of each filament roll is 1/2 lb (at least 200 grams)


Where can M3D filament be ordered after receiving the KS campaign?

If you want to use spools in The Micro please add them to your pledge while campaign is running. There will surely be a webshop from M3D or distributors, but it might take some time.
M3D:"Yes, We will work out details with distributors in 2015, but there is a ton of demand through pre-orders, especially as we are able to close the gap between pre-order and delivery! So, we recommend getting one while you can :) We'll definitely have filaments available through Amazon eventually."
The order page allows you to order the 1/2lb spools for $13 a piece.
If you want to use bigger external spools wait until you receive your Micro and order spools from any manufacturer. There will be a thread in the forum soon. We strongly recommend buying high quality materials from manufacturers with great quality controls


What are the dimensions for the filament spools?

M3D:"full diameter is 120mm, and the height is 34mm."


Where is the external filament port located?

M3D:"At the top portion of the extruder, it is shown being used extensively in the original KS video."


Will this be able to handle other materials like PolyFlex and PolyWood?

The Micro can handle any filament that will work at up to 240°C and is designed to be used in a 1.75mm filament system. Filaments with wooden particles may result in jamming.


Do I have to manually add support to my models?

Yes, the M3D software will not automatically generate support structures. There are two user specified options at the time of printing in the 'More options...' settings:
Support material
Use model on model support


Is it possible to do multiple colour prints in a single print job?

Yes, multicolour is possible:
It is possible to feed in different colours at various stages during a print, however it is very difficult to ensure that there is no gaps in the filament feed or to impact on the movement of the print head as one has to gentle feed in the new colour manually whilst the head is moving.
Prior to starting a print job:
You can splice different colour filaments together prior to starting a print job, however the is no easy way to determine where these joins will occur in the final print.
It is possible to dye certain filaments to create neat and interesting tie-dye effects.
Alternatively once the print job has finished the item's colour can be changed by:
Colouring the filament with a dry-erase marker or sharpie to get various effects.
Painting the filament.
* Note that you cannot manually pause the printer and change the filament part way through a print.


How much filament does each print use?

The software provides an estimation of filament usage for each print however it will not stop when filament runs out.


What if my filament runs out?

It will result in a failed print if the filament runs out.
The printer does not have the ability to detect the presence or absence of filament and will not pause the printer until filament is inserted.
You cannot remove the printbed or change the filament during a print without aborting the print job or performing an emergency stop (option available in spooler) and once stopped the print job cannot be continued.

Shipping, duty and VAT

How much do I have to pay for shipping?

US-backers have to pay about $25.
International backers have to pay $50-$70 for shipping plus VAT (and maybe duty).


Do I have to pay duty or VAT?

Here is a great site where you can calculate additional costs:
http://www.dutycalculator.com/popular-import-items/import-duty-and-taxes-for-3d-printer/


When do I have to pay for shipping/VAT?

M3D: Shipping + VAT will be collected about a month before shipping to ensure that all the details have been worked out properly.


Micro 3D Fans

What is Micro 3D Fans?

It's a community site for The Micro. It has a forum, a Wiki and a chat (More features will be added in the future). The site is totally independent from The Micro, though it always takes the M3D team's opinion in consideration.


Wiki

I like this Wiki, can I help?

Sure thing, we want all the help we can get. We want this to be run by the community, for the community. Just create an account, add/edit pages. If you spam/troll/destroy pages you will be banned from editing the Wiki without any warning.


I feel like something is missing but I don't have any knowledge to create it on the Wiki, what do I do?

The best way to get the community's attention is to go to our Forum and make a post about it.


Forum

Where can I join?

You can sign up by clicking here.


Chat

I want to chat about The Micro/other 3D printing stuff

Just head over to http://micro3dfans.com/chat/. If you are already registered on the forum, just sign in with your account information. Otherwise you can just hit login to get chatting right away or you can quickly register here.