The Traveling 3D Printer: 5000 Miles and Still Going Strong

Erin Winick

3D printing technology is advancing more and more every month, but printers are still not known for their portability. The leveling can be finicky, and the size and weight of quality machines certainly doesn’t do you any favors. However, in running our business, so much of what we want to do is show off the capabilities of 3D printing. We travel frequently, and therefore, our printer has to travel with us.

Running Sci Chic as a college student means packing my Lulzbot Mini into its original box and packaging and strapping it into my Kia Spectra, or easing it into the bottom of a charter bus packed with the luggage of thirty other students. Under these trying conditions, my printer has officially hit a milestone: 5000 miles on the road and still running strong.

My 17in x 22in x 19in, 22lb Lulzbot printer has traveled all across Florida in my car, all the way north to Washington D.C., and most recently, 3,000+ miles to northern California. Each trip requires me to box it up in the same rocktopus emblazoned cardboard box full of Styrofoam in which it originally arrived at my door. It has been carried up and down countless flights of stairs, wheeled across parking lots, and lugged from event to event near non-stop in the past year. When I unpacked it for the first time I had no idea how important it would be that I saved the box and all the packing materials.

I think this is a stress test Lulzbot may not have been anticipating from their customers, but this printer has proven entirely resilient. I’ve made very minor adjustments and the trusty printer is still going strong with almost the same quality as it had out of the box. Because of this I wholeheartedly endorse this printer. At $1,250 it isn’t the cheapest on the market, but as I can testify, it is a quality machine that can stand the test of time, travel, and hitting the brakes a little too hard at stoplights.

I am excited to take this printer on countless more journeys and thousands of more miles to keep spreading the fashionable side of science!

-Erin Winick

CEO, Sci Chic

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