I’ve been seeing a number of Mendel Max’s in the wild lately (Portland Maker Faire and at VHS) and really like a number of things about them so I ordered a set of parts from Lulzbot.com and have spent a little bit of time (roughly) putting it together using a set of parts I printed on my Prusa:
I also grabbed their bed and Y-axis plates & standoffs while I was at it. I’m still getting up to speed on all the variations on the Max out there so I just roughly assembled it to see if I had all the basics at least.
I still haven’t decided if I’m going to part out my Prusa or simply get another set of parts (motors, RAMPS, etc.) and build an additional printer. Another J-Head arrived today so I’m set with the hot end. But I’m not touching this any further until I get my Tantillus up and running first which will hopefully be this weekend (it’s almost there!)
There are pro & cons to each printer (not to mention the whole open/closed source debate that is raging on the net in the 3d printing community at the moment) but the bottom line is I want a full size printer that ‘just works’. While I love my Prusa and the RepRap project in general, they require a lot of ongoing work (at least my machines do) to keep running. I’ve been very happy with MakerBot and have had lots of ‘play time’ with Replicators this year to help make the decision easier.
UPDATE: Well, I ended up selling the Mendel Max parts over the Thanksgiving weekend and ordered a Replicator 2. Should hopefully receive it early November (or possibly sooner). I was also able to make some progress with my Tantillus at our build day on the weekend but I appear to have a dead driver or motor on one axis that I need to troubleshoot and/or replace…it could just be a bad solder joint. So close to printing with it!