3D Printer Life Expectancy
Until it quits, depending on how you care for it. I'm into year 3 on my MK 3 and going strong, but then i have kept warn parts replaced and done preventive maintenance.
Yea, I’ve kept my original MK3 updated till is a S model with some + updates and a Mosquito hotend and changed out anything I thought needed repaired as I went along. It’s a “lights out machine” as far as I’m concerned, just make sure it’s got a good start and walk away. I’m somewhat picky about filament and buy nothing that isn’t 0.003 tolerance or better. I also have a Mini that is the same way since I installed a Mosquito on it. I and a friend have 4 Prusa machines between us and they all have been changed to Mosquito hotends and work great.
I used the standard, the one out of the original hotend, same for the heater.
I have run ASA in it without any trouble.
I don’t have a need for anything higher temp than that at this time.
How long can we expect a printer to print?
First of all we can not say something like 3 years. It will be something like 10,000 working hours. If the machine only works 10 h/week will last almost forever... but if the machine works 10h/day may lasts only a couple of years.
Anyway even answering on Work Hours the answer is "Depends", mainly on maintenance, and how much we want to spend on that.
Every wearing component has different expectancy working life, and they can be replaced when they fail or just before a fail ocurrus. Most componentes, are small, cheap and easy replaceable (Motors, bearings, nozzles, cables, power supply, etc.)
Let's say that probably the most expensive component is the main mother board. After a time it will fail, and will need to be replaced. Provably this is the point to think about replacing the full machine (Sometimes not) because probably more advanced boards and chassis will have arrived to the market and our printing will benefit with such innovations more than upgrading the old machine.
I guess the answer is indefinitely as long as you do maintenance.
Yes agreed. In the UK (and perhaps elsewhere) we may refer to the term "Triggers Broom". Alternatively and far more highbrow the "Ship of Theseus".
In other words "I've had this printer 10 years now, replaced every part twice and it's still going strong."
My guess is that they will be mechanically viable (unless you abuse them) long after they are functionally obsolete. Kind of like digital cameras. A ca. 2000 5 mp camera is obsolete by today's standards, but I have one of them of that generation that still works quite well.
It's like a B-52. Taken care of, they'll last forever, but you're going to replace some parts.
I've read this entire post, and I still don't know how long does it takes to get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop. 😛