I'm considering buying this package, the Kossel, as my first 3D printer.

It's not the cheapest model, but apparently a high resolution and stable, which is what I'm after.

The question is, what is the life expectancy of this printer, given the component list? Assuming the printer is constructed properly and properly taken care of, but used once or twice a week for several hours.

Is it possible to make an estimate of how many years this particular printer could be used before it starts showing signs of wear?

Parts list:

1x Complete set of platics for Kossel Mini (PLA)
1x Kossel mini Extrusion set
1x traxxas (set of 12)
1x Carbon Tube (kossel printing arms) Set of 6
3x Square slider (40cm)
1x Megatronics v3.0 - Kossel kit
1x Heated Bed glass round 17cm diameter (Borosilicate)
1x Kapton heater mat round 16cm diameter
1x Power supply 12V (240/115V / 20A MAX)
3x Aluminum Pulley GT2
5x Timing belt 1m x 6mm (GT2)
1x E3D v6 - HotEnd Full Kit - 1.75mm
1x Hobbed bolt v1.1
1x Brass drive gear (Wade's compatible)
6x Bearing 623ZZ
125x (1 pcs) Screw M3X8 Philips
125x (1 pcs) Washer M3 normal
125x (1 pcs) Nut M3 normal
6x (1 pcs) Screw M3X16 Philips
12x (1 pcs) Screw M3X25 Philips
6x (1 pcs) Screw M3X20 Philips
10x PTFE tubing, 2inner/4outer diameter (10cm)
1x Bowden setup - J head comp. plug set (1.75mm)
1x E3D v6 - Threaded Bowden Coupling - 1.75mm
2x (1 pcs) Screw M3X40 Philips
6x (1 pcs) Screw M2X16 Philips
1x Power cable 1.8m
6x M4 Threaded rod - Custom length

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I don't think it is possible, but am curious if someone else has other opinion. $\endgroup$
    – hroncok
    Jan 13, 2016 at 20:03
  • $\begingroup$ I don't think this question will attract many good answers, as they will mostly contain generalities. $\endgroup$ Jan 13, 2016 at 20:26
  • $\begingroup$ @TomvanderZanden This is why I mentioned a specific 3D printer and included the parts list. And supplied the expected usage. $\endgroup$ Jan 13, 2016 at 20:27
  • $\begingroup$ This is definitely one of the best specified questions I've seen so far, but I still doubt anyone can give a meaningful answer, one that is more precise than "a couple of years". $\endgroup$ Jan 13, 2016 at 20:29
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @TomvanderZanden That's what you think. Just because a question may be left unanswered, doesn't mean it should really be made off-topic. $\endgroup$
    – Zizouz212
    Jan 13, 2016 at 21:47

2 Answers 2


Much like your car, the number of miles, or the number of prints that you can get out of it is entirely up to how well you can maintain it.

A 3D Printer is a machine, and a machine needs general maintenance; if you see something starting to break - or get worn out - or anything abnormal, fix it.

I am sure that if you had something like a MakerBot, it would require less maintenance then a fully home built machine, but if you are building it from scratch, I am sure you don't mind.

I am still rocking a 3 year old home built MendalMax, and have both made some improvements, and had to make some repairs along the way - but it is still in damn good condition.

For a $600 investment, I can say you will get a few years out of it if you take proper care of it. By the time the end of its life comes (5+ years), I am sure there will be much better printers available for cheaper, and you will never look back :)

  • Tighten all your nuts and bolts
  • Keep it calibrated
  • Keep belts properly tensioned
  • Oil X, Y, and Z rods
  • Clean of any dust and scrap plastic (compressed air can?)
  • Clean hobbed bolt
  • Clean extruder
  • Ensure all electronic connections are secure
  • Check wires at points of movement for wear

!remindme 5years


I have built a Kossel too. Got lots of tips from the Google Deltaprinter group. Most important when using the Traxxas rod ends is to have the metal parts go into the freezer and the plastic parts in warm water(not boiling, just 60 degrees celsius or so). Then put the 2 together, due to the fact the metal crimps just a little and the hot water softens the plastic a bit, they will fit easy and will be stiff longer. These mounts tend to wear out causing play in the effector. I have printed 100's of hours on my Kossel mini with traxxas rods and still moves very nice and prints accurately.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I have downoted this answer, as it doesn't address the question of the life expectancy of the Kossel. $\endgroup$
    – HDE 226868
    Jan 16, 2016 at 22:08
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @HDE226868 The last sentence says that the life is at least 100 hours so it would address the question. $\endgroup$ Jan 17, 2016 at 20:54
  • $\begingroup$ I would like to add that Dimitri is the person who first suggested the Kossel to me. I have invited him to this site myself. I agree with @EricJohnson that this is an answer - the Kossel stil works properly after 100's of hours. To me as a user, this answer has value. $\endgroup$ Jan 18, 2016 at 9:43
  • $\begingroup$ The last sentence does address the question, I believe. Can you clarify whether the part about the Traxxas rods is because they're likely to wear out, or some other reason? $\endgroup$
    – TextGeek
    Jan 28, 2016 at 4:03
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @TextGeek the remark about the Traxxas rod does address life expectancy since as i noted the way of assembling greatly improves life of the connections. Bruteforcing it together will make it wear significantly faster than is needed. The warm water/freezer method makes sure that you can enjoy your traxxas rods for a long time. I have just exceeded 200 hrs of printing on my machine this week, no wear what so ever. $\endgroup$ Jan 31, 2016 at 21:02

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .