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Month: April 2020

Two Trees Sapphire Pro 3D Printer Review

Order the Two Trees Sapphire Pro from Banggood HERE and use coupon code BGTTSPC to get $20USD off!

Hey guys, back at it with another review!!

This time I opted for the Two Trees Sapphire Pro which you can purchase from here if you’re interested: LINK HERE

I got the Upgraded Version of this printer which just includes an enclosure, you can get the standard version without the enclosure from the same product listing as well if you aren’t wanting an enclosure.

Why did you choose to review this printer?
I’ve been wanting to try another CoreXY printer for a while now, if you don’t know what that is I’ll explain it in a topic below. This printer has a lot of good features, TCM2208 Silent motor drivers, touchscreen interface, BMG extruder drive, included enclosure, 24v power supply etc, and this printer does it at a relatively cheap price. I havent had a Two Trees branded printer yet, and I wanted to give them a try. At a first glance I didn’t think Two Trees seemed like a quality brand but after some research the finish of their printers actually looked quite decent. I hope we will prove this in the coming weeks of testing.

Initial packaging thoughts/ unboxing
So the box was a little smaller than what I expected, hinting at the assembly ahead… As usual I’ll show step-by step photos of the unboxing and then move onto the next part – Assembly. 

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And Here is the instruction Manual:

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Overall it was quite well packaged and nothing appeared to be damaged from transport.

Assembly overview
The assembly complexity of this printer appears to be somewhere between the Ender 3 Pro and the Anet A8 Plus. It took me about 6 hours all up, and I did it pretty much entirely based off of the included instruction booklet that I showed above. It was all relatively straightforward assembly though.

First thing is to install the 4 main posts, they each have 2 screws on the side and one from underneath. I recommend installing all the screws but leaving them slightly loose until you put the top plate on so it is easier to line things up.

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Next thing is the 2 Solid round bars that hold the bed, they just slipped into the mounts at the bottom and the screw tightened them up.

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Then the bed assembly, this was pretty easy too. 
Firstly is putting the linear bearings into the bed platform, I missed a pic of this but its just 8 screws to hold them in.
The instructions failed to mention the insulating pad under the bed but this is easy enough, I applied this first and then mounted the bed with the 4 screws, thumb nuts and springs onto the bed platform.

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Then I had to slide the bed onto the round bars and wind the lead screw in to wind the bed down

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Installed the Z-Axis Limit switch

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Next up was the top plate, it goes with the two stepper motors towards the front of the machine, and there are just 4 screws going down into the V slot extrusions. After I installed this I also tightened the screws at the bottom of the V slot extrusions.

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Extruder fitment was just 3 screws. I did notice that the older version of this printer only had 2, so an improvement there.

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Next up was belts. They were a bit hard but not so bad. They supply one long belt, so I would recommend cutting this in half for a start and then fitting it as per the diagram in the manual and attaching it to the extruder by wrapping the belt through the slot and then cabletieing it to itself to restrain it. Make sure to get adequate tension so the belts make a slight “twang” when you flick them and cut off any excess belt (leave 20mm or so incase you need to tighten them further). After the belts are all attached add a second cable tie to further secure them.

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Then I installed the BMG extruder. You have to add the thumbscrew, spring and washer that tensions the extruder drive as it isn’t installed in the packaging but this is easy.
Once I added the extruder and bowden tube this is what I got (I later shortened the bowden tube and cut the ends better as they werent perfectly straight cuts)

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The next hurdle to tackle was the wiring…. This is what makes this assembly harder than the ender 3. The instruction booklet shows the diagram pretty well, the main issue was where to route the cables, but I figured it out. Here’s some pics of the wiring process, if anyone wants more detail here please let me know.

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Aaand here is what the finished printer looks like. This is if you get the standard version, and I have actually got the upgraded version which includes an anclosure, so we will do this next.

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Here I installed the adhesive bed cover.

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So the enclosure parts seem very well made, to fit the mounting screws I had to modify some of my cable management that goes inside the V-Slots, but this was easy enough:

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So it was just a matter of twisting these V-Slot mounting nuts into the slots and screwing on the panels, here’s when I was almost finished:

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And with the doors mounted:

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So this concludes the assembly procedure, i’ll move on.

What were the first print results (included test print)?
So there appeared to be nothing on the SD card when I put it in, but I put it in my PC and everything was in a zipped folder. I found this 1cm cube test print so I put that straight on with the included filament. Here are some pictures:

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But I wasn’t overly happy with this as a test, too small and simple. So I imported the included CURA profile which was easy and then printed a benchy. The settings need a slight tweak but overall i am impressed with the results

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How can I setup this printer in cura?
Included on the SD card is a CURA project that you can open with CURA and it adds the printer. Worked pretty well actually.

Are there any quirks about this printer?
There was an included auto level sensor thing that I dont know what to do with, I couldnt find any information on it anywhere so more to come with that. Also it appears the filament runout sensor isnt activated by default so I’ve left it unplugged for now. I’ll do some investigating here and come back with fixes or guides on how to get these working.

Are the special features of this printer useful?
The included enclosure is a good addition, I liked the included cable management options and the CoreXY design may be good for higher speed and quality prints.

What are some good points about this printer?

  • The enclosure will allow good printing of items other than PLA (ABS, TPU, ETC)
  • Core XY design
  • Silent steppers
  • 24V Power Supply
  • Good Cable Management
  • BMG Extruder
  • Touchscreen interface
  • polished design

What are some bad points about this printer?

  • No Glass Bed
  • Bowden tube extruder setup
  • Filament runout sensor and auto level setup aren’t usable out of the box

Final thoughts – Who should purchase this printer?
This printer has a lot of good features out of the box, and the finish of the Two Trees brand has actually impressed me. This is one of few printers that you can get with an included enclosure for the price, and it looks very nice with the enclosure so won’t be considered as an eye sore by the women in our lives….. The enclosure is great for materials other than PLA, and even with PLA is great if you don’t want to keep the printer in an enclosed room as airflow drafts can cause issues with 3D prints. Overall this printer has a very good featureset for the price and I will continue to develop my knowledge of it so that I can help anyone out who purchases it. Please let me know if you have any further questions about this printer.

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Tenlog Hands 2 3D Printer Review

EDIT: Order the Tenlog Hands 2 from Banggood HERE and use coupon code BG04a4f7 to get it for only $358USD!

Hey guys, back at it with another review!!

This time I opted for the Tenlog Hands 2 which you can purchase from here if you’re interested: LINK HERE

Why did you choose to review this printer?
I have free choice to review any printer on the market, and I’d love to eventually get through all the printers out there. The reason I chose this printer is because I’m looking for specific features that i currently believe are important and at a certain price point. This printer features direct drive extruders, and it is a dual printhead machine meaning it can do multi colour, multi material, or duplicate prints. I’m yet to try a dual printhead machine, and there did seem to be a few options available but this is the cheapest one I could find that had dual direct drive extruders. I did seem to not be able to find much info on the actual extruders, but we shall find out tonight!

Initial packaging thoughts/ unboxing
So the box was a little smaller than the artillery I recently received but in the same neighbourhood for size. 

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Stupidly I opened the bottom of the box not the top (facepalm)

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Anyways I flipped her over and got into it, here’s the step by step process of me unboxing it:

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Now overall everything was packed well, and nothing was damaged despite a damaged section of the external cardboard that suggested the box has had an impact during shipping.

Assembly overview
Much like the Artillery Genius, assembly was a breeze in comparison to the Anet A8 Plus or even the Ender 3:
First step was mounting the gantry to the base, just 4x M5 screws as usual, I will note I slid the base off of the table to put the screws in this time instead of tipping the whole thing on tits side, this did work better.

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Next step was to mount the extruders, and I am very impressed by the mounting system which is 2 CNC aluminium pieces that key together with 4 screws, this is a very accurate method and would make the extruders basically hot-swappable.

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Now i’m at about 5 minutes after starting assembly and the thing looks done… lol.
Next was plugging in the wires, i’m going to put these pictures and see if you notice something (an unusual double up)

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I had to do a double take for a second…. 2x limit switches on the z-axis?!?!?! THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER. It is a common mod to have a z-sync belt that ties the z-axis lead screws together so that the z axis doesnt become unlevel during power off (this is a big issue with my CR10S5), but that is a dodgy bandaid compared to just re-homing both sides of the z axis independently and I am really pleased with this feature.

Next is plugging in the extruders and heated bed, I like the use of standard connectors for the extruders as they would be easy to place, but cable management is lacking, I think I might make some rollers that go on top of the gantry for the extruder cables to rest on.

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So final physical build step is the spool holders, pretty straight forward:

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Now It was power up time, I’ll put some pictures of the screens here, I like the different menus.

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Bed levelling…

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Some settings

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The included SD card and reader are quite nice, I also like the chrome on the slots in the printer.

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Next it was time to load up the filament, I added in the two rolls and put the filament into their respective extruders. The extruder drive seems similar to the creality one but you cant really see inside it.

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You push down on the piece where my thumb is to be able to push the filament through

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On the display you have to type in the temperature

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This brings the printer into a printable state so we will move to the next step!

What were the first print results (included test print)?
I put the included test print on:

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Initial results were looking okay, but i was wondering why it didnt have a prime/wipe tower for the dual colours, this left some straggly filament leakage on the edge of the print at first so I wasnt overly impressed, but I was amazed by the quality after I broke off the straggly bits.

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The accuracy of the printer really amazed me. I went ahead and found the Low-Poly pokemon models… here is the one I printed last night…

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It still needs some tuning but I am really happy for now.

How can I setup this printer in cura?
Included on the SD card is a copy of cura that has a profile for this printer pre-loaded. I’m not a fan of re-installing cura just to get this profile out though so I will host it up on my website when I do the blog post for this printer.

Are there any quirks about this printer?
I was suprised by how thick the glass bed was, pretty much double the thickness of most that i’ve seen at 6mm.

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Are the special features of this printer useful?
I expect the dual colour and dual material capabilities of this printer will be extremely useful for me for special prints and if you have a bit more to spend on a printer this is a feature i’d definitely consider. The fact that all of the other features like direct drive extruders and the limit switch setup make it a very good starting point of a printer, nothing really needs to be done to print things like TPU and the print quality seems as good as any.

What are some good points about this printer?

  • The Glass bed is very thick (6mm)
  • Dual Z-Axis Limit switches
  • Dual Direct drive extruders
  • Inductive limit switches
  • Touchscreen interface
  • polished design
  • Standard connectors

What are some bad points about this printer?

  • Extruder connectors seem a little dodgy and I worry they won’t last, but easy to replace or manage
  • Price is higher ($379USD)
  • Not much else.

Final thoughts – Who should purchase this printer?
I dont think this would be a common first printer as people generally gravitate towards something in the Ender 3 price range, but I think if you are wanting to do flexible materials in multi colour then this is definitely the way to go. I scoured the internet looking for multi colour capable printers with this feature set and it’s incredibly hard to find, especially not at this price. I absolutely love the Dual limit switch setup, and its cool to see it level one side, then the other and then check the first side again. Mostly what I like about this printer is that at this point I wouldn’t change much about it at all, I’m not thinking about all the mods i’m going to do to it it’s just ready to use already.

If you guys have any questions please let me know, multi material printing is new to me and I’m looking forward to learning more about it and sharing it with you all!

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Artillery Sidewinder X1 Review

Artillery saw my previous review of their Genius printer and offered to send over their other model, which is the Artillery Sidewinder X1. This printer was on my list of printers that I wanted to cover so of course I said YES and here we are.
The Sidewinder X1 is the older, bigger brother to the Genius that I previously reviewed, but it has had a few revisions with the one I got being V4. This means it has a lot of upgrades that were included in the Genius model.

You can purchase this printer from here:
Artillery official store on Aliexpress: HERE
Banggood: HERE

I mention my review of the Artillery Genius a few times, it can be found HERE

Why did you choose to review this printer?
The Artillery Genius is hands down my current favourite printer, it is easy to use, it’s consistent, its quiet, it heats up fast and its just an all around polished machine. Having a bigger version of what is virtually the same machine sounds like an excellent idea to me and in this review we will find out if it still maintains the same standards as the smaller, newer variant. I would like to hear what printer you guys would like to see me review and why.

Initial packaging thoughts/ unboxing
So the box was one of the biggest i’ve got, almost as big as my CR10-S5, which told me from the get go that assembly would be minimal. The box arrived in perfect condition suprisingly, and shipping direct from Artillery to Australia was around the 1 week mark which suprised me especially with the current COVID-19 status. As usual I’ll show step-by step photos of the unboxing and then move onto Assembly. 

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I was impressed to see the cardboard angle line to help with edge rigidity in the box.

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And Here is the instruction Manual

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Overall it was very well packaged and nothing appeared to be damaged from transport.

Assembly overview
The assembly complexity of this printer is right at the bottom end with the Genius, just a few basic steps and you’re going. It took me about 20 minutes all up, and I did it100% off of the included instruction booklet that I showed above. I will list out the steps below.
Insert the gantry in the base

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Put the spring washers on the included M5 screws

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Insert the M5 screws under the base to screw through into the bottom of the gantry.

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Mount the filament holder on top with the 4 screws and pre-installed slot nuts, plug in the filament run-out sensor.

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Plug in the Z-axis steppers, and the z and x-axis limit switches.

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Untape, straighten and plug the x-axis ribbon cable into the extruder unit.

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Repeat the same for the y-axis ribbbon but plug it into the base of the printer

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This is the end of the assembly, but the instructions asked to check the eccentric nuts so i felt around for axis movement and loose rollers and only found one roller on the z-axis was loose so I adjusted it

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here’s a picture of the finished machine

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So this concludes the assembly procedure, i’ll move on.

What were the first print results (included test print)?
There was an included test print on the USB stick, but no filament so i put some transparent blue filament in I had out.
If you would like to see the menus, check out my review of the Artillery Genius, the software is the same.
The first layer looked quite nice, I tried to get a pic of it:

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and here is the whole printer, while printing

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The finished test print on the bed

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and removed

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How can I setup this printer in cura?
I will cover CURA setup in my next post about this printer, If I forget it please remind me.

Are there any quirks about this printer?
Not really, this is a very nice machine. The only one thing I liked about the genius that this didn’t have is the PCI-express style connector for the gantry to the base but I understand that this is a slightly older design and i can’t see any real issues with the way the ribbon cable attaches.

Are the special features of this printer useful?
This printer has pretty much all the features. 24V, silent steppers, AC heated bed, direct drive titan extruder, dual lead screw with a sync belt etc.

What are some good points about this printer?

  • Dual lead screw with sync belt
  • Silent steppers
  • 24V Power Supply
  • Excellent Cable Management
  • Titan style direct drive extruder
  • Touchscreen interface
  • AC heated bed
  • very sleek finish

What are some bad points about this printer?

  • Cost is slightly higher than other printers I’ve reviewed, you get what you pay for.

Final thoughts – Who should purchase this printer?
This printer is very well finished and time will tell it’s overall reliability (I will give updates). This printer is excellent for someone new to the hobby or experienced, it is good because you don’t need to know a lot to get it functioning and it smooths out the steep learning curve of 3D Printing. i really like the build quality and product finish that artillery is able to offer and I look forward to reviewing more of their machines in the future.

I’m far from finished with this review and will cover CURA setup, print settings and tpu printing very soon. I hope to 3D print a quite complex mask with this printer from TPU soon, so you have that to look forward to 

Big Grin

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Artillery Genius 3D Printer Review

This printer is now for sale at the link below for $279 using offer code “BGGenius” get it while you can!!

First things first, here’s a link to the Artillery Genius 3d Printer: Artillery Genius DIY 3D Printer

I chose the Artillery Genius for a few reasons, mainly because it’s something different. I wanted to keep the same size and price class as the Ender 3 XS Pro and Anet A8 Plus that I previously reviewed, but look into a few different main features. The main eye catching feature of this printer for me is that it has an AC heated bed which is unheard of at this price point. It also looks like a generally higher quality printer than the Anet or Creality counterparts but time will tell here.

Upon opening the box i found the printer was mostly assembled and there were a lot less pieces than any printer I have received so far.
Here are some pictures of the unboxing process:

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So my initial thoughts:

  • Everything seems more polished than traditional printers
  • It still has the basic V slot design, with the bottom being the same as a standard V slot printer but with cover sheeting (I assume this is the same as the CR10 Pro models)
  • The blue injection moulded parts appear nice
  • The printer has ribbon cables to run everything on the gantry, I like how they look and move but time will tell their reliability
  • There is a PCIE x 1 slot utilised to link between the gantry and base, making assembly very simple.

Now, assembly is fully shown in 2 pages on the book that is included, basically screw on the gantry, install the spool rollers and plug a few cables in.

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Here’s the PCI express interface I talk about:

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For main assembly, I slotted in the gantry and tipped the printer to its side to insert the bolts from below:

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Then I had to plug in a few cables at the bottom for the stepper motors and end stop like this one:

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The filament spool holder setup is a bit different, which I like as new ideas are good for hobbies:

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The instructions said to adjust the V slot eccentric nuts if anything was loose, and I found that everything on the gantry was nice and tight but the bed had a little bit of movement in the Y direction (Up and Down). I moved the eccentric nuts with the included (and very nice) spanner while wobbling the bed until it stopped wobbling but not so far that it was tight to slide. In this picture you can see the eccentric nuts under the bed frame:

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Now, Here is the assembled printer:

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I followed the instructions for bed levelling, it reccommended the paper method, but oh I love how easy it is to bed level with the touch screen. I took photos of each step of the menus here:

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It recommended heating nozzle and bed for 1min before levelling, so I did:

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And now here is the Levelling menu, just press on each corner and adjust the bed, no auto level>disable steppers and manual movement stuff…

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Here’s some pics from levelling

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Levelling went smoothly, I did it with paper all around and then quickly double checked and touched up by eye, which was suuuuper easy with the button presses.
I have noticed by this point but the steppers are nice and quiet, even at high speeds!

Lastly after I added an old almost empty roll of white filament for a test, I put the test print on, here’s a pic of the first layer:

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Unfortunately this test print was somewhat underwhelming. It didn’t have consistent extrusion and the finish wasn’t nice.

So I decided after the underwhelming test print I would set this up in CURA so I have a known start place and go from there. Technically there is no CURA profile for this printer, but since It is basically an Ender 3 I created an Ender 3 profile and then renamed it and changed the start and end G code to what i prefer on my Ender 3. Really nothing else was required for changes which is good. I will probably export and upload the profile to my blog when I complete this review if anyone wants it.

Now for print settings I didn’t change that much from the basic ender 3 settings, the main one was that I changed retraction from 5mm to 1mm as this printer has a direct drive extruder.

I wanted to print a baby yoda, so I scaled the model down 50% and put it on the USB stick included with the printer.

For changes on the printer itself, I tightened the preload on the spring for the extruder drive, which was quite easy with the small knob on the back. I did this because the last print was under-extruding and I noticed the drive gear was slipping on the filament and it even made a bit of a mess of chunks of filament.

Now, THIS is the result (First pic showing the tree supports):

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After this success, i scaled the model back up to 100% and went again.

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And one in green, because Yoda..

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So I’ve gotta say, the quality of these prints is impeccable, I did use a 0.12 layer height because I know that this is an intricate and curvy model, but WOW I am impressed.

No visible layer lines, no layer shift, no nothing just a perfect print, on the SECOND print, with my guessed CURA settings….. No benchmarks, no nothing lol.

Let me know your thoughts 

Big Grin
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