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Dave's Drone Designs Posts

EleksLaser- A3 Pro 2500mW Laser Engraver

Edit: Use the Code BG9152 for 12% off if you purchase on Banggood Here

Hey guys, this time I have something a little different in comparison to my normal 3D Printer Reviews.

You can purchase the EleksLaser A3 Pro 2500mW on Banggood Here

I’m currently working on a 3D printer roundup video containing all the printers I have reviewed to date, and for this I wanted to leave some time for me to get to know the printers well. In order to fill the time in between I thought i’d do this as it is something different and something i’ve always wanted to dip my toes in.

This machine will engrave wood, acrylic and other soft surfaces but won’t really touch metal, this is because it uses a blue light laser, the laser cutters that will engrave metals use C02 lasers that are much higher output (40W+).

First off lets do an unboxing and assembly. There were no assembly instructions included but there was a website address that shows the assembly in a picture format:
Assembly guide

I have skipped a lot of small assembly steps here as they are shown in the guide and are pretty straightforward.

Everything was well packed, no damage at all

I really like this small included parts kit, I will use this to keep spare parts for all my printers I think.

Soft assembly of the axis rollers and motors

Slid them onto the shorter 40×20 rails and tightened the rollers

Fitted the belts

Assembly of the tool head

Slid the tool head onto the longer 40×20 rail, tightened the rollers and fitted the belt

Screwed the acrylic corner braces onto the 20×20 rails with the T slot nuts

Assembled all of the axis rails together

Installed control board on mounting hardware

This is the laser

All wired up, just a few plug connections and some cable management. Very simple really.

Finished unit

So All in all this was actually a pretty easy build, especially compared to some of the more “DIY” 3D Printers I have reviewed.

SOFTWARE:
DISCLAIMER: DO NOT TURN ON THE MAIN MACHINE POWER YET
So running the software is easy (no need to install it), finding a download link was not so easy. I went through a chain of “Download over here”s until I found their forum, then had to make an account to even access the download link…. Kindly if you have the link you don’t need an account to download the software, and to save you guys the hassle you can get it at the link below.
http://oss.eleksmaker.com/software/EleksCAM%20v3.1.zip 

To setup the driver, you need to open the software, plug in the Engraver (Don’t plug it into the wall power yet) via USB, press the dropdown menu at the top right and select install driver. Then you restart the software and on the main screen you should be able to select a COM port on the dropdown.

Once you have selected the COM port you can go into the settings tab on the left and Press Select Machine and select “Laser Engraver”.

From this point the machine is pretty much ready to use, so I would recommend going somewhere outdoors or with good ventilation, and making sure you have something beneath the machine that you won’t mind getting burnt. I’d also recommend you consider others or any pets that won’t have protective glasses on, make sure they can’t see the laser. I opted for my back patio, with all of the blinds closed.

USING THE MACHINE:
Okay, so now is time to turn on the power, have your green glasses on for your safety, and keep them on incase of an accidental laser fire. First thing is make sure the small button on the top of the laser module is depressed, this will put it into low power focus mode and make it not harmful, although in this mode it will ALWAYS be on. Then turn on the main power, put some material under it that you want to cut and turn the bottom of the laser module to focus the point to be at its smallest.

Now we must go back into the software and prepare something, so far I have been using image trace since I have images of everything I want to cut and can use photoshop to make tweaks. But first up I did one from the included gallery. To do this select the Gallery menu on the left, double click on the item you want to etch, and a window will come up. Here at the top right you can define the dimensions and set some of the settings, like speed and Mode. For most basic shapes or cutting something out outline is what you want, but for etching an image the other 3 modes can be used, but you will need to do some trial and error to figure out what is best. Press ok and this generates the machine code, the laser is now ready to go, but if you want to change the power output go to the settings tab on the left and the ON/OFF slider changes the power output level of the laser, you might need to lower this if you are etching an image and want more detail.

Now once you’re all setup press the button on the top of the laser to turn it to power mode and then you can hit the START button in the software and it will cut away!

Here are some pictures from my first engrave:

Next up I wanted to try a piece of thin cardboard, its what my wife uses as packaging for our 3D printed earrings and I thought it would be cool to put our logo at the bottom, this time I turned the power down to 250 (25%) and did an outline instead of an etch. You will note I used a piece of wood to do some tests, this piece is actually the “base” that I got for the machine, It’s 12mm MDF and will never be cut through, It’s good to do a test on it then you have something to line up your work piece with.
Here’s the first attempt. looks pretty good!

And here’s what it looked like mid burn:

One last thing I thought I’d try is cutting some 1.5mm balsa wood. Previously I left the cut speed on 1000, this time I turned it down to 300, and I did an outline of a logo I had on my laptop. I really fluked the settings, have a look at the video below of me removing the cut piece… Quite Awesome!!
https://youtu.be/P5L0wD5LAsg

FINAL THOUGHTS:
So what do I think of this thing? I’m impressed with how well it worked out of the box, and how simple the settings are (after 3d printing which has a lot more settings). I think if you are a maker and love making different bits and pieces this is a good little machine to have lying around, It’s also small and light so can be put in a cupboard and just pulled out each time you want to use it which makes it a bit nicer to own. The use cases are somewhat limited so I wouldnt get one just cause, you would need to have something in mind that you wanted to make with it, maybe you want to cut up balsa to make model aircraft or boats or you want to engrave images on pieces of wood to sell.

I saw a few bad reviews saying the laser turned on when it shouldn’t have, causing them to have a safety risk. I was aware of this so wore my glasses whenever the machine was powered (should anyway) but I noticed they did not follow the instructions to connect it to the computer and setup before powering the machine, the laser does fire if the machine is powered up when you plug in the USB (so isn’t foolproof) but if you follow the instructions correctly it’s not an issue. This is also why I recommended turning on focus mode before powering up as an additional layer of safety since the laser won’t fire in focus mode.

As far as low end laser engravers go this one seems quite good, and it does what it’s meant to. I have heard people having problems with some of the rip off ones that are a copy of the Eleksmaker branded unit, supposedly they use cheaper lasers and overdrive them, meaning that the lasers die after a couple of hours use. Let me know what you think of this review anyways and if you’d like to see more CNC product reviews? I’d like to do a small C02 laser unit that can engrave soft metal, and maybe a small 3 axis CNC mill.

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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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Anet A8 Plus Review

Hey Guys!

So it’s been what, 2 months since I introduced myself to 3D Printing here, and I have another review for you… The Anet A8 Plus.

Now I’d like to preface this with the note that I know about all the issues with the original Anet A8 and I have steered clear and I came into this expecting things to be negative.

So I got the DIY version of the Anet A8 Plus, found HERE, as it’s a bit cheaper and lets be honest if you want to learn about a printer and how to look after it, building it might be a good idea. I will note though that you need to know what you’re doing to some degree when building a printer or you will have issues, small things like adding pre-tension etc make a big difference. Let’s get started.

The Anet A8 Plus, came in a box of similar size to my Ender 3 Pro, except there was almost nothing pre-assembled, it was basically a box of parts:

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It was at this point that I realised……

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So after a few days I brought myself to having a crack at assembling this guy, I made a tidy area and pulled out a few things I thought I needed. I decided to attempt full assembly using only the included instruction book, which was a paper copy in comparison to the ender 3’s PDF on the SD card which was nice. I have steps of the assembly photographed, so I will list them out and then do a general speel on assembly.

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So overall the assembly was uneventful, but very time consuming, I did this over 3 evenings after work, totaling in the neighbourhood of 10 hours. There are just a lot of little things that take as much time to figure out as they do to actually do. I found the general quality of the parts to be acceptable, and i can tell there is a noticeable improvement in the quality of the 3D printed parts from other people online that have received this printer. The one thing I might say is that the linear roller bearings are not smooth and they have a little play against the guide rod, but I may be able to fix this by packing them with some more grease.

Some important notes about the assembly, the x axis belt retention setup is 3D printed and i found that the belt would slip in one half of it when it got to tension and lose tension, so I got the belt set at the right length and super glued it into the 3d printed part, this has fixed the issue but will mean i’ll need to re-print the part if I replace the belt.

The y axis linear rods should be installed with some pre-tension, this means installing them, loosening the top retention screws 1/4 turn, raising the locking collars and then re-tightening the retention screws to that the rails are tight. This will have an effect on the finished product of your 3d printed parts and it’s good to keep this mindset of putting extra effort into maintaining pre-tension and reducing tolerances throughout the assembly process as you will get a better finished result (often better than a factory assembled printer.

I must say I was pleased to find that this is a factory 24V model, meaning that you could easily upgrade to a 24v silent driver board and everything else wouldn’t need changing, it also means the hot end and bed heat up quickly. 

I found the instructions to be suprisingly good and unlike 99% of chinese instructions I have used, the only place they are lacking is in the hot end installation. They should be much clearer about how to install the hot end and thermistor as this is critical for avoiding damage (and fire).

The wiring was a little complex but everything was relatively well labelled and I was able to figure it out, it was definitely challenging though and cable managing that many wires is not far short of a nightmare. The included wire wrap is not great and I would recommend ordering some plastic conduit much like what comes on the creality printers, or just printing the wire guides right off the bat.

Now to the results part, Bed levelling worked well, and from the get go I actually installed some of the larger levelling knobs i had lying around, and the included glass bed seems to be quite flat. I did level the x axis rail by measuring the height both sides and turning the y-axis steppers to the same height before turning on the printer, this makes the bed levelling work better and reduces natural layer shift. 

Here is my “perfect” first layer with the included roll of white PLA:

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And here are some of my small prints, all of these were done on the ender 3 pro except for 1, I challenge you to figure out which one is from the Anet A8 Plus (note the one on the Anet was printed at 70mm/s as I was testing the speed capabilities):

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Finally, here are some roller guides and rollers i printed for my ender 3 enclosure on the Anet A8 Plus:

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So final thoughts, would I purchase the Anet A8 Plus myself? Definitely yes, it has surpassed my expectations and I feel it is like a CR10 Competitor with some Pro features and close to an Ender 3 pro price point.

I like that it has a direct drive extruder too, although it does look to be a less advanced extruder it seems to work just fine, I will be getting to printing TPU on it this week so I look forward to the results of that. I will be able to compare results to the Bowden TPU prints I have been doing on the Ender 3 Pro.

Please let me know what questions you guys may have and what your thoughts on this printer are.

Cheers,

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Creality Ender 3 XS Pro 3D Printer Review

Alright! I’ve had the Ender 3 XS Pro from banggood for a bit over a month now. Here’s a link to the item: Ender 3 XS Pro

So I’ll make it clear, Banggood supplied this for my review, but I’m no noob in the 3D printing space, I’ll give a brief history:
I started out with a XYZ Davinci V1.0, and printed mostly ABS, then got an UpBox, and in the last 3 or 4 years i was running a farm of a few ultimaker 2’s, but I nolonger have any of these and wanted to try out the creality side as a friend has had a CR10 for a long while now and I helped him with it and liked it. I also currently have a CR10 S5 I picked up second hand for cheap, it has been mistreated and took some work but is now doing perfect prints.

Now, onto the Ender 3 XS Pro, technically Creality only offers the Ender 3 XS and the Ender 3 Pro as individual printers, but what Banggood does is take an Ender 3 Pro and do all of the XS mods to it (or vice versa) so you’re basically getting the best of both worlds.
Here’s how it came in the box, pretty standard for an ender 3:

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Setup time was about 2 hours of fluffing around, I purposely only used the included instructions (on the SD card) and not a youtube video to see if I had any issues. Even the cables were clearly marked and I didn’t have any real issues with assembly of the unit. If I was to do it again, I’m pretty sure i could assemble it and be doing the first benchy in under an hour. Here’s the assembled printer:

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So levelling the bed was easy, and I was able to use the included instructions for this too. I just used the paper method, and since the bed was already set up with the large adjustment knobs it was very easy to do and i was suprised how sturdy the structure was. For an adhesive for every print i’ve done so far I have just used a medium coat of my wifes hairspray, re-applicating each print and then cleaning off with metho and paper towel every 5 or so prints. I started printing with the included PLA, and I used CURA, with the settings on this webpage: http://www.emcu.eu/configure-ultimaker-c…l-ender-3/
This is how the first print came out:

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After all my filament came in…. here’s the filament tower next to my wife:

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Oh yeah, so after the filament came in I decided to give the Saintsmart 95A TPU a go, and it took some tuning of the settings but at a print speed of 35-40mm/s and keeping retraction on I was able to get some really beautiful TPU results, here’s a XT60E-M and SMA mount I modelled in solidworks and printed on the Ender 3 XS-pro:

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Overall, I like the ender 3 very much, and if I was to buy another one I’d get this pre-modified one from Banggood again as it saved a lot of time and hassle, and to be honest this thing works better than the Ultimakers i was using….. but that might upset some people. Let me know what you’d like to see me print on the ender 3, and if you guys would be interested in my dry box project:

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As far as modifications are concerned, I’d recommend an updated fan duct, I went for the Hero me, and I printed it in Esun ABS+ on the ender 3 as well, I had some warping issues, but a warmer room or enclosure would’ve fixed this.I found that the upgraded duct helped significantly with big overhangs without supports, I found I could go even up to 65-70 degrees with this duct! Anyhow here’s the finished result of that fan duct:

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Also, here’s a comparison pic between my ender and my cr10 s5…. biiiig size difference!

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Please let me know any questions you guys may have that i haven’t covered in this review, I’ll be sure to make a video in the near future, but that’ll probably be a comparison between the ender and the CR10 S5, while they are polar opposites it still seems there are people trying to figure out which one to get!

Banggood has asked me to mention their black friday sales from November 27th-30th. If you’re interested in this printer it’ll be a good time to pick one up at a cheap price. Here’s the link to the main page for the black friday sales: Banggood black Friday sale

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