I really wanted to love this little machine but the problems are many and the rewards are too few.
I began using this printer with zero knowledge of 3D printing. If I can say that this printer has gifted me anything, it would be lots of experience doing things the wrong way. You might think that my attitude is my own making. That perhaps my lack of knowledge has prohibited me from fully enjoying this little machine? The truth is that this machine is it’s own worst enemy. Nothing about it is simple or intuitive. For example, the screen is laid out like a touch screen, but it’s not a touch screen at all. You must use a combination of buttons to maneuver through the menus like you are trying to program a car radio from 1995. No problem though, I’ll just plug this baby into my computer and use the UI on the Compu- There is no UI on the computer. According to some videos I’ve seen you can use this printer through a computer UI, though I have yet to figure it out myself. In fact, most people recommend just bypassing the Computer all together and saving your print file to the micro sd card that comes with the printer, then printing from that using the awful button interface. So much for my dreams of linking this thing up to my shop computer.
Ok, so the UI is non-existent and the physical interface is terrible. How about print Quality? Well, the micro SD card comes preloaded with a g.code file that you can print right out of the box and it looks pretty good.
I was actually highly impressed with the quality of this print upon my first viewing. It would take exactly one hour at full speed and the quality didn’t seem to diminish at all with the speed being maxed out. I was hopeful and spent the better part of the past month leaning the ropes of 3D printing so that I could design my own prints. A good friend of mine who knows quite a bit more about 3-D design recommended that I learn Autodesk Fusion 360. Though I am not reviewing that specific program, I do highly recommend it. Unlike this printer, it is highly intuitive. To learn the fine offerings of Autodesk, I began watching Product Design Online on Youtube, also highly recommended. After a few hours, I was already designing my first print, a small clip for my micro camera.
I was far enough along with the design that I decided to save it and run a test print. I wanted to see how well it would fit before printing a completed model, as the completed model would take significantly more material and time to complete. The final print was nothing like the model at all. I assumed it was something I had done so I headed over to Thingiverse to find a completed model designed by someone with more experience. What I settled on was a model of the Master Chief designed by a guy known as “PxT“.
I was able to get the print into my printer relatively easy now that I had gotten into the habit of saving files to a micro sd card. All that I had to do now was wait… for five hours.
My final thought on this printer, you get what you pay for. I had to jump through hoops just to get to this point with my printer. I have no doubt that someone with much better knowledge of 3D printing would have better results. Good for them. I haven’t really enjoyed using this thing at all. I will say that It has been a learning experience to be sure, but I look forward to the day I can take all of this experience and apply it to a worthwhile printer.
Thanks for reading.