Hello and welcome to our post today.
In some of our blog articles, we have already made available 3D models for download so that our readers can print them themselves.
Many of our readers already own one or more 3D printers and have a lot of experience in the field of 3D printing.
However, we have a middle-aged colleague * cough * who still doesn't have a 3-printer. "Too expensive, too complicated, too slow" are his arguments.
However, a lot has happened in recent years. With many current models, even inexperienced users can set up and start up within a few minutes. At least that's what the manufacturers and the many test reports and videos on YouTube promise.
We wanted to do the test and bought our skeptical colleague a 3D printer.
The following points were very important to us:
- quick and, above all, simple assembly
- inexpensive to buy
- convincing print quality and acceptable speed
After a little bit of research, we chose the "Anycubic i3 Mega" (click here for Amazon Link) decided. This narrowly beat the Cetus 3D MK3 in our selection, mainly because of the cheaper price, the larger print volume, the heated print bed and the widely used Cura 3D software.
Here is the experience of our skeptical colleague when he first commissioned his first 3D printer.
The printer was delivered within approximately one week of the order. The device comes in a pretty nondescript box:
The printer is packaged very well and is adequately protected from damage during transport.
Before I took the base out of the packaging, I wanted to see how the thing looked inside. The interior makes a good impression, the cabling is clean, only the 2 screw clamps on the mainboard are slightly oblique, but that does not detract from the function.
There is also nothing to complain about when wiring the power supply. All cables are provided with cable lugs and screwed down properly.
So far, all of this has made a pretty good impression. I screw the bottom back onto the device and start working on the second layer of the packaging.
Here we find a roll with 1 KG black filament, as well as the rest of the printer in a single component.
This part forms the Z-axis and is completely pre-assembled, including the motors, the "extruder" and the "hot end". All technical terms that a colleague had to explain to me. For beginners like me, this just means that everything is already pre-assembled.
Unfortunately I didn't take a picture of the assembly, as it was actually done within 10 minutes. Fasten the frame to the base using the 8 screws supplied, plug in 3 cables, check whether the power supply is set to 230V, and the printer was set up.
The holder for the filament roll is made of transparent acrylic glass and can be assembled with 4 screws and nuts in 2 minutes. Do not tighten the screws too tight, otherwise the acrylic glass could splinter. As you can see in the photo, I left the protective film on the acrylic glass. Here is the finished printer with the supplied accessories.
Now the page started to scroll through the instructions. Did I do everything right at all !? The instructions are completely in English - but still easy to understand and with many clear pictures.
The touchscreen responds well, and after changing the language from Chinese to English, I was able to follow the next steps to calibrate and pull the filament. I did both for the first time and everything worked right away.
In addition to the instructions and software for so-called "slicing", there is also a test model for printing on the enclosed SD card.
However, I downloaded the latest version of the free Cura 3D software, selected the printer "Anycubic i3 Mega" after installation and imported the model with the owls from the SD card.
There I reduced the size of the owls to 33% so that I didn't have to wait hours for my first results.
Since all the settings in the software don't tell me anything, I exported the model with all the standard settings as a "gcode" file to the SD card.
With the SD card inserted in the printer, my first printing could begin.
Still skeptical and with a critical look at all the cables and the filament sensor, the printer started with the first layers. The fans are louder than expected, but not uncomfortable. More on that later.
The printer has actually printed! The first layers seem to adhere well to the printing plate, and everything else looks promising.
On the next photo you can see the details quite well. While printing it was not yet possible for me to see how exactly the printer works.
After less than an hour, the print is nearing completion. There were no problems during the process. However, some threads and "noses" can be seen in the picture.
I am more than satisfied with the result, even if there is still room for improvement. After the printing plate had cooled, I was able to actually detach the models from the printing bed without using any force. After showing the result to my experienced colleague, he said I probably set the temperature too low.
In fact, the printing temperature was set to 200 ° C, the filament can be printed at 190 ° C to 220 ° C.
So I raised the temperature to 210 ° C and printed a calibration cube to check how exactly the X, Y and Z axes print. To give you an impression of the printing speed, I created the following short video:
The result was very good. The dimensions of the 20mmx20mmx10mm model are 19.8mm x 19.9mm x 10.0mm. I would not have expected this with a print without any settings.
I am delighted with the result. Next I will probably try the owls with a temperature of 210 ° C, but the printing errors are not due to the printer, but to the settings and my ignorance.
Of course, this is just a first impression of the device. It will be seen in the next few weeks and months whether the device can continue to inspire me. I am really amazed at how easy it is to set up and start up the printer, and how good and solid the processing is.
If one of our readers, like myself, could not bring himself to get a 3D printer, I can highly recommend this device to get started.
While I am now writing the blog post and the printer is waiting for its next job, I suddenly heard a very familiar sound: the rattling of a defective fan. I suspect it is the fan of the built-in power supply. Since the fans were already too loud for me, I had to replace all of them (or the fans from the power supply, mainboard and hot end).
For many of you, 3D printing is old hat, but I hope you found our post today interesting or entertaining.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to use the comment function below.