James Stanley

I bought an extremely cheap 3d printer and it's great

Wed 25 January 2017

I had a look on eBay last week to see what sort of price 3d printers are going for these days, and was surprised to find some on offer for £150. At that price it's obviously not going to be very good, but should be fun anyway.

I placed my order on Thursday.

Over the weekend I played around in FreeCAD and designed a wheel and some mounts to keep my hidden bookcase door from sagging.

The printer arrived late on Monday and I began assembling it. The printer came partially-assembled, which is more than I expected. However, it did not come with any instruction booklet. It did have a CD but I have no way to read a CD. It is likely the CD had a PDF of instructions.

I briefly Googled for instructions but they were no use. Probably for a different printer. So I assembled it without instructions, and it went surprisingly well. Except the screws are really small and fiddly. That's OK though.

My first print didn't go too well.

There is some issue with the extruder where it starts clicking and stops extruding, particularly at high speeds. I turned the speed way down, tried to clean the nozzle, rejigged some of the electrical connectors, and made sure to give the extruder a bit of help if it started clicking, and got some pretty decent prints:

The surface finish is poor and I still have to babysit the machine to make sure it is extruding properly. Also it is quite slow because the speed is so far down. For example each of these parts took over an hour to print.

Overall I am delighted with the machine. At £149 it's a steal. Way better than I could have expected. I am excited to design more plastic parts.

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