Our cat, Coco, enjoyed playing in the box the printer came in while I was building the printer.
Here’s the first print off the printer. No calibration, default settings in Slic3r. Amazing, right off the bat.
I’ve been out of the 3D printing game for the last few years – gave it up after I had yet another hot-end meltdown on my Prusa. It’s been bugging me though, and I wanted to get back into it.
Rather than fix up the old printer, I thought I’d buy a new printer and see what sort of improvements the last few years have produced. I spent a bit of time looking around at the cheaper-end printers, particularly the highly-popular Ender 3.
In the end, I selected the Tevo Tarantula Pro. It’s slightly more expensive than the Ender 3, but comes with some features which put it above the Ender:
- Print cooling fans
- Integrated design (all-in one)
- Better electronics, with replaceable stepper motor drivers.
Most of these features are often after-market upgrades people make to their Ender 3. I figured by spending a bit more money up-front, I’d have to spend less down the road.
There’s been quite a bit of improvements in the general designs of 3D-printers in the last few years. Some of the most obvious improvements which seem to be common these days:
- Improved electronics (usually with screens) MKS-Gen-L and the like is a big step up from an Arduino Mega with Ramps.
- The extruded aluminium sections are almost universal these days (though the Prusa’s still use two smooth rods for the x-axis, though they are now aligned vertically, instead of horizontally)
- Bowden extruders (though again, not with the Prusa)
- Cooling fans, both for the extruder and the print. I’d probably have prevented a couple of hot-end meltdowns with an extruder cooling fan.
- GT2 belts and pulleys. My old prusa was using T5, and when I stopped, a few people were moving to GT5 belts and pulleys.
- 1.75mm filament. 3mm was the standard back in 2012.
I ordered the printer from Banggood, and it turned up in less than a couple of weeks. I’ll make a couple more posts about the build, but for now here’s an image of the final product: