Hello everybody and welcome to another video. Today well be taking a look at the Elegoo Saturn, and we’ll also discuss some new issues which you might want to keep in mind when making your next purchase. As always, what you see here represents my own opinions and no money has exchanged hands. I purchased this machine with my own money in order to do this review.
So to start things off, what is this machine and what are the benefits. Well, this machine in particular has as 4K monochrome screen and was one of the very first at a budget friendly price. The monochrome screen allows the machine to print faster, with the added benefit of the screen lasting much longer. It was so popular for Pre-Order, that the machines sold out within the first couple of seconds and a second round was created with the same issue. Afterwards, it took nearly a year to finally find it back in stock online. This machine boasts a print size of 192x120x200 mm, however it is important to note that there’s actually a couple of different alliterations of this machine which come in slightly different sizes. Mine for instance was the V2, which actually had a slightly larger build plate than some of the more recent one’s. As an SLA printer, it uses liquid photosensitive resin to cure prints layer by layer which makes it ideally suited for detailed prints, however it does require proper ventilation and safety precautions since the resins are toxic.
When I first received my machine, the lead screw weren’t lubricated, and I would highly recommend that you add some lubricant to prevent issues along the Z axis. You’ll also want to double-check to make sure there’s no obvious particles or debris, even though this shouldn’t be an issue. Because of the larger print size, I did find it necessary to coat the FEP sheet with some PTFE lubricant. So long as you have a properly levelled the bed, this should allow the prints to come off the FEP sheet without issue.
When you first get your machine, you’ll need to level the print bed and to do this you’re first going to take out the vat and put a piece of paper on the build plate to protect it. You’ll then need to go to “Settings” + “Manual” + “Home”. Once this is set, you can then loosen the two bolts with the provided Allen Key while holding the build plate flat as you re-tighten them. You can then go “Back” one menu and choose “Set Z-=0” Which will set the Z offset for you. Go Back to “Manual” and re-home the plate and bring it up just slightly by 0.10 increments to make sure you have even distribution pressure when you move the paper. As a side note, if your print isn’t sticking, 90% percent of the time it’s that the build plate that isn’t levelled correctly. You can find issues in the first couple of layers at two key points by listening for the suction sound that’s made when the plate makes contact or lifts away.
For some reason, every so often, I ran into an issue while using the Pause print function. In certain cases the build plate would be slightly off when it returned to the print and this would cause a print failure. In my case, I believe the main issue was a possible a symptom of the LCD screen, which brings up another interesting point. If you notice artifacts in your prints and these artifacts are in the same area and get worse and worse, don’t assume that the screen is broken. You can save yourself a lot of problems and money if you first re-seeding the LCD screen. In my case I had to do this after just 3 prints, however once I did this the issue was resolved. When you reseed the screen make sure to put back the tape that’s holding it in place since this will help prevent it from coming out again. My Anycubic Photon also had a similar issue, so this does seem to be a more widespread issue that’s not always discussed.
I would like to see future alliterations have handles of some sort added to the sides of the build plate to make is easier to grab onto as well, keeping it at a more comfortable angle for removing prints. It’s more stable to hold the bed with the attachment, and this can often lead to levelling issues if you put too much pressure. I’ve since installed a flex build plate to help prevent those issues from arising, but it is something to keep in mind.
The vat has a great design feature which includes 4 bolts that can act as feet when sitting on a table or help lock into the correct position when preparing for a print. Another great feature of their vat design are the handles which they’ve placed on the sides. Both are great features that I which more companies could have, since it really does add quite a lot to the user experience. One thing I’m not so found of, is how the bolts holding the vat to the base can come out completely. I, like I’m sure many other’s, have had these bolt fall straight into the vat when my gloves were covered in resin.
As of recording this video, it’s important to note that the manufacturer which produces the motherboards for this machine and other’s has made an important update which locks the user into using Chitubox. Now you can use either the free version or the pro version and you do need to import these files and slice them into their Software for the time being. While it is possible that they may unlock this in the future or provide other companies with the format to save the files, it isn’t currently the case. Also, important to note is that certain machines are not yet supported, so make sure to find out which version you have of your machine before you make any firmware updates. Now I also found Default Lift distance way too height and that was one of the first settings I changed within the Chitubox slicing software.
The menus are very simple but effective and the screen is easy to read, which is always a great feature to have. They’ve gone ahead and added a clean features which helps expose the full print area. This makes cleaning up after a failed print a lot easier to manage, since you don’t necessarily have to remove the entire vat to clean it. Instead, you go to “Tools” + “Tank Clean” + “Next” and simply pull out and discard the exposed layer.
I have to say that I’m not found on the lid design, however I’m fairly certain that this was to keep the cost lower on the machine. I would love to see a future alliteration which has a door that opens in the front, since it takes up a lot less room currently. Here’s a couple of ideas on what that could look like, all with their own pros and cons. IF the company could have an aftermarket lid option, that would great since It would be an easy upgrade path for me as a consumer. To be clear the lid is currently perfectly functional at the moment, however in a production setting where space is at a premium, most machines would be stacked on top of each other and this does become more of an issue.
So how was the print quality and does it make a difference when printing with a 4K monochrome screen? Using some files that I purchased from Titan-Forge I printed these on two different machines. Here’s the same file printed with the following settings on both the Elegoo Saturn(7h12m44s) and the Anycubic Photon (took7h13m56s). The Anycubic Photon has a regular LCD screen and isn’t 4K. Here’s the print results with Anti-Aliasing turn on as well as Image blur. For testing purposes, I’ve also matched each of their settings for the print height as well as the Anti-Aliasing and blur. Since I don’t currently have another 4k SLA printer at my disposal, I’m not currently able to compare it to something similar.
So what is the Verdict on this machine? Well, honestly it’s a very good machine in general, and it gets a solid 8/10 from me. It produces great prints, and it comes at a very affordable price. Most of the issues that I encountered while using it were minor. Since the connection for the LCD screen will sometimes only appear after a couple of prints, it's something which can be difficult to check in quality control. It’s most likely the reason why I’ve experienced this same issue from multiple manufacturers. If you have some suggestions of your own, please leave them in the comments below. I hope you guys enjoyed this video and I hope to see you guys soon. Thank you, can take care.
Hello everybody and welcome to another video. In today’s video, we’re going to take a look at Octoprint and see what it might take to produce a product which might be comparable in value while simplifying the entire process. Now, as some of you may know, I was sent the Creality Wifi box a while a go and was very disappointed in the results. And while I didn’t like the resulting product, I do believe that there’s room for something different in this space. So if you’re a company looking to do something which is similar now’s the time to take notes because I will be looking for these features when doing another review. As always, what you see here represents my own opinions and no money has exchanged hands.
So to start things off, let's discuss what Octoprint is and what people are actually using it for. Since Octoprint has a very creative user base, there’s actually quite a few plugins which can add additional functionality to it’s core mechanism. Its primary use is to be able to remotely control your 3d printer while providing important information on the print's progress. It’s an open source community which I’ve found extremely supportive to newcomers while continuously innovating. Being open source, everything is very transparent, from the source code to the plugins. It is important to note that Octoprint does use Linux, so getting used to using typed in commands will make the transition easier. So people obviously use Octoprint to start, monitor and stop their printers, however people also use this to create times lapses, intergrade with 3d design collections and much more.
The main question is whether a company wishes to compete or work with Octoprint itself. If they want to compete, then they’ll need to create something which is fundamentally better for mass consumption while enabling the user maximum control. Creating a walled garden isn’t the proper approach in this case. Alternatively, they could simply pre-install Octoprint on something which is similar to the Raspberry Pi, while providing resources to help new time users. Both are valid approaches, but require completely different implementations.
For the remainder of this video, I will be focusing on what would be needed to create a competitive product, since both Octoprint and competing products would benefit the most from this information. As mentioned previously, transparency and giving the customer as much control as possible is paramount. A user should always be able to view the source code of a product, since this makes creating plugins easier for developers and has the added benefits of increasing functionality with a limited amount of resources. This also allows the community to submit information regarding vulnerabilities, further simplifying how a company can address issues as they arise.
Community style plugins should definitely be an option, with verified plugins being clearly marked. G-code slicing should be done on the user’s computer, since they’ll be able to better leverage the resources that they have on that machine, in turn freeing up resources on the printing device. For certain devices, a printing Queue option should be enabled, since these machines are designed to work in a production setting. In those cases, having the option to pause once a print is completed or move onto the next print would help expand the devices' functionality.
A feature which is currently missing in the Octoprint Raspberry Pi is the ability to connect multiple printer’s simultaneously and control them within the same interface. While the Raspberry Pi does have the potential to do so, it isn’t currently a feature which is supported officially. This would make the product more targeted towards small business or printing farms and could be a more affordable option for these companies.
I would consider an offline mode to be essential to any implementation since this helps prevent security issues from arising and would also increase the user base further. Companies who are using machines in a professional setting would most likely find this to be a requirement for security reason. The ability to disable the Wi-Fi connection if it’s implemented with a physical button would also be preferred. Additionally, a secured SSH connection should be integrated by default, requiring a custom password by the user. In order to prevent future issues, I would also recommend providing the user upon purchase with a USB key that has the default installer and password information. Doing this will allow the user to return everything to its default settings should an issue arise. Proper documentation on how to connect to the devices, updating, installing plugins and making changes to the password settings will be essential to a positive user experience.
If a company decided to undertake this project, I would recommend that they work with camera manufacturers, since there are issues with compatibility within the Octoprint ecosystem. I would like to see software updates from camera companies to enable time-lapse options via connection through USB. I can confirm that Sony does have a limitation which causes a timeout after the 30-min mark, and this is often an issue for longer prints.
Now that we’ve gotten the firmware and software out of the way, let's begin discussing some hardware requirements. As mentioning previously, I would have a monitor connection available along with multiple USB ports. Two of these should be used for the keyboard and mouse for diagnostic purposes, but additional one’s for multiple printers would also be a necessity. Having the option to attach a camera and a USB stick for file transfers or firmware updates is always an asset. A unique feature would be to enable the connection of multiple printers together. So in this a case a minimum of 6 USB ports would be needed, however the manufacturer could instead implement support for a USB hub, which in turn would reduce manufacturing costs further. Let’s not forget the Wi-Fi connection if it’s implemented. This feature could be an attachment which could be added as an add-on product or have a physical switch which would turn this feature on and off. I personally prefer a physical switch on Wi-Fi connections because I’m then certain that it’s been deactivated.
So with all of this information, I do hope to see a similar product in the future. If some of these features are implemented within Octoprint or whether a company creates a custom physical device, only time will tell. My main hope with this video is to provide companies with a better understanding of what people may like to see in the future. If you have your own recommendations, I would encourage you to post a comment below so that companies can take this into consideration in the future.
Hello everybody and welcome to another video tutorial. Today we’ll be upgrading the machine to use an all metal hot end thanks to a couple of mods that I designed myself as well as installing the new CR Touch which is crealities BLTouch alternative. Full disclaimer, this is not a paid sponsorship, I was sent the CR Touch free of charge for testing purposes and the opinions that you will see here are my own. Furthermore, undertake this at your own risk, and I’m in no way responsible if damages may occur as a result.
Before starting to design anything, I first needed to see how the hot end was mounted to the machine. So this meant dissembling the unit and seeing which portions could be reused and which one needed to be changed. For the components that I’m building today, I did find it easier to do the test prints with PLA, so long as I monitored the temperatures. I then used my SLA printer to print with engineering materials.
I went with the E3D V6 direct kit since even with the exchange rates it came to almost the same amount as a knockoff and I knew the quality that I was getting. Another benefit was the online resources that they provided to the user. They had diagrams which included important measurements and even had the steps for modifying the firmware. So I knew I was going to have the proper thermistor settings enabled without having to do additional research.
With all of this information, I began designing the adapter for the hot end itself. Now in the stock version, the main cooling fan was attached to an outer case which made nozzle changes more difficult because of the lack of access. So I knew ahead of time that I would need to keep this area as clear as possible. What I ended up modelling was an adapter which fit into the stock gear section of the filament feed and used a Zip tie to help ensure that it remained in place. Although the zip tie wasn’t necessary, it was an additional precaution to make sure that everything held together.
While the finished part was printing on the machine, I began making the changes to the firmware. I changed the thermistor type to number 5 which was the 100k thermistor -ATC Semitec 104GT-2. With that portion changed, it was now time to set the maximum Temperatures for the hot end. Because this was a higher temperature hot end, it was important to take into account how the firmware worked. For safety reason, the firmware automatically reduces the max temperature reading by 15 degrees on the LCD screen. So to fully tighten the nozzle, we’ll first have to increase the max temperature by this amount and lower it back down. With this hot end, the maximum temperature is 285 degrees Celsius. So if you do this, you’ll want to make sure that you turn back down the maximum to 285 degrees after properly tightening the nozzle. I made a previous video showing how to do nozzle changes on this machine, which I’ll include a link in the description below.
By this point I had already decided that I would mount the cooling fan to the same screws as the CR Touch, therefore I modelled and began testing this portion together as soon as possible. With the mount for the CR Touch, there’s a little of play involved, therefore it’s important to keep this in mind when installing your part. In my first design I created only one cooling fan however the parts weren’t cooling properly in overhanging areas, so I redesigned this to a secondary output that ran onto the other side of the nozzle and although the designs don’t necessarily match they do however allow for minimal material use and a more streamlined path for the air to flow.
At this point, I began installing the finalized parts that I had 3d printed and replacing the BLTouch with the CR Touch. One thing I noticed was that in my case, I had to use trial and error to manually set the Z-Offset for the machine. To do this, I’m going to level the bed by going to “Prepare” + “Bed Levelling”. Afterwards, I went to “Prepare” + “Move Axis” and lowered the nozzle to the zero mark. Next, I went to “Control” + “Motion” + “Z-Offset” and began tweaking the value until I got a perfect first layer. Just make sure to save your settings otherwise it won’t be stored, so go back one menu after setting the Z-offset and choose “Store Settings”. This meant quite a few failed test prints, but was the best solution I found given the issues I encountered. For some reason, the nozzle would hit the bed whenever I used the proper method of calibration. The only difference was that I had compiled by own version of the firmware by using the source code which had been provided by Creality. In future, I would like to see them update this source code to reflect the changes which may have occurred as well as updating Marlin to one of it’s more recent releases. Other than that, I didn’t have any problems with the CR Touch, so I’m hoping that they’ve addressed the quality control issues which were present with the aftermarket BLTouch.
Now, to make things easier for any of you who may wish to try it out for yourselves, I’m making both the files and the firmware available for download on my ThingIverse Page. So would I say that the CR Touch and Hot End Upgrade was worth it in the end. I would say that yes, depending on how you intend to use this machine. I’m personally swapping out materials fairly constantly, so not having to worry about the bed levelling because of the temperatures changes makes the CR Touch Worth it in my case. As for the hot end upgrade, well that depends on the materials you intend to use. I do want to use some of my higher temperature materials, and I’ve been unable to utilize because of the limitations of the hot end, so once again in my case this does become relevant.
Also, for those of you who actually want to use this video as a guide, keep in mind that I will be posting the transcript on my main website to make it easier to follow along. Alternatively, please feel free to slow down the video by hitting the gear icon on the bottom right-hand corner of your screen and to changing the speed settings.
If you want to support this channel, please feel free to check out some merch on my website. Thank you for watching, and I hope to see you guys soon. Thank you and take care.
Hello everybody and welcome to another video review. Today we’ll be taking a look at the Creality Smart Kit which was sent to me for review purposes. No money has exchanged hands, so this will represent my personal opinion on the device and will be followed up with a detailed video discussing what the company could do to improve the follow-up version of this product. I personally like to see companies improve, so I hope they will take the information I present in these two videos to create something that pushes innovation. I will be posting a link in the description below as to where you can actually purchase this device, however I strongly recommend you watch until the end of the video before you even click on that link.
So what is this set of devices supposed to do exactly. Well, the intended goal is to be able to easily control your printer remotely while being able to check on the printing status visually. Now the idea behind this product is good however as we’ll discuss latter on in this video how the implementations just isn’t that great.
So this kit includes the Creality Wi-Fi Box along with a webcam and before starting anything I wanted to so see if any of these devices would work offline. During my tests, and attempts at hacking the devices, I discovered quite a few important details. First off the camera is pretty standard, so you can actually use like a normal webcam and although the video quality is too bright to begin with, once you adjust your settings it’s actually a decent camera. As for the Wi-Fi Box, unfortunately that’s where the issues started to creep up. Now luckily for me, I had two of these on hand, and I was able to sacrifice one in the name of experimental hacking. Now I personally am not skilled at this endeavour, however I did come across some instructions online which seem to be processing, so I decided to give it a shot. And I promptly bricked the device, and it hasn’t really worked since, so that didn’t go as planned. Turning my attention to the backup Wi-Fi Box I began the setup process.
The machine doesn’t come with the power adapter, so you’ll need to use one that’s 5Volts to 2Amps, which most phone adapter’s use. You won’t be able to connect to the device without installing the app, which is a little disappointing since it means that people like me can’t really use if for client work because of security issues. Also, this won’t work with anything but your cell phone, which means you’ll be forced to use the built-in slicer program to get it to work correctly. Once again, we’re going to be a little limited on our use case for this. So once you plug in the Wi-Fi box with an internet cable, the lights should look like this when they are fully functional.
When you first open the app, you’ll be greeted by a welcome screen which has a browse only mode and a term agreement mode. By selecting the browse only mode you’ll only be able to look at the content and won’ t be able to access any of the services which are provided by the cloud which includes the slicing of 3d models. So if you want to use the device, you’re going to need to agree to the terms of service. There are four tabs at the top of the screen which allow you to change between content. The follow tab is where you’ll go to follow your favourite designers and get up to day info about their designs. The “For You” tab is recommendations that will be made to you by Creality Cloud. Groups is where you can join groups that has content you want to stay up to date with. The last tab is the models one, where you can search for models to print.
To be able to slice the downloaded files, you first need to create a creality account. You will be prompted to create the account the moment you attempt a download. There are two options for this, one is you can use your phone number and the other is through e-mail. I choose to use my phone instead, at which point I received a confirmation number to complete the setup. In order to add a printer, you’ll first need to sink up the Wi-Fi box. To do so, you’re going to go to the bottom right corner of the screen to the “Me” button. From here, you’ll select “Add Device” and choose “Scan or Code” since this will be the easiest solution. If you haven’t already, you will be prompted to give access to your devices' camera. From here you can easily scan the QR code which will allow you to select from two options. Depending on how your printer is to be connected to the Wi-Fi Box, you’ll choose the option accordingly. They do a good job of informing the user of what they need to do in order to make sure that the connection is made to the device. At this point, you will be given the password for the Wi-Fi Box, which is a default of 12345678. This is where you’ll be redirected to your network and internet options, where you can enter the password to connect with the device. After entering the password I could clearly see that I was properly connected to the Wi-Fi box but the box itself wasn’t recognizing the Internet connection. From this point, I tried pretty much everything I could think of. I rebooted the Wi-Fi Box, followed by my network router, and tried resetting them to the factory defaults. I then proceeded to troubleshoot my hardware by replacing both the network switch and the cables to ensure that it wasn’t a faulty connection. My unit no matter what I tried just wouldn’t connect to the internet, which means it's pretty much useless. Once you have your device linked up, it seems like you can add multiple printers to that device, however I was not able to test this feature because the device wasn’t working correctly. This brings up a glaring issue with the device. The Wi-Fi box is pretty much useless if it’s not connected to the Creality Cloud.
So was this product even what people were looking for? I’d argue that probably not, although I could easily see how someone who was looking from the outside of the community might think so. If this product was intended to rival Octoprint, it needed to provide a very similar and secure service that was stable. Now to be clear Octoprint does have its own issues however there are ways in which you can actually use it offline. Octoprint also allows the user to slice their models with their own software, rather than relying on someone else's settings to do the job correctly. This product requires Creality Cloud access and transfer the data to the device via Wi-Fi, which inherently make the data more unstable when compared to a wired connection. We’re also limited to a maximum of 2 devices. A great innovation would have been to allow the user to be able to connect at least 3 to 4 printers and control these remotely. This however is not the case either.
Frankly, I’m very disappointed with creality since this is the first product I’ve used from them which didn’t work out of the box. And my final verdict is a 0/10. It couldn’t do its basic function and as such it failed to deliver on its promise to its user base. Having a working camera means nothing if the user didn’t intend to use the camera on its own. If you’ve spent money on this device, I feel very sorry for you and I really hope they send you a working device or refund what you paid for it. As I said before I will be posting a link for the product in the description below, but unless you’re a talented hacker this might not be the best solution at the moment. If Creality is able to release a product which functions offline and is resilient enough to compete with octoprint then I will re-visit this specific review in the future. As I said before, I intend to do a breakdown of what they could do to improve the user experience if they choose to release a new version in the future.