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Labist X1 3D Printer – Can it Really Print? – 150$ 3D printer





Transcript

Hello everybody and welcome to another review. Today we’ll be covering a small 3d printer which has a very low price point and is supposed to be easy to use. Now full disclaimer before we begin. I purchased this machine with my own money and was not paid to do this video so everything you see here will be based on my own opinion.

When I first opened the box, I was surprised to see just how few parts were needed for the assembly. Most of the parts were already wired, and it looked like just a couple of components needed to be assembled. Also, the interface system was simplified to use only 3 buttons which is a unique take on a 3D printer. The only component which needed to be assembled was the Z axis in which you put the wiring through the opening before attaching it with some Screws. After that, All you needed to do was to attach the filament spool holder with another two screws. Now this machine is designed to work with smaller spools such as those which are sold by Labist themselves so this will mean the user will have two options when using this machine. Either you can order spools which are the same type or you can order a separate spool holder which can hold a regular size 1 kg roll. For my setup, I used a separate spool holder since this was easier for me to work with however doing so did increase the footprint of the machine.

The instruction manual that came with the machine was well written even if the binding wasn’t the greatest. The good news is that the machine came with an SD card which had the digital version included. If they can replace the binding for future products it would greatly help polish up the user experience. Like most printer’s this one also came with pre-loaded printable files which you can start printing immediately with. Important to note is that since there isn’t a menu system on this machine I would highly recommend just have the file that you intend to print on the SD card at any given point in time. This does make it more difficult to streamline prints however this does simplify the printing experience. This machine is mainly geared towards novices so keeping this in mind I will be giving two separate verdicts as a result. Now although some of their advertising shows children using this machine, I would never recommend a 3d printer to be used unattended by an adult let alone a child since several safety issues could arise. Some of these included the fact that this machine doesn’t actually posses a power button which in itself makes it problematic. The only way to currently turn off the machine is to unplug the power supply either from the control case directly or through the wall socket. In my case I used a power bar to achieve the same results. The thermistor was simply taped to the custom heating portion and also used a connector for easy replacement, so I was able to test thermal runaway protection. Thankfully, this machine does have thermal runaway enabled which is great news considering that the firmware can’t easily be modified, and we’ll go through that in more detail latter on.

This machine does feature a magnetic flexible build plate which is great however it tends to be way too sticky. As a result, you can see what will happen if you don’t take the proper precautions. To prevent this from happening, I would highly recommend covering the build plate with some painter’s tape since the prints will stick just as well to that surface, and you can simply replace the material afterwards. Doing this will help lengthen the longevity of your build plate. Now at the time of shooting this video they were sold out of replacements however you can normally buy a replacement build plate if this one becomes damaged. The build plate also isn’t heated, so you’ll be limited to either PLA or a lower temperature TPU filament which is fine for most people starting off.

Before you actually start printing, you’ll definitely want to level the bed since this is normally something which isn’t perfect when a machine comes out of the factory. To do this, you’ll need to press the home button to move the machine to it’s home position. Make sure to place a piece of paper in the top left-hand corner of the build plate before you do this. Using the Adjustment Nobs, you’ll either tighten or loosen these until you’re just barely able to move the paper. The only way I was able to move the nozzle around the build plate was by turning the belts themselves so if you do this make sure to be very careful since obtaining replacement belts wouldn’t be easy given the initial design of this machine.

If you decide to stick to the software that came with the machine then slicing should be pretty straightforwards however if you’d prefer to use a more mainstream software than getting the machine calibrated can be somewhat difficult. These are just a small portion of the test print that I went through to calibrate mine, but there were some key components that will make your life easier. First off, this machine isn’t designed to go fast and since it’s a direct extruder you’ll want to make sure that retractions are turned off. These were the settings that I ended up using on my machine. These settings will need to be tweaked for your particular device since both each filament and machine tends to have its own nuances. The main website does also feature some recommended settings, so those will also be a good starting point for your printer.

Now one thing that I noticed is that there were some design choices which could be problematic if repairs or upgrades were needed. One user mentioned that the belts were non-standard which could be a very big issue should one of them break. Another issues are with the firmware, since the company hasn’t shared the source files. This makes any upgrades or adjustments an issue in the future. So as such this machine isn’t really gear towards a tinkering mindset. The nozzle itself seems to be attached using a method which I honestly didn’t feel comfortable disassembling since it didn't seem like it was intended to be replaced easily. The thermistor however does appear to be easily replaceable so long as you know what type is compatible which this machine. Once again since we don’t have access to the source files we can’t actually check to see which one we’d need to get as a replacement. The stepper motors are soldered to the board which does make the connections more reliable however replacements would be much more difficult since it would involve desoldering them and finding compatible replacements. To the companies credit, the machine components are fairly easy to open up and access so if the repair is a minor one it may still be possible.

Now how did the prints compare to other machines, well this is where some issues start to creep up. No matter what I tried, I got a messy base on all of my prints. Overhangs clearly suffered from poor cooling and from closer inspection I would say that it’s design of the layer fan which seems to only be cooling the top side of the prints. Also, this machine isn’t the quietest so having it in the same room that you’re sleeping in might not be the greatest idea if you’re running a long print. The noise on this printer was between 52.2 and 59 dB which isn’t the quietest but isn’t the loudest either. Once again, since updating the stepper drivers and firmware aren’t an option we’ll be limited to what comes stock with this machine. As long as you’ve turned off your retraction settings, you should end up with decent quality prints for the price point.

So is this machine really worth the money? If you’re just starting out and don’t know if it’s something that you’ll want to keep using, then this is a pretty low risk option, however if you intend to modify or use this machine for product production than I would spend a little more to get a device which is both repairable and upgradable. Now days, there’s quite a few options out there and for a very affordable price. Here’s my final verdict. For a novice I give a solid 6/10, it works well as long as you know how to take care of it. If you’re a Tinkerer or using it for production then I give it a 3/10 since it will be very limiting in its use cases. So although I see this machine having quite a bit of potential I do find that there are better options out there.

Just a reminder to those of you watching that I will be posting the transcript on my main website and that if you want to go through this video in more detail you can do so by changing the play settings. This can be done by hitting the gear icon on the bottom right-hand corner of your screen and changing the speed settings. I hope you guys enjoyed this video and I hope to see you guys soon. Thank you and take Care.

Nozzle Change – CR10 V3 3D Printer





Transcript

Hello everybody and welcome to another video tutorial. Today we’ll be addressing the question that some of you had in the past as to how to change the nozzle on the CR10 V3 since the housing is very tight and difficult to disassemble. Well the good news is that you can do this pretty much as easily as any other machine if you know what to look out for in the process. As always, I am in no way responsible for any damages that may occur so do this at you’re own risk.

Before we even begin removing the existing nozzle we first need to clean out the hot end and there’s a very simply method that I prefer to use for this. The main method I use now days is commonly known as a “Cold pull”. Not only is this great for cleaning out your nozzle if it’s jamming, but it’s also great for clearing out the passageway when doing a nozzle change.

Although I do prefer to use some TPU while doing this, PLA will also work, but you’ll just have to be careful not to snap it in the process. To start things off, if you don’t have any filament already loading into your machine you’ll need to preheat the nozzle by going to “Prepare” + “Preheat PLA” and “Preheat PLA End”. Both PLA and TPU will both use the same temperature settings in this case. Now with TPU you have the option of tying the end into a knot which will make it easier to remove later on, so we’ll cut a piece off that’ll be long enough to feed through and feed it into the hot end. Just make sure that it’s a little longer so that it extrudes slightly. Remove the part that extruded from the hot end and begin cooling down the machine by going to “Prepare” + “Cooldown”. The hot end should be at its normal room temperature before continuing to the next step. Once it’s Cooldown completely you’ll restart the heating process while tugging on the filament at the same time. As the hot end heats up any residue will be dislodged when the filament is pulled out at a low temperature. As you can see I did this process with both TPU and PLA with the same results. Once again just make sure not to snap the filament while doing this step.

For the following steps here’s what I recommend you pick up for the nozzle change. While some of these are optional most are highly recommended. A ratchet with extender and bits, needle nose vice grips, magnetic tray, pipe joint tape and your replacement nozzle.

With the nozzle cleaned up we can now begin swapping the end so to do this will need some needle nose vice grips. Normally for most machines you don’t need this specific tool however because of how close the hot end assembly is to the components and the difficulty which can be experience in removing the outer shell I do highly recommend you pick this up. A small ratcheting socket set is also helpful however there are more specialized tools out there, so this one isn’t as necessary. You’ll want to take a close look underneath to check where the wiring is mainly located since the last thing we want to do is damage the thermistor or heater cartridge. To do this we’ll raise the hot end assembly up the Z axis by going through the menu system. Go to “Prepare” + “Move Axis” + “Move Z” and we’ll set the number high enough to easily access the hot end with our tools. As an extra precaution I would also recommend putting something on the glass bed just in case you drop a tool on the surface.

Anything after this point should be done with a minimum of one glove on your hand to keep from burning yourself. With your vice grips you’ll lock this onto the heater block while making sure to avoid any of the delicate wiring that’s on the inside. Luckily the design of the hot end assembly automatically places these components into an area where they’re less likely to get damaged. Here’s a picture of how this looks under my machine but double check just in case before clamping the vice grips in place. The nice thing about using a ratchet which has an extender on it is that the extender helps to defuse the heat far easier and prevents burning. So you’ll unscrew the nozzle carefully and remove it from the hot end assembly.

Before we begin putting on the replacement, we first want to add some pipe joint tape since this’ll help produce a greater seal within the threads and prevent material from oozing out. I personally prefer using the version which is thicker since it requires less wrapping, but that’ll depend on your preferences. This material can be found at any local hardware store or online depending on what’s more convenient. A very important note is to make sure that the hole isn’t in any way covered or that you get this material inside. This can cause some very bad nozzle jams so take care of this step. If it’s covered, simply use your tweezers to punch a small hole and roll the material around the edge of the thread. Now we simply screw back in the nozzle making sure to have it just tight enough to hold into place. Just as you’re getting close to finish tightening the hot end, you’ll hold onto the vice grips and tighten the hot end followed by slightly turning the vice grips to allow for a greater seal. DO NOT under any circumstances do not overtighten the nozzle since it can snap in the heater block. Simply remove the vice grips, and you’re ready to go.

Also, for those of you who actually want to use this video as 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 change the speed settings.

Repair – Rewire the Hub Connectors – Anycubic I3 Mega S





Transcript

Hello everybody and welcome to another build video. Today we’ll see just how difficult rewiring the cables to bypass the hub controls might be. Unfortunately for me this change was a necessity since there was an issue with the connections from my machine. I’ve tried almost everything at this point, so this is essentially my last resort. Please undertake these modifications at your own risk.

Before begging this mod, I made sure to get some wiring diagrams ready and the good news is that the community has done a great job of posting this information online. I found these two diagrams by doing a quick google search. I got the diagrams for both the hub connection and the motherboard and this was very crucial to troubleshooting issues as they arose. In the end I didn’t need to purchase too many materials to do these upgrades however I was lucky enough to already have most of the tools on hand before starting this project. I will make sure to include a list in the description below for anyone who may which to try and undertake this in the future.

Before starting to remove anything withing the machine, I made sure to take a couple of photos of where everything was located just in case I ran into issues latter on. Every time I disconnected something, I make sure to label the cable immediately. Doing this helped save me quite a bit of time and made it easier to follow the wiring diagrams. Very important to note, is the fact that I had already installed mosfets as an added buffer for the current going through the motherboard.

When beginning to dissemble the machine I made sure to start with the hot end assembly. There are two screws on the top and two lower ones in the back which help hold the cover into place. After removing those I was able to unscrew the hot end hub. When I made my most recent modification, I had added some hot glue to help hold the connections in place because they were prone to coming to lose. Once this was removed, I was then able to disconnect the wires.

When I disconnected the Z-motors, I had the option to either cutting or unscrewing the end stops. I personally wanted to add some longer cables, so I ended up cutting them instead. I removed the connections from the main hub and began preparing the wires. Since these wires were already the correct length in most cases, I simply reused them by cutting off the connectors and separating the wires.

Before starting this project, I made sure that I had plenty of extra connectors available to help ensure that I didn’t run out halfway through. I’ve found that using pliers to temporarily tighten the pin made it easier to crimp together. By including some of the protective coating it helped to add quite a bit of extra support to the connections. Any exposed wire was insulated using transparent shrink tubing to make it easier to see any problems should they come up. With the tweezers that came with the printer, I was often able to push in any pins that weren’t fully inserted which helped to reduce any waste. When trying to get the correct wires lined up, I loosely attached the connector to the opposing side so that I could match the wiring more easily. Before adding any solder, I always use some flux to help prepare the area and ensure a better connection. Pre-tinning the wires before soldering, also made it easier to get a proper connection.

Most of the connections are pretty straight forwards, however there was one area which shared a common connection point for the ground wires. To allow me to troubleshoot and make changes easier in the future, I joined the ground wires together and then added a separate connector to the remaining wires. While this may clutter the inside of the machine more, it does make it easier to troubleshoot issues down the road or make upgrades.

With the wiring done it was finally time to do some quick cable management so by re-using the same cable wraps as before I was able to do this portion fairly quickly. By looking at the initial photos I had taken, I was able to get an idea of how they were originally placed and tried my best to replicate the same format. Before closing up the hot end assembly I ran a quick test to make sure everything was still working movement wise. Although I don’t have the footage, I did discover that with the firmware upgrade I had made, I needed to change the motherboard connection of the Z-Axis to the secondary Z-axis slot. Once I did this, the secondary Z-Axis homed correctly, and I didn’t have any further issues with that portion. In my case, I did run into one more issues in that the ceramic heater cartridge for my extruder was malfunctioning because the wire had come loose. Once I repaired this, the machine was finally able to complete its first print.

So would I recommend doing this to your machine? Well, no not unless it absolutely necessary. It took around 3 days to complete this modification and I did run into additional issues along the way. If your machine is constantly giving you issues and is no longer within it’s warranty then this is perhaps worth doing as a result. Unlike upgrading the firmware, which you can see in this video here, it isn’t necessary unless it’s broken. Now Because I’m not entirely happy with the lack of cable supports. That will be another video for the future but if you want to try this as well, I’ve included some important links in the description below.

Repairs – Change the Hotbed Thermistor – I3 Mega S



This machine has long been problematic so when this came up I used it as an opportunity to show you guys how to change the thermistor of my hot bed.

Transcript

Hello everybody and welcome to another repair video. In today’s video I’ll be showing you how I was able to replace the thermistor on my 3D printer and finally fix the ongoing issues with my printer. Now a quick disclaimer that this video wasn’t sponsored by Anycubic and to do this modification at your own risk.

So before anyone asks, I’ve been having issues with this machine for a very long time. Unlike my first I3 Mega, this one has been prone to stopping randomly, and although I’ve replaced quite a few components and updated the firmware the issues have persisted. While most of the issues were from prints failing to complete on this occasion things were quite different. The print bed temperatures were fluctuating quite dramatically which was preventing the print from starting. I had replaced the motherboard in the past, updated the firmware, replaced the SD card reader and re-checked the wiring, so I was fairly certain that these weren’t the issues. So I unscrewed the build plate and began double-checking the resistance with a multimeter.

The very first thing I noticed was that the thermistor was completely black which could be normal however I still decided to double-check. So the resistance rating for most of these thermistors is normally 100k, but I was reading some strange numbers. Also, you’ll want to make sure that the print bed is fully cooled down prior to trying to take your measurements since this seems to affect the readouts. I also noticed that the readings weren’t the same once re-soldered together so that’ll be something you want to keep in mind.

While soldering, I noticed that the old solder wasn’t coming off easily even when adding flux. I suspected that the heat bed was helping to defuse the heat, so I preheated the surface, but that wasn’t enough. I ended up adding some fresh solder to the connections along with flux which then allowed me to use solder wick to remove the material from the connection points. Once I removed the old thermistor I noticed that there was a small hole where the thermistor was located. With the black coating it’s difficult to see so here’s a small diagram to show you what it looked like.

I did need to shape the wires slightly to make sure that they would align correctly however everything soldered together nicely. After testing it the resistance seemed better than before, but I wasn’t entirely sure that it had worked since i wasn’t getting the same results as when I tested the thermistor prior to soldering it into place. I decided to put the machine back together and do a final test.

When everything was put back together I began running the test print. I had outfitted this machine with a 0.8 nozzle since it was originally used for printing large functional parts. The first print didn’t look good in the beginning however the temperatures quickly stabilized and stopped fluctuating irregularly after the first print. All following prints had stable temperatures. This also got me thinking about what might be the issue with this machine. When I began hitting the reset bottom for the machine all issues stopped when starting a new print. So I began to experiment with the G-code a bit and after trying out the G999 command and a couple of others I decided to compare it with another machines settings. This is where it discovered that there was some extra lines of code and decided to copy and past the end G-code from my CR10-V3 to see if this made a difference. Sure enough, after over a year of being problematic the problem finally seems to be fixed. Or was it? Unfortunately once I started a larger print, I began running into the same issues as before although at least my print bed temperatures were correct this time. I will be posting the G-code in the description below just in case it does end up working for you.

Having seen a lot of issues with the wiring hubs of this machine I will begin trying to rewire it in an effort to get the machine working properly. Make sure to keep an eye out for the follow-up video when I undergo this process since I will be including a price breakdown as well.

So was this repair worth it? I’d say yes considering that the thermistors are fairly inexpensive now days especially the one’s which are compatible with the Anycubic printer. In case some of you were wondering, I bought the NTC 3950 100k version at the time from Amazon however if you’re worried about compatibility issues and don’t want to risk having to change your firmware settings you may which to order it from the main Anycubic website. After over a year of having a problematic machine, I finally seem to have one that works on par with my expectations.