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 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.