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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.

How Good is the CR10 V3


In this video I take the CR10 V3 and put it through its paces to find out just how good this machine is.  I talk about the build quality, some suggested improvements and the overall design and functionality of the machine.  I also tested this machine with a some flexible filaments to see just how this machine might perform and show the final results. 

This video is a follow-up video to the original unboxing of the machine, and you can view that video at the following link. Unboxing the CR10 V3

Transcript

  Hello everybody and welcome to another video. In today’s video I will taking a look at the New CR10 V3 printer which came out recently. This is the follow up video from the initial unboxing experience so if you’re curious about what it’s like to put the machine together, make sure to check out that video in the description bellow. 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.

  To start things off this machine is a large printer which prints a dimension of 300x300x400mm and can reach hotbed temperatures of up to 100°C with a printer nozzle temperature of up to 250°C. Unlike many 3D printers this machine uses a direct extruder which pushes the filament directly into the nozzle instead of the traditional bowden tube. This feature makes is quite suitable for printing flexible filaments which is what was tested for this machine. Also included with the machine, is a run out filament censor which is located a the top of the machine along the spool holder.

  If you getting this machine yourself, you’ll want to keep the spool holder height in mind since it does take up more room because of it’s current location. This is however useful if you’re more limited in your overall space since you can easily place this on a table which doesn’t have any fixtures above it. I personally did end up liking the fact that the control box was separate since this allowed me more options in placing the machine. I for instance placed the 3d printer sideways but oriented the box controls towards the front of the table so I would have easier access. Having the control box separate also makes repairs a good deal easier since you can completely disconnect the machine in order to do the proper maintenance without having to deal with the whole unite.

  The hotbed itself has a very unique design in that it’s easily removable which makes replacements easier in the future and I do which more companies designed their print beds in a similar manner for this reason. This design also makes is possible to upgrade the print bed in the future with a flex plate which is great news for those who enjoy tinkering with their machines. The print bed is also pre-insulated to help retain the heating temperatures and is a welcome improvement to what can be typically seen in most printers today. I did see some reports about the V2 model having issues maintaining it’s heat however this isn’t something in which I found to be an issue with the model that I currently have.

  While having a touchscreen is more visually appealing and less daunting to those who are new to 3D printing it is still fairly easy to navigate. The machine does come with some basic instructions which do help significantly in this area. There are some things you may wish to know since they can often be taken for granted. For instance, if you the filament sensor goes off because there’s no more filament available and goes into standby. In this case the nozzle will cool down which is a good thing for safety reasons however it will mean that you need to reheat the nozzle prior to changing the filament. This is something you can easily do by going to “Prepare + Preheat PLA + Pre Heat nozzle” This will only pre-heat the nozzle at which point you can remove the filament in question. Be very careful not to jostle the nozzle otherwise your print will shift and this could cause the layers to be more brittle when they come apart.

  Now although the direct extruder is great for working with flexible filaments you definitely want to be aware that it can be difficult to maintain. The way it’s assembled, the wires do get pinched very tightly onto the side of the housing which does keep them out of the way however it can make reassembly interesting to deal with. Nozzle replacement shouldn’t be too affected however just keep in mind that you’ll want to raise up the print head before you do so. Creality has a very good tutorial on their YouTube channel which walks you through the steps and I recommend that you look at that video for more details. Most blockages can be removed with the aid of the provided tweezers so keep those nearby should you need them. For more severe blockages, you will most likely need to use the included needle to help push the blockage up and out but in most cases it can be removed by doing a cold pull. From a complete cool down state, start heating the nozzle up to temperature while pulling on the filament. This causes any deposits to be lifted up with the filament since they become just hot enough to stick to the filament being pulled out. This may have to be repeated 2 or 3 times but does a more thorough cleaning of the nozzle. One thing to keep in mind is that the extruder does have a bowden tube placed inside of the heat sink so on occasion this may need to be replaced however this should be a rare occasion.

  The nozzle does ship with a 0.4 nozzle along with it’s replacement however I would suggest that you replace these with a 0.6 or 0.8 since this will reduce your print times significantly for larger prints. If you require more detailed pieces and are willing to wait significantly longer than it may still be worthwhile. When it comes time to removing the filament, You’ll want to push this portion forwards until the filament comes out. Make sure the nozzle is heated before you do this otherwise this will be far more difficult to achieve and could result in the filament snapping within.

  The filament run out detector currently only accepts 1.75 filament which isn’t unsurprising since the filament trajectory could be problematic when the print head comes too close to it’s maximum height. I’ve had some issues with the filament snapping since it doesn’t have a bowden tube to help guide it’s trajectory. Fortunately this was mostly an issue with the cheaper filaments which were more brittle however part of this could of been caused by the extremely tight filament sensor. This filament sensor produces a lot of friction which may be the source of this issue and I would like to see this address in the future. When the filaments snaps, it doesn’t trigger the run out sensor because of it’s current location. This was far less pronounced when printing with TPU but was aggravated when using soft PLA. Having the sensor away from the print head is still very much appreciated since it make filament removal easier however I would like to see the angle of the spool revised along with the run out sensor. Having a gradual entryway to the filament sensor would get ride of the hard edges which seem to be causing the friction and should be a minor fix in the future.

  The frame is very well supported and given it’s size I’ve experienced very little Z-Wobble which is very much appreciated. For the wiring, some areas have been glued to help ensure that their connection points don’t come lose over time which is a good call since I’ve definitely experienced this issue with other machines in the past. The only thing to keep in mind is that this will make it more difficult to replace such wires in the future because of how they are currently attached however if they last much longer then this shouldn’t be an issue. All the cables are clearly labeled so tracing connections are a lot easier and will make future modifications easier to achieve. Along with the sturdy frame, the machine has silent stepper drivers and a built in mosfet. Although I personally prefer when the mosfet is separated from the board because it’s easier to replace, I can appreciated the fact that there’s one less item to troubleshoot in the future.

  So how did this machine perform? Well let’s start with the default Test print that comes which the machine. These prints are always a good way to make sure that you’re machine is functioning correctly and should always be the first thing that’s printed. So in my case I choose the dog and although it’s difficult to see just how well it printed because of the filament color that came with the machine it did very good. I then tried printing with flexible PLA which I soon discovered had a tendency to get stuck because it shaved so easily within the gear system. The results however were very comparable to the dog print. With that out of the way, I immediately changed to a 0.8 nozzle to see just how well it could print with a wide variety of materials. Once again I printed with the flexible PLA as well as some regular PLA and TPU filament. Here were results of the standard Benchie Test. I then followed up this print with a large scale print for my client in TPU which for NDA reason I can’t show on video. I can say that the 4 day print was very comparable in quality to my small Benchie Test print in TPU. I also 3d Printed a bust of one my sculptures. To test the full build volume, I then printed a vase in vase mode.

  This machine is really good. Especially if you already know that you want to use it for flexible filaments. While the user interface is perhaps not as modern, it does the job quite fine and with a couple of tweaks this could be an even greater machine. So would I recommend this machine? It’s a good machine if you already have some basic experience. I probably wouldn’t recommend it as your first printer because of the user interface and most user’s don’t require such a large build volume starting off. This is a very good upgrade to your current repository and is an affordable next step.