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New 3D Printer - Wanhao Duplicator 4X- Dual Extruder - December 2013 - Black Casing
New 3D Printer - Wanhao Duplicator 4X- Dual Extruder - December 2013 - Black Casing
Offered by 3D Prima
Price: £719.00

89 of 90 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great 3D printer, 4 Jan 2014
Wanhao Duplicator 4
===================

Although my printer was not supplied by PrintME, I ordered the same printer and have been using it for a few weeks now. As expected, it's taken me some time to get good results so I thought I'd share my two-pennies worth here ...

Unpacking and assembly: The Duplicator is well packaged and supplied with 1 reel of black PLA and 1 reel of white ABS filament (1kg each). The printer is 90% assembled requiring only the mounting of the printer head - all tools and bits are supplied. Two reels can then be loaded and fed through the heaters. There's a spare glass plate, clips and tape which sit on the heated platform; I would highly recommend using the glass plate with Kapton tape applied to it (more on usage below).

Build quality: I have the black acrylic version which is sturdy and well built. It lights up with blue LED's and an informative LCD screen.

Firmware: Almost identical to Makerbot's; in fact there are instructions that come up like press the red 'M' (Makerbot!)

Software: The opensource software, ReplicatorG, is supplied on a 2GB SD card. A couple of sample x3g files are also supplied - I tried the butterfly which printed out with no issues first time.

Usage:

After several weeks I've had my fair share of mangled results but it was worth learning ways to fix issues. The main issues with this (and many other FFF printers) are;

1) Correct temperature settings:

The heated filament extruders and the heated platform; Extruders/Platform usually 230/110 deg for ABS and 200/100 deg for PLA

2) Level platform

This can be quite tricky so I printed out a large spiral that would slowly circle and allow me to adjust the platform thumbscrews. If the platform is too low, the filament won't stick. If the platform is too high, then the extruders will smear the filament and sometimes scratch the platform surface. The filament should just about squish the filament onto the platform surface in an even manner.

3) Getting your model to stick and not warp (large models especially)

I initially used the build platform which has Kapton tape applied to it. However, I came to realise that the bed very slightly warps. I then used the glass platform clipped on with bull clips (make sure these don't obstruct the extruders!) ... I found that glass alone takes longer to heat up and often won't, by itself, adhere well to the filament. I then applied Kapton tape to the glass which works really well - the best solution so far.

However, for really big models, they tend to warp (esp. ABS) and start to peel off the platform. To tackle this I let the print run for 4-5 layers, paused the print with 'Change filament', and then applied a little (neat) PVA glue around the corners and thin sections that would peel off. This was highly effective although you should not get glue on top of the print where further layers will be printed - they wont stick!

Once the print was finished, I could simple unclip the glass with the print on it and wash it under the tap. Both the print and PVA glue would wash off almost immediately ready for the next print.

Other tools/supplies:

Filament: You will need to get more filaments of various colours (around £20-£30 each). ABS has a matt finish and can be sanded more easily. PLA is hard, shiny and more brittle - it can be very difficult to separate fused bits, whereas ABS is more forgiving. ABS can warp more than PLA with big models.

Tools: Various small files, sharp knife, scissors, PVA glue (for technique I mentioned - use at your own risk!), sandpaper/block, acetone (nail varnish remover - use with care - used to clean platform with ABS)

Niggles:

1) The ON/OFF button should be at the top or front of the printer - it's difficult to turn on or off because the printer is bulky.
2) The X axis started juddering after I found the wiring became trapped and pulled a wire. This is easy to fix.
3) The blue lighting looks cool but not so useful when looking out for problems in the print. Better internal lighting would be useful.
4) The spools of filament tend to slip along the spool holders and the filament can get jammed - I've had a couple of prints starved of filament.
5) If you don't used the 2nd extruder often, the 2nd filament may break off - this is not serious - it just means you have to feed the filament through again.

Modelling:

I use ReplicatorG to prepare the final model which needs to be designed in something like Blender, Sketchup or 3DS Max (I use this one). Modelling for this printer requires several considerations;

1) You should not have any 'bridge' larger than 0.5 cm that bridges across a gap. Even then there's no guarantee that it will work.
2) Models can overhang as they build up but no more than 35-40 degrees. Otherwise they will need extra supports from the base. There are problems with sharp corners that overhang as well - filament tends to build upwards and can get knocked the second extruder.
3) Walls need to be reasonably thick - typically 2-5mm depending on how high the structure is.
4) If you have a model which has large bridges or overhangs, cut the model into sections and then join the sections together. Models are usually very smooth underneath where they were stuck to the platform; this has the added advantage of sticking two sections back to back with no noticeable join. For example, a cylinder on its side would have overhang problems, so split it in two and join the two sections together.
5) Models can't have intersections and open holes in the geometry. Geometry must be double sided (inside and out). Use netfabb.com to clean up your STL file before loading it into ReplicatorG.
6) You can add a lip or brim to the base of your model. This helps it to stick to the platform although it will take some cleaning, filing and cutting to remove the brim. I really don't like using a raft base as it is horrible to remove!
7) ReplicatorG requires Python - DON'T use the normal Python 2.2, instead use PyPy (2.2) which is much quicker and does the same job. You can set the Python interpreter in 'File>Preferences>Advanced>Select Python Interpreter' and look for PyPy.exe as your interpreter.

Lastly:

Be prepared to WAIT for large prints - they can take up to 12 hours for a good quality one but the results can be amazing. Overall, 3D printing is very rewarding and I've often felt like a kid getting up the morning to find a new present sitting on the platform after it's finished! Small prints obviously take a lot less time - as little as 15 mins for a small model.

If you're into prototyping, modelling, art or just love creating things from your imagination - then this printer is highly recommend.

I hope you found this review useful!
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 27, 2014 11:45 PM BST


Builders Hat
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Price: £4.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor quality, 18 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Builders Hat (Toy)
Came in a nice sturdy box but I was surprised to find that it's made from very thin plastic (the type of plastic used for packaging - e.g. a chocolate box tray or vacuum packaging)

Even though it's fairly cheap - it's still not really worth it.


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5.0 out of 5 stars Nice case, 16 July 2013
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie, 13 Nov 2012
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I have to repeat what many people have said about John Carter ... why on earth it got such low ratings, I can't imagine? It's very very good. OK it smacks of Avatar and a few others, but the story is great, the cast is good and the effects are amazing! Thoroughly enjoyable - not a dull moment.

Don't listen to critics - it's worth every penny and deserves top ratings. I think some critics have a lot to answer for!!

Get it, watch it, enjoy it.


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
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Can't understand why so many find problems with this game - it's brilliant!
The avatar world is pretty much faithfully reproduced - if you ever wanted to explore Pandora, then you won't be disappointed. Vehicles, buildings and scenery are all highly detailed. UBIsoft have really captured the scale. atmosphere and detail of Pandora; screenshots I've seen don't do it justice. What I love most about this game is that you can take your time to explore as well as carry out the missions. Buy this game - I highly recommend it. 10/10


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