Everyone or nearly has already heard of 3D printers.
But for those who still do not know what is a 3D printer, it's like a conventional printer that allows you to create your paper documents, except that here, it's in 3D! You can also choose the color, and even material! Generally, it is the PLA or ABS plastic. But you also have metal, wood, etc…!
A 3D printer allows you a lot of things (as long as you have time): create replacement pieces yourself, create works of art, create or copy figurines, etc. In short, I would even say that the limit is your imagination (well almost, because printers do not print infinitely, they have predefined areas and some technical limits depending on the models ^^)
Having heard a lot about 3D printers and the fascinating prints that could be obtained, I got one, the Geeetech Prusa i3 aluminum 3D printer!
Why test the 3D Aluminium Geeetech Prusa i3 printer as a first test?
Why did you choose the Geeetech Prusa i3 aluminium as the first 3D printer?
Mainly for 3 reasons:
- The first is that it is relatively affordable price for a 3D aluminum printer level.
- The second is that the Prusa i3 model is very well known in the world of 3D printing, so I knew that in case of difficulty, in addition to the Geeetech company, I can find information and assistance without too much difficulty on the net for it.
- And the third is that, according to my research, the cheapest 3D printers are all in acrylics, but only as a result of the structure of the skeleton of the 3D printer be acrylic, the printer is very stable when printing! However, a printer, still makes good spurts! (Besides, printer paper, also!) All the tremors will eventually resulted in several problems of tension, torsion, calibration, detachment, etc… I've already put a paper printer on an unsteady table, which made the printer shake from left to right every time I printed, well I can tell you it didn't take very long to notice any printing problems!
So I decided to opt directly for a more stable printer and not start investing afterwards in improvements or another printer afterwards.
Be aware that there are different types of 3D printers. Among the best known, you have the FDM 3D printer, which comes to deposit melted filament layer by layer, and the 3D resin printers that come solidify the resin layer by layer.
Characteristics of the Geeetech Prusa i3 aluminum
The printer's specifications
- Printing technology: manufacture by filament melted (FFF).
- Max print volume: 200 x 200 x 180 mm
- Printing precision: 0, 1-0, 3 mm
- Filament diameter: 1.75 mm
- Nozzle diameter: 0.3 mm
- Type of filament: PLA, ABS, wood, flexible PLA, Nylon and wood polymer.
- Operating system: Windows / Mac / Linux
- Control software: Easy-print, Repetier-Host, Simplify 3D
- File format: .stl, G-code
- Bed temperature max: 110 ° C
- Temperatures extruder max: 240 ° C
- Input: 230V / 0.75 was
- Output: DC12V / 15A
- Connectivity: USB, SD card
- Setting: plate thickness of 6 mm (Silver) aluminium
- Axes X Y Z: durable, stainless steel
- Threaded rods
- Stepper motor: angle 1.8 ° with 1/16 microstepping
Weight and physical dimensions
- Dimensions: 450 x 380 x 435 mm
- Shipping box: 520 x 420 x 230 mm
- Net weight: 7.2 kg
- Shipping weight: 11.5 kg officially. According the label on my package, 8.84 kg
Contents of the package
- Geeetech aluminum i3 printers 3D full kit
- control motherboard (Sanguinololu)
- 3-metre blue filament
- screwdriver with several tips
- diamond stem to file
- extrusion rod
Geeetech Prusa i3 Aluminium 3D printer test
Since construction may take some time, I will write this article while building the printer. Therefore, there may not really be a well-defined structure. So you see my findings chronologically ^^
The expedition went very well. When you open the package, you get a few slips. A booklet containing the different parts and their quantity, a sheet containing the different characteristics of the printer and 2 sheets stapled together that includes the list of all the components.
These sheets stapled are here to tell you that the contents of the box has been checked manually by a human being. As often in large parcels, it is not uncommon to end up with missing parts.
Note: The notices are in English. Personally, I haven't even checked if a manual was available in french, as in all cases, the instructions in English would have been the most up-to-date and best explained, because usually it's from English that it is translated into french. But it seems to me that it is available in french.
The rest of the parts is separated by a block of foam separated in 3 floors.
I forgot to mention one detail: the Geeetech Prusa i3 Aluminium is self-assembly.
It's cheaper, but it also helps to know his machine. And in case of concern, it is much easier to detect the source of the problem and fix it if possible.
Then, the package is very well protected by of the foams and parts by paper bubbles. The foam is thick enough and is separated in 3 floors.
And level parts, we can say that it was worth his money: screwdriver to multi tips, protect-cables, a bunch of clamps, stem for filing if necessary, etc…
For editing, look carefully at all the documents: booklet, pdf, videos. Compare them between them. They have errors on both sides, and given the number of screws, you can't blame them too much. Especially since they change the printer over time. We also see in videos that they show is either identical or similar, and besides, the pdf that is often updated, indicates that this or that piece has changed.
It's great to change and improve the printer over time. But unfortunately there is no indication of the printer version.
At most, you will find a date here and there that indicates the last audit. It's especially bad for those who does not command at Geeetech directly and are likely therefore to have an older version (although I think that it would be fully functional without the improvements, but it's still a shame).
The funny thing about editing videos is that at times you see the guy who says to himself: "Ben shit! Are they or the following pieces?! Or did I put them on? "And hey, he's going to get them! Xd
Or: "I live this there, then this, I try to insert it there" and there you have a hand that says no, it's not in this place! Xd
Little by little it takes shape!
Ah, first concern, it lacks a screw! Not thought to check whether the number of screws was correct or not.
A quick note to the technical support: Nickel, they will send me some!
Ah, and they didn't think of everything! A tool is missing: enough to make a hole in rubber to screw the belt! Fortunately I had the necessary stuff, but it would have been nice to clarify.
With this kind of leather punch, it works very well, it is with a tool of the kind that I did: https://www.amazon.fr/Aodoor-renouvelable-ceinture-tournante-perforateur/dp/B01HPMTLGE
And we're still editing!
When you see the number of wires, you understand the number of colsons provided!
And here's what the final version of the 3D printer looks like:
Then comes the programming!
On this side, nothing special to say, these are software that can practically be used with any 3D printer. The whole thing is to set them up well.
Furthermore, a Geeetech error, is that in the manual, the settings are made for a diameter of 0.4 mm nozzle while the printer I has been provided with a 0.3 mm nozzle.
This difference of 0.1 mm is change everything, a piece that looks like nothing, you have a beautiful printed piece!
It was a great experience to assemble this 3D printer yourself. It was very informative and I do not regret it at all! Setting up your own 3D printer makes you learn a lot about them, and allows you in case of trouble to discover the source of the problem, to be able to fix it, to understand exactly how it works, etc.
Note that the assembly did not necessarily take a long time: making it at my ease, it took me 1 day and 2 afternoons to mount it from A to Z.In case
of trouble, the customer service is on whatsapp and reacts fairly quickly and helps you quite well (in English).
I can't actually compare to a 3D acrylic printer, but from the few I could compare with videos, this Geeetech aluminum really gives an impression of rigidity to any test, I really recommend it!
Edit: Since my test, know that there are now much stiffer aluminum 3D printers that require almost no assembly, the best known being the Creality Ender 3. They come to you in 2-3 parts, and you'll just have to screw a few screws and your 3d printer will be almost ready for use.
I also advise you to read my other article things to know about 3D printing.
Note that it also exists in acrylic: https://www.amazon.fr/gp/product/B01DDNWLWU/