3D printing has become highly democratized since my FDM 3D printer test. Let's see what the Longer Orange 30 is worth.
From a plastic printer where you had to mount all the parts one by one (DYI, Do it Yourself), we switched to aluminum printers to mount yourself and then quite quickly, to 3D metal printers already mounted (or almost, just 2-3 screws to fix).
The current trend is more towards SLA resin printers/DLP/LCD.
A quick word about what ALS, DLP and LCD is.
The differences between FDM and SLA technology
FDM – Fused deposition modeling
FDM technology consists of melting plastic, usually PLA or ABS. This molten plastic is then deposited by an extruder layer by layer by making journeys to form the desired model on a tray. The extruder (head) usually moving in an X and Z axis. And the tray moving on a Y-axis. There are other variants, depending on some models, this may be different: the head moves on an X, Y and Z axis and the tray remains fixed.
Once the 3D part cools down (within minutes), it can be used as is or sanded, and then painted. In general, a post-treatment is necessary to avoid seeing the different layers (called layers).
The price of home FDM 3D printers is around 150-300 euros.
The price of PLA coils are around 20 – 30 euros per kilo.
The finesse for a layer printed by an FDM printer ranges from 0.05 to 0.3 mm.
SLA – Stereolithography apparatus
ALS technology, called stereolithography, consists of solidifying a photopolymer liquid resin. This solidification is localized by UV radiation. Layer by layer, UV rays will solidify the liquid resin to form the object in 3D.
Unlike 3D printers, 3D SLA printers do not require 3 axes X, Y and Z, but only one, the Z.
Once the printing is complete, the print must be drained and cleaned from the thin layer of liquid resin that remains glued to the print. This can be done with concentrated isopropylic alcohol or an ultrasound bath.
Once cleaned, the room still needs UV treatment to make the part permanently solid. This is the curing stage.
Once curing is done, in general, the parts are smooth and do not require further post-treatment except for the painting if necessary.
The price of home 3D SLA printers is around 250-500 euros.
The price of resins is around 50 – 100 euros per litre.
The finesse for a layer printed by an FDM printer ranges from 0.05 to 0.01 mm.
The Longer Orange 30 test
The Longer Orange 30 had been the subject of a (successful) fundraising campaign on Kickstarter in 2019. It was described as the most affordable and reliable desktop 3D SLA printer.
When you see the features and the price, it is not surprising that crowdfunding has been successful: 2k resolution, reduced price compared to competitors, larger printing area, metal chassis, higher print speed than competitors, layers up to 0.02 mm, etc.
Features of the Longer Orange 30
- Model: Longer Orange 30
- Printing technology: LCD stereolithography (SLA)
- LCD resolution: 2560 x 1440 ( 2k)
- Fine print layers: 0.02 – 0.1mm
- Print speed: 30mm/h (at 100m)
- Connection: USB
- Screen: 2.8-inch touchscreen
- Light source: 405 nm
- Printer size: 200 x 200 x 390 mm
The packaging and content
In this case, it's a 90% mounted printer, so the packaging and protection must surround the printer well. And it is! Fortunately, because I received the cardboard gutted about 10cm by I don't know what, and without the right layer of insulating foam, the printer would undoubtedly have been damaged!
In your box, you have:
- SLA 3D printer
- orange-coloured uv-clear hood in 5 parts
- an assembly kit for the hood (elastic bands and support)
- allens keys
- 1 pair of gloves
- a 250g sample of resin
- 2 3M filters (used to filter resin for recovery)
- an FEP film (serves as a support and separator between the screen and the resin)
- Sector adapter
- a metal spatula
- a cleaning fabric
- playing cards (which serve as a spatula to scrape the resin)
- a USB stick
How to use it
The printer comes with a paper manual – a USB key. The USB stick includes instructions, videos, files for slicing software, demo files ready to be printed.
Everything can be found on the official website.
The videos are also present on Youtube and they are very explicit:
As said above, the printer is delivered mounted to 99%.
There are only 2 elements to do: mount the 5 pieces of the hood using 4 supports and 2 elastics – place the removable tray.
Suffice to say right away: the hood once finished is very low-end.
Although on the video, the editing is easy, in reality, seen can be led to take much longer to mount the hood. Removing the protections from acrylic plates is quite boring. The assembly method is simple, but the problem is at the level of the 4 supports that do not hold the acrylic plates well. You have a space of about 1mm, so your plates slide and therefore with each movement, your plates are not properly stabilized.
In addition, I recommend inserting a sheet of paper in the hollow for example in order to butcher it and stabilize the whole when assembling.
The 5 parts hold each other only by 2 elastics. 3 elastics are provided, 2 are enough to stabilize the whole. The third is there if there's a problem. Personally, the 3rd slammed me between the fingers of the editing …
The hood holds and does its job, but you can't help but think "for how long?" I guess they made this choice of this type of hood for a reason of price (production and transport), which makes the printer cheaper.
Personally, I think that shortly, I will either put glue or sticky paper or some other system to compensate for the possible slamming of the elastics.
N.B.: After contacting Longer3D and letting them know that this hood was a bad idea, they informed me that it will be changed in a few months, at the time of writing these lines.
The height of the plateau
Except for the hood, you just have to adjust the height of the print tray.
The Longer Orange 30
The base of the printer includes a touch screen on the front, air holes on the side and back sides, a stop button, a USB socket and power socket.
Below is a hatch for connecting the LCD screen and a fan to cool your printer.
The Longer Orange 30 is fast to light up, very fast even. You turn the switch on the back and you look at the screen as the resin printer is already ready!
The touch screen is bright and tactile. Unfortunately, touch sometimes has a hard time. If I'm not mistaken, it looks like a resistive screen.
Although it is not the most reactive, this is not really problematic since it is used relatively little.
The sound of the 3D printer
By its nature, a resin printer is quieter than an FDM 3D printer. A resin printer moves only one axis, while an FDM printer moves 3, creating much more vibration.
The Longer Orange 30 is no exception: it's much quieter than a conventional 3D printer.
But it is not silent! The fan itself is relatively quiet, the concern is the air that enters the case creates strong turbulence. It is these turbulences that resonate in the metal box that creates the noise.
This noise is still acceptable. It is around a pc whose fan would run at full power.
Personally, I will try in the future to modify this by replacing the fan with a quieter fan to see if it works even if it is not the fan itself that is causing problem from my point of view. Or by a larger fan.
Inside the Longer Orange 30
I took the printer apart to see what was inside.
Basically, you have:
- A Step-by-Step Engine Longer 42BY6GH40H-2-19D for the Z axis
- An electronic card for energy supply
- an electronic card for offline printing management (two interesting elements are included: an unutilized ethernet port. This means that it can possibly be used online! And the
presence of a microSD card of 16 gigas. So if one day your printer has a memory problem, the SD card can be replaced at a lower cost! No need to change the entire electronic card!)
- a fan SD8025S 12V 0.5A
- and finally, an electronic card to manage the engine step by step.
LongerWare is the slicing software (slicer) provided with the resin printer.
The tested version is the 1.33 . It is a fairly basic slicing software: only the basic options are present with the possibility to add the media. It is not really intuitive or fluid when you move the model, but on the other hand, it is very fast to generate the sliced model.
Fortunately, there are other free software like Chitubox, and Longer3D is aware of this and offers it as an alternative. Chitubox is compatible, you'll just have to add a plugin to be able to save the files in .lgs30. Chitubox is also not very intuitive, but it is more fluid. It's not quick to slice, but it has many more options like creating a hollow model and creating a hole. This hole will allow the resin to escape from the hollow model and thus save the resin!
Prints with the Longer3D Orange 30
First of all, what should be remembered is the dimensions that this SLA printer can produce: 120x68x170mm (L x l x h)
These dimensions are a little larger than what the vast majority of consumer SLA printers offer!
The screen is a definition of 2k, i.e. 2560×1440 pixels. And the pixels are 47.25m.
The resolution of the Z axis is 10m. That is, 0.01mm!
It's all these characteristics that make impressions of them… Impressive!
The models produced are of all its beauties. The details are present and are very clearly visible and the print layers are virtually invisible! Unlike a model produced by an FDM 3D printer.
Longer3D offers you some of the accessories. But this is not enough, you lack the cleaning part of your print as well as other accessories:
- A large stainless steel funnel with removable filter (will replace both filters once they have been used)
- Concentrated isopropanol
Or an ultrasound cleaner
- A mask
- A UV hardener
- A raclette as a replacement for playing cards.
The Longer3D Orange30 is clearly a good 3D SLA printer!
- Large print dimension
- Price more than correct
- Printer mounted to 99%
- Easy to use
- Well supplied with accessories
- The design
- Metal chassis
- Low footprint
- How to use/videos/reactive support
- Easy maintenance: videos – trapdoor
- Compatible with resins from other brands
- Plugin for Chitubox
- The assembly and solidity of the translucent hood
- Not really silent
- The touchscreen
You can get the Longer Orange 30 via this link.