And just in time for the third-world internet gremlins… No net for three days.
Assembly was a breeze, cabling made much easier by their already-terminated end stops and steppers. But… A broken piece of acrylic would probably have stopped someone else -luckily I have tons of parts and was able to fabricate a replacement.
And their default settings for the Marlin firmware are way out… Waaaaaaaaayyyyy out.
So if their idea was to make an out-of-the-box DIY kit, they failed a little. Still have to go through tons of calibration, and being Merlin, needs recompiling every time… Aaaaargh! Having no net could have been a problem, but I had the sw already, so it didn’t slow me, but there are no instructions, even describing what firmware is running or basic calibration
But there are many, many pluses. Good level of components and generous numbers of spare nuts, bolts, cables, wrapping, tape, etc. every acrylic cut was clean and no hangovers,
Good instructions (only one error I caught -which stumped me right at the beginning, 6mm bolts stated on the video, but 16mm were needed). It was obvious when I opened my eyes and saw what he was using.
So, overall a mix of ‘pleasantly surprised’ with ‘that could be better’.
For under $300 delivered, I think it represents excellent value for a first printer, but you would need to be more experienced than a ‘first printer’ kinda guy.
I have a lot of resources and am familiar with building all sorts of motion control devices, someone less familiar may have struggled. And the broken part is just bad design -it’s too weak in acrylic, either needs a better solution, or the part needs beefing up.
7/10 for completeness, let down by documentation and software on the CD and unidentifiable firmware.
6/10 for component quality -acrylic is an easy build, but they just took the i3 design and replicated it in plastic, without thought to durability -in just one area, really, but a critical one. I hacked a solution, but it’s inelegant and if I was selling these, every one would eventually be returned for the same thing. The MKS controller is pretty good and they have made it fairly foolproof, but I would have liked the option of using 24v, rather than just 12 (but the hot bed came pre-soldered for 12v and would need some disassembly to fix - everything is kapton-taped together underneath, with a layer of insulating material beneath the heater) and the 2.5mm alloy plate could easily have been 5mm at little additional cost. It’s just too light, in my opinion.
Overall, not too much to fault. If you are looking for a cheap printer for your mate to get into 3D printing, at $270 it was a bargain, even given its flaws. If you want a little workhorse to take up some of the slack its value for money, but I will be cnc’ing some parts not too far down the line to beef up some areas (and fix that annoying breakage).
Would I recommend? It depends who you are and where you live. If you are in the U.S., probably not- for $100 more you can get better, but for those of us for whom US shipping rates are exorbitant, it’s not a bad job for the money…if you are adept and with a bit of experience. I wouldn’t recommend it for a beginner.