I’d like to thank Gearbest for providing this printer for the purposes of reviewing it so that I could share my experience with others.
I was excited to see what the Tevo Michelangelo could do as I already have a Tevo Tornado, Creality CR-10, and a Creality Ender-2. Many are comparing the Michelangelo to the Ender-2 however there are some differences between them.
The Tevo Michelangelo comes assembled with a 150mm x 150mm x 150mm print volume. It’s noted to have a max print speed of 100mm/s but recommended at 60mm/s. It uses a Bowden extruder and an MK8 0.4mm diameter nozzle on the hot end. Due to the lack of heatbed, the recommended materials are limited to PLA and TPU. It can print offline with a full size SD card or via USB to your computer. It does use an MKS Gen L control board with removable stepper drivers should you wish to upgrade. At the time of writing this review, the Michelangelo is being sold for $210 USD on Gearbest.
I was really impressed with the packaging. Everything arrived in place and nothing was broken. In typical Tevo fashion, the black foam was cut perfectly around all the components and the printer fit extremely snug inside the cardboard box.
Instructions & Assembly
Tevo advertises this as a fully assembled printer, and for the most part it is. The only components that need to be installed are the rubber feet for the base/control box of the printer, and the dial knob for LCD screen. Those components were installed very quickly.
The Tevo Michelangelo Manual does come with some instructions on slicing, prepping models, and connecting your printer to your computer using Repetier Host. There’s a Tevo Michelangelo version of Cura pre-loaded onto the provided 4GB SD card. I highly advise obtaining a high quality SD card locally. While this SD card has worked ok, I have had bad experiences using SD Cards that came with a printer that ruined very long and large prints.
I plugged the provided power cord into the printer and flipped the switch located at the back of the base. The Michelangelo immediately powered up and I was very surprised about how bright the LCD screen is, a little too bright. It’s a little hard to see the characters on the LCD screen unless you’re looking at it from specific angles.
The frame and structure of the printer is very sturdy and solid. It uses a 2040
v-slot extrusion for the z-axis rail and the v-wheels do include an eccentric
spacer to adjust the wheel tension. The Y axis uses a 2020 v slot extrusion for the bed to travel on and the x-axis also uses a 2020 v-slot extrusion for the hot end carriage to ride on. Tevo opted to use what they call inductive sensor endstops as opposed to the traditional mechanical switch endstops. The belt for the Y axis can be tensioned using the built-in slots on the control box top plate and this is a great little detail that you don’t often see.
The baggy of spare parts actually included a calibration cube that was pre-printed supposedly on this very unit. It’s measurements were 19.9 x 20.2 x 20.4making it seem like this printer is fairly dialed in but could use some minor tuning.
The belts were snug, the ptfe tube showed no signs of movement in the fittings, and the v-wheels were adequately tuned on the x, y and z-axis. I have previous experience with Tevo printers coming with the Tevo clone version of the e3d Titan and was cautiously optimistic on how well it would work on this printer. I checked the Tevo Titan extruder and sure enough the large hobbed gear is not perfectly set with the gear on the stepper shaft. However since this printer is geared towards new users, and comes fully assembled, with nothing in the directions to indicate to check the Titan, I continued on with the print tests as is without adjustment. Again i’m trying to use the printer as it comes for the purposes of this review.
I sliced a model in my preferred slicer using a profile from another small cantilever printer and set out with my first print with PLA at 60mm/s. There’s no blue tape or build surface that came with the Michelangelo so I attempted to print PLA directly on the unheated aluminum bed and I could not get the print to stick. I relented and added some blue painters tape. I proceeded to leveling the bed using the “Bed Level” controls on the LCD menu prior to starting my first print on the blue tape. The “Bed Level” option sets the hot end into position in the 4 corners of the bed and you manually adjust the bed height using the bed leveling screws underneath the bed carriage as you would typically do with manual bed leveling. I should say I had some difficulty leveling the bed as the leveling knobs on the left side of the bed tend to be really close to the Y axis belt idlers and my large hands had difficulty maneuvering around that area.
The first sets of completed prints that came off the print bed were beautiful. The printer movements were extremely fast. I haven’t had any of my other printers home this quick. Layer lines were even. Very minimal wringing, and it handle a slightly curved bridge without supports extremely well due to the dual 40x10mm blower fans that come stock with this printer.
This bathtub boat was printed at 60 mm/s
using Mamorubot black PLA. You can see the Michelangelo was able to handle the tiny posts in the cabin. The haul was printed smoothly and the little smoke stack in the back of the boat although small was printed without failure. This was a good first benchmark print.
The next test print I went with is the Phil-A-Ment model. This was printed at 60mm/s with the same black PLA. The Michelangelo printed this model very well. The bottom of the hands, where some printers fail due to lack of cooling, were handled perfectly by the Michelangelo.
It needs to be noted that at the time of this review, Tevo has yet to release the Marlin firmware source files for this printer which is disappointing as they are not following the GPL license terms set out by Marlin.
I’ve put this printer through about 40 hours of use so far completing benchmark prints and commission prints for customers. It has worked very well and has been consistently reliable so far. The community is growing daily on the Michelangelo Owners Facebook group and as such so will the community support. With time being short for me these days with family and other commitments, opening the box, pulling the printer out and printing within about 10 minutes was a nice break from the other kits I’ve assembled in similar price ranges. I really like the attention to detail on this printer. The part cooling fans can often be lacking from other printers or manufacturers but Tevo not only included a part cooling fan, their design incorporates dual part cooling fans. The endstops, while I haven’t seen them used elsewhere, have worked without issues and have been reliable. I have broken the levers off mechanical endstops in the past so I do see this as a positive.
The lack of heatbed is a concern for me as I do print in other materials and I use heatbeds on all my other printers. Blue tape has worked perfectly fine with my PLA prints but I will be adding a heatbed to this printer to open up some more possibilities and I’ll be documenting the process in the Facebook group for others to see. I’m disappointed the firmware hasn’t been released yet by Tevo, but I’ll continue to ask for it as others are in the community and I expect them to release it like they did with their Tevo Tornado. All in all, I do think this is a great 3d printer in this size range that in my experience works out of the box, and works well.
If you’d like to purchase one yourself, you can visit here (this is not an affiliate link): https://goo.gl/ptvLqF