My Chinese i3 3D Printer

  • Posted In: My 3D printer

  • Participant

    Hi all, I started my 3D printing experience like two years ago with a Chinese i3 3D printer. It was a direct drive system with no auto-leviling function. I was supper happy that I was able to print most of my ideas and prototypes but of coarse with some limitations…

    It wasn’t that solid and quite noisy plus doesn’t print super accurate when it comes to dimensions..

    After like a year, I bought another i3 for like 300$ with Bowden setup and Auto-leveling function.

    I got it to print well, but not what I expected… I didn’t really like the Bowden setup as it’s not accurate in printing like a direct drive setup and we all know that (plus hard to print some filaments like flex ones)…

    I wasn’t happy with the Auto-leveling as well, because I was able to make the bed leveled manualy much better that the Auto can do (in my printer).

    So, I made a switch to choose between Auto-leveling and manual leveling when ever I want..

    But until now, in this printer, I will always level it manual to have first layer perfected.

    I bought a big roll of Kapton tape 20mm/30m but I used it once.

    Now I use a mirror that is much cleaner and easier to print.. For PLA I use nothing but a heated bed (70 c) because the temperature will drop a little bit through the mirror. For ABS I use ABS juice (ABS filament + pure acetone) and it works quite well. But it’s so dirty and smelly..

    I decided to use Fleks3d and I will receive it maybe today. I bought the one with 12×12″. It  wasn’t cheap actually.. It’s 35$ and the shipping was 25$ !! (I don’t know why the shipping is so expensive).

    Hopefully this Fleks3d will let me print cleanly any material with the ability to flex the plate in order to pop the printed part up (amazing! No sharp tools that might damage the printed parts or the bed/plate!).

    Over all the i3 is easy and good to start with.. But after my experience, I found that a moving bed is not a smart idea.. even if only moving in Z direction.. In this case Deltas are the best and the smartest! don’t you agree? I’m not going to talk about the other benefits of a delta, it’s all over the internet.. But my next printer is definitely a Delta!

  • Participant

    I agree that deltas appear to be the way to go. I’m building one right now.  But, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.  They have their own entirely different set of challenges.

    • Participant

      Good luck with your delta Steve!

      Yes, deltas are not as easy as cartisians to set up and troubleshoot, but once you set it up it become a piece of art that prints wonderfully!

      I backed The Trium 3D printer on Kickstarter and perhaps a month or two I will receive it. I’m so excited about it as it comes with Diamond hot-end and magnetic end rods.

    • Keymaster

      Hey Steve! On a totally unrelated note to what you guys are discussing you came out as winner of our random forum draw (Everyone that typed something anywhere in the forum is automatically in the draw. So you have 2 rolls of filament coming to you!! 🙂 See latest mail! Next draw is in a week so be sure to use the forum! 😀



  • Keymaster

    Deltas use too much space for less printing area, i dont like this. Anyway, prusas and grabers are a good place to start printing, but not to use it professionally. since they construction and structure is not so realiable for a 100h+ printing.

    About the autoleveling, try replacing the tool (endstop, inductive sensor, whatever makes it work). the autoleveling feature should have a precision of at least 0.005mm, thats waay more than our hands/eyes can do.

  • Participant

    Best glue for ABS on the bed is Ultra Hold hairspray, and it smells nice..! 🙂

  • Participant

    Like Rajaa I got a chinese knock off of a prusa with direct drive. It took a week and a few parts to get it working reasonably well. And Ya, everyone has tried various things for bed adhesion.
    I’m using really cheap Max Hold hairspray in a pump bottle. It’s good for items with decent area in contact but I’ve been printing tall items too. For tall items you need a raft and the hairspray.
    I’ve made a rule Height cannot exceed 150% of the base width in that axis.

    Oh yeah, I Had a Solidoodle Press first. Took a month to get all the bugs out and it was printing really well, then the board smoked. Anyone got a suggestion for a replacement board? The Originals are not available.

    Thanks, Ramjet

  • Participant

    Usually smoke power switches, the processor and ROM must be whole. While they are whole, possible repair.

  • Participant

    In Russia, what breaks down not completely with the possibility of repair is considered good equipment. Good repairability is one of the main qualities by which a product is chosen.

  • Participant

    It is interesting to read your blog post and I am going to share it with my friends.

    Herbew Fentos

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