I was looking through my Facebook feed when I saw a friend post about his new DLP printer. The prints looked fantastic and he boasted about the inexpensive cost and high quality printer. Resin printers can provide very high resolution prints while usually constrained by a smaller build volume and typically were quite expensive. This printer can be had directly from the manufacturer on AliExpress for $325 USD + shipping to my door in Canada. The printer, was the Kelant Orbeat D100 from https://goo.gl/MZp5b3 . I quickly joined the Facebook group to learn more. Not long after I ended up receiving the D100 in exchange for an honest review.
Unboxing and First Impressions
Being used to receiving big heavy boxes for larger printers, I was happy to see a small, well packaged printer box. It had some weight to it and nothing sounded broken from shipping. Upon opening to box I could see that they used an appropriate amount of protective styrofoam and the printer arrived, from China, without any damage, a welcome sign.
I removed the printer and accessories from the box and checked the inventory. Everything was there. I had a spare FEP sheet, screwdriver, USB , snips, instruction manual, protective gloves, a 250mL bottle of resin, and a scraper. Almost everything you’d need to start your journey down the resin 3D printing path.
The printer itself doesn’t take up much room in my workshop at 225mm x 225mm x 415mm. The build size is a very typical (for a DLP printer) 115mm x 65mm x 155mm. It uses 405nm UV resin and it comes with a 3.5 inch touchscreen with a very simple but effective interface. While small it has some weight to it. It uses an injection molded green cover, that is not transparent, which is touted to be better than acrylic because it is less likely to break. I do wish it was transparent though just so that it is easier to see the status of the print without removing the cover.
One of my only other gripes with this printer is the USB port. The D100 accepts prints from a USB drive however the USB port is located in the back of the printer. It is inconvenient. The printer is small enough to rotate or move around but I Would have preferred a USB port at the front or side of the machine.
Assembly & First Prints
I use the word “assembly” loosely here as there is not much to assemble. After following the build levelling procedure provided on the USB I was ready to print. The levelling procedure was fairly simple:
- Install the build plate onto the mount and tighten the large knob
- Place a piece of paper over the screen
- Leaving the two set screws loose on the joint of the build plate, you home Z
- Tighten the two set screws
- Adjust the Z height by approx. 0.1mm in my case and I was ready to print
After following the above procedure I moved onto slicing. I downloaded Chitu, the slicer used for this printer, and went ahead with setting up the slicer with the provided settings from the pdf on the provided USB drive. Slicing for resin printing is not like FDM printing. We won’t get into those details here but I recommend researching proper slicing. I inserted the USB drive and loaded a test print via the touchscreen, which was very responsive and worked well. I also liked the mini 3D preview image shown in the touchscreen. I put some of the supplied resin in the vat making sure not to overfill and crossed my fingers.
The first print did not come out great, which was user error on my part. I scraped out the hardened blob of resin and re-levelled the bed and adjusted the Z height. This time… success! I was very happy with the 50um resolution. A lot of folks seem to be turned off by resin printing with the presumed mess and workflow as it differs greatly from FDM. I already own an SLA printer so I’m familiar with the workflow of resin 3D printers but if you plan ahead it’s not so bad. I used the yellow scraper that came with the kit and popped the print off. I rinsed it in 99% isopropyl alcohol and water, followed by some time in my LED curing chamber. I may have left it in there a little too long while working on some other things at the time but here’s a photo pre-cure:
Printing and Maintenance
I moved onto some more challenging prints. I can’t say every single print was a resounding success. There were a few bumps along the way that were attributed to improper leveling but after cleaning out the vat, making sure to level the build plate properly again and re-trying the prints came out nice.
The print quality is significantly better than an FDM machine printing at a typical 200um resolution. There are just some prints, typically smaller or higher detail, that would be nearly impossible to print with a standard FDM setup which comes out great. I was able to use the supplied Kelant resin as well as Monocure Rapid resin without issues. The Stormtrooper helmet (provided by Geoffro) and the 3D printer fan ducts I printed would have turned out not nearly as nice on my usual FDM printers with 0.4mm or 0.6mm nozzles.
The FEP sheet still had plenty of life left, but for the purposes of the review I wanted to try my hand at swapping out the FEP sheet with the provided replacement. This proved to be quite easy. I unscrewed all the screws on the base, removed the old sheet. Cleaned the aluminum vat up with isopropyl alcohol. Added the replacement sheet and tightened all the screws. After leveling the plate, and adding resin the next print came out great again.
I have been really happy with the Kelant Orbeat D100. It is a simple machine that prints well with minimal fuss. The community has been great and Kelant has always been extremely responsive providing support where required which is really important when you are using a less familiar technology. The price is definitely right for an entry level DLP printer and the prints that have come out have been great, my camera doesn’t do them justice. It has been a dependable little printer for me.