Evolution of a Blog

This blog has evolved as I have as a maker. It starts at the beginning of my journey where I began to re-tread my tires in the useful lore of micro electronics and the open-source software that can drive them. While building solutions around micro-electronics are still an occasional topic my more recent focus has been on the 3D Printing side of making.

Friday, March 6, 2015

First Impressions of the Wanhao Duplicator 4S

There are already good unboxing videos and walk throughs, such as this one, so I am going to be fairly brief.

I would say that I was impressed with the quality of the packaging when my printer arrived.  It was a nice, well thought, out little cube.  Not a light one when you consider the weight of the printer with its metal frame, all the accoutrement's, and two reels of filament!   Assembly proceeded pretty much as shown in the unboxing videos.   My only comment here was that I either missed something in the documentation, was not given all the documentation available, or the documentation really just sucks when it comes to assembly!   Not a big deal as things pretty much slot together but it would have been nice to have a parts inventory to know what bolts were to go where.  Again, not a big deal as the fit became obvious.

Once the printer was assembled I went to level the bed and discovered my first problem.   Only two of the four adjustment points had butterfly bolts on them!   I called Technology Outlet and they were surprised as they had not encountered that issue before.   They dispatched the missing parts immediately.   This was not fast enough for me though.   I quickly printed off some substitutes on my Prusa I3 and we were in business.   Bed leveling, btw, was another area where the reality of the documentation in the box did not match the firmware.  At this point the impressive looking manual that came with the printer went in the bin.   Maybe there is one online that was more complete and up to date.  If so then there should have been a big note somewhere that I missed.

At this point I loaded up some filament and was pleased at how well the autoloader worked.  MUCH nicer than my old printer.   So what to do.   With no further ado I printed the sample from the SD card that came with the printer.   Big old butterfly.   Printed great.  I really would have liked some smaller prints to choose from though.  

Now to first impressions of the software that comes with the printer.    One look and I was glad that I had bought a copy of Simplify 3D.   I don't think that I would use ReplicatorG even if I had not recently invested in Simplify 3D.   Powerful it looks to be but also really confusing.   Being familiar with Slic3r as a slicer and Printrun as the streamer I would probably have kept that as a basic workflow and added what I would have needed to get stuff into the binary language of Sailfish.

Next post will talk about my trials and tribulations doing my first prints with Simplify 3D.

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