Wanhao Duplicator i3 3D printer test and review
The Wanhao Duplicator i3 3D printer with its underlying i3 concept is one of the most popular devices for several years. At the time, the machine was priced much cheaper compared to other devices, whereby today e.g. Flashforge 3D printers became price competitive.
Despite this, the Duplicator i3 is still very cheap and offers a good printing quality. Even if the 3D printer kit is already assembled, it requires more set up work to start compared to other Plug & Play machines. However, this is reduced to only a few components, screws and cables that you have to connect.
The biggest advantage of the Wanhao Duplicator i3 3D printer is the possibility to make changes. Compared to assembled products of XYZprinting or Flashforge, it is relatively simple to change e.g. the print head or other components. In addition, there is a very large printing volume which enables you to print a broad variety of 3D objects.
- 3D printer with one extruder
- Printing volume with 20 x 20 x 18 cm
- 1x tape for the printing plate
- USB cable
- 4 GB Mini SD card with adapter
- Auxiliary tool
- 1 x spatula
- 1 x spool holder
- Power cable
- Small roll of filament/material
- Operations manual
The Wanhao Duplicator i3 3D printer is neither a fully assembled product nor a DIY-Kit. The main components of the device are assembled and only need to be installed/connected at some places. The printer is divided into 3 parts: the printing platform, the print head and the computer device next to it. The two former components must be connected with screws which is a bit more complicated but the operations manual is very straightforward. In addition, a proper cable connection is required for the communication between all 3 parts in order to operate the printer in a functional manner.
Material / filament
The Wanhao Duplicator i3 3D printer uses PLA plastic that suits the device as it has an open housing and no heated printing plate. However, larger 3D objects can therefore shrink on the sides which leads to the famous material curvature (warping). Blue tape or mouse ears help prevent the warping at the sides of the objects.
The Wanhao Duplicator i3 3D printer does not have its own slicer, but rather focuses on hardware execution of the i3 concept. Therefore, the device is open to other slicers and can be connected with them. Also the new Wanhao Maker Slicer designed for other Wanhao 3D printers is connectable with the Duplicator i3.
The data transfer works via the delivered USB cable or SD card.
Here is a video guide which shows how to connect the Ulitamker slicer Cura with the Duplicator i3:
- Cheap (biggest advantage with volume)
- Print quality
- Print volume with 200 x 200 x 180 mm
- Customer service, mainly through forums
- Open printing housing
- No automatic calibration
- Old-fashioned screen operation
- No ABS filament
The company Wanhao had its beginnings with 3D printers in China. They combined the best concepts of the RepRap 3D printers and the Makerbot devices in one. Thanks to its great success, the manufacturer has increasingly expanded abroad, especially in the private and school sector of Europe as well as North America.
The Wanhao Duplicator i3 3D printer is a great device for beginners who like to have the freedom of e.g changing components. For true makers who like to spend a lot of time with construction, DIY kits are recommended. If you would like to start as quick and simple as possible, you should consider using fully assembled 3D printers like the Flashforge Finder. The Duplicator i3 scores with a great print quality compared to similar devices, a low price and a large print volume.