Wanhao Duplicator i3 test and review

339,00 inkl. Mwst.

A great 3D printer of partial as a modular system, which requires connecting components to a certain degree. The large printing area and cheap price are great purchasing arguments for the Duplicator i3. What is missing is a closed print housing to prevent material curvatures (warping) and better customer service. Other than that, all necessary aspects are provided and using the printer is no problem for eager as well as experienced makers.

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Description

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.

Package Contents:

  • 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

Getting started

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.

Slicer

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:

Advantages disadvantages

Advantages:

  • Cheap (biggest advan­tage with vol­ume)
  • Print qual­i­ty
  • Print vol­ume with 200 x 200 x 180 mm

Disadvantage:

  • Cus­tomer ser­vice, main­ly through forums
  • Open print­ing hous­ing
  • No auto­mat­ic cal­i­bra­tion
  • Old-fash­ioned screen oper­a­tion
  • No ABS fil­a­ment

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About Wanhao

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.

Conclusion

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.

For more reviews and expe­ri­ences on the Dupli­ca­tor i3 3D print­er, click here »

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