Tobias Kaiser
A Computer Engineer's Projects and Ideas

Three weeks with the Cetus3D printer

This is a short report of my experiences that I had so far with the 3D printer Cetus3D and what I have learned in the first three weeks of owning it. In short my experience is very positive. I was able to print many designs that I have found online on websites like Thingiverse and also print own designs. I planned to use the 3D printer mainly for printing enclosures for electronics prototypes, but I have not done that so far. There are so many exciting print-at-home possibilities with a 3D printer.

Some third-party designs I have tested

  1. Parametrized lego brick, worked very well

  2. Poker chip, worked very well

  3. Screw ball, worked very well, including the threads

  4. Exploded planetery gear set, worked well, the fit of the gears is a bit tight (but I scaled the model to 60% or so)

  5. The 3D Printed Marble Machine #3, was not able to print successfully, in spite of multiple attempts, see below

  6. The Cyclone: triple lift, triple track marble machine, worked very well

As an example, here is how the exploded planetary gear set turned out with the printer:

Example print

Calibration issues

The manual said that the printing bed should be somehow pre-levelled / pre-calibrated on arrival, so that a single-point calibration should suffice before starting to print. This was simply not the case with my printer and I doubt it is with any of the delivered printers, since the bed has to be mounted by the user and there are two possible rotations in which the printing bed can be mounted. The Cetus3D manual does not mention how to properly calibrate the bed. My recommendation is opening the calibration dialogue in the Cetus3D software and then pressing the "manual" button. It requires a bit of learning to figure out how to do this.

Also, the printer should often be recalibrated to ensure best print quality. If the print head is off by just a fraction of a millimetre, print quality will be reduced or the print can completely fail.

Issues with printing large continuous plane

I tried to print the Cyclone marble machine three times with the printer, but failed. The problem in this case was that the printer / the filament could not handle a large continuous plane at the bottom of the model.

The first and second time I tried to print it with raft enabled. After printing a few layers of the large plane, one side of the model would warp off the bed. The printer continued printing and left some residue of itself on the model when it kept running against the model. :(

3D printer fail

I tried it another time with raft disabled. I hoped that the raft would adhere to the bed better now. The warping happened regardless, but this time the unfinished model jumped off the bed and the printer kept printing in the air...

3D printer fail

Possible reasons:

  • The printer might have been miscalibrated.

  • Maybe there was a problem with the PLA filament that I was using.

Pros of the printer

  • Low price

  • High accuracy

  • Takes standard filament

  • Comes with software, which is easy to setup and optimized for the printer

  • Robust mechanical design

  • I like the design.

Cons of the printer

  • Software is closed-source and runs only on Windows, Mac and iOS

  • Delivery of the printer after the order was placed took more than three weeks, even though product was marked as in-stock and express delivery service was used.

Conclusion

I think the Cetus3D is a very good printer for its price and I am impressed what you can print with it.

In the future I will possibly publish some of my own 3D-printable models here or somewhere else.


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