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  1. #11
    Thanks for the replies guys.
    >> sovol sv01
    Looks great. I can get from Amazon next day for £240 (£30 voucher available) - next day delivery on Prime.
    That looks the favourite - any problems, I can return to Amazon.

    Two Trees Sapphire 2 pro
    Looks great. I do like the option of having an acrylic box.

    'sovol sv01' - doesn't have silent motherboard?
    Auto levelling. I saw an extra widget you can buy that gives auto levelling.
    How much will I miss NOT having this? Is it a one off setting or something that needs to be done regularly?

    'bowden tube printer' - I have no idea what that is. Please explain.
    What are the different types and what are the pros and cons?

    'sovol sv01' vs 'Creality Ender-5 Pro' - how do they compare?

    The only reason why I thought Creality Ender-5 Pro would be good was because I see the 'Creality' brand mentioned everywhere. No other reason.


  2. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    United Kingdom
    Bowden Extruders are a system of feeding the printing Filament into the "hot end" the part that has the nozzle and melts the filament separated by a flexible plastic tube. The problem with this is with soft and flexible filaments they get squashed and stretched by the extruder pushing the filament down the tube and the resistance of the constriction of the nozzle putting the Extruder right on the top of the hot end solves that problem but does raise some other issues.

    Bed leveling is a gimmick and allows manufactures to save on very flat print beds - its much cheaper to make bed leveler than to provide a thick flat build plate. The bed leveler allows the print head to move up and down to follow a wobbly bed. The first upgrade that most people make is to obtain a plate glass print bed. Because glass is naturally flat the bed leveler becomes redundant !! Once leveled even here where we change print bed plates almost daily we only level the bed each week or so taking perhaps 5 mins against which if you look at the cries for help on the forum you will see bed leveler are literally more trouble than they are worth.

    The Creality brand gets a lot of Bashing on the forum but I have been using an Ender3 pro for the last 15 months with no problems but I might have been lucky meanwhile I have just ordered a Sapphire pro to replace the ender to get the graeter speed. I use the 3D printer to provide commercial prototypes for our science and design consultancy.

    Finally the Sapphire Pro uses different method of moving the print head and build plate which enables it to print at a greater speed.

  3. #13
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    the sovol 01 is a good machine.
    meets 2 of the three criteria for prusa design I3's - direct drive and dual z axis motors.
    Has a healthy facebook group.
    I got conned into joining it when they promised to send me a review printer.
    They never did, but I still chime in on the group occasionally.
    Don't get the 02 or 03 - stick with the 01. It's the better machine.

    The sapphire pro 2 does not come as direct drive but that's a simple mod with a small printed bracket (which i could post to you)- however the extruder is not suitable for flexible filaments.
    I've tried, god knows I've tried.
    But there is a design flaw on the drive cog that allows the really flexible filaments to get in behind the cog and jam.
    It either needs a new extruder or a printed modification I have yet to track down.
    For everything else the sapphire pro 2 is the best made budget printer you can currently buy. But for flexibles, it really sucks.
    I really need to take the extruder apart again and work out exactly what i need to make it flex-friendly.
    But for the time being, unfortunately I can't recommend it for the really bendy flexibles.
    And the sapphire plus has the exact same extruder. Annoying.

    The tenlog machines are my current recommendation for all round top notch components
    yes it's £399 - probably cheaper off the chinese merchant sites.
    But dual independant direct drive extruders that - on paper - are custom made for flexible filaments.

    Me i'd suck it up and pay the extra £100 - it's well worth it.

    And yeah helmets can be printed in pieces. I made a viking helmet complete with 100% authentic horns ;-)
    Did it in 4 pieces, glued and painted - looks great :-)
    this is before i painted it:

    The horns are now white, the bosses and seams silver - looks pretty good.
    I mean it's rough, cos it was just for fun - but if you were cosplaying you could make them seamless fairly easily.

    Also you do get gradients of 'flexible'.

    PET and PET-G are fairly flexible in thin sections, if you get the printing settings right.

    Also the softer nylons have a fair degree of flex to them.
    The sapphire will handle all those with no issues
    So it really depends - you don't have to go straight for the cooked spaghetti texture poly-urethane filaments.

    And I also have printed flexibles on a bowden tube - but man is it slow ! And the results are just not that great.

    For some reason known only to them - creality do not make any direct drive printers.
    So in a way that's a blessing - just look around the forum and you'll find that the majority of: 'I have a problem' threads, are from creality owners and ender owners in particular.

    Gambo is one of the lucky exceptions :-)
    And we're glad to have him - one happy ender 3 owner is a beacon of light in the stygian darkness.

    But at the moment the tenlog machines are just ahead of everyone else.

    Oh and manual levelling is a GOOD thing.
    autolevel - doesn't level it corrects for un-flat beds.
    You're always better off with a flat bed and some easy to use levelling knobs.
    Once you drop nylock locking nuts in the levelling knobs, it becomes a set and forget operation.

    I did this on the sapphire pro 2 - levelled the bed - almost a year ago - and have never touched the levelling knobs since.
    Flat bed + locking nuts = set and forget bed levelling.
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 04-12-2021 at 11:16 AM.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    United Kingdom
    Thanks for the compliment CA but I've just ordered a sapphire pro!!!

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    United Kingdom
    Starplanet just for the record one of the really easily printed nylons like Tauman 230 which is quiet soft or Spectrum PA 6 would suit your needs.
    Last edited by Gambo; 04-12-2021 at 11:58 AM.

  6. #16
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Quote Originally Posted by Gambo View Post
    Thanks for the compliment CA but I've just ordered a sapphire pro!!!
    I'll email you the stls - print the direct drive extruder on the ender that way you only have to put it together once.

    You can probably design a better filament holder - but mine works and there's a little trick with the filament that prevents tangles. :-)
    Anyway I'll put it in the email :-)

  7. #17
    Guys Thanks for the replies. All super educational. @curious aardvark - cool helmet. Love it! I've decided to go for the Sovol SV01 3D. The plan: to buy a bigger and better one. £240 from Amazon, I can live with - if I can print flexible plastics. Ordered... will arrive Thursday. One more question though: no silent motherboard? How important is that? ALSO... what else do I need!? For making my first few prints... will I get sufficient bits of plastic spool to experiment with the machine? Thanks. (EDIT: I don't know why my reply comes all jumbled in on single line! I've tried editing 5 times - always comes on 1 line!)

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    United Kingdom
    If you do get filament with the printer it will most likely be PLA so only at best semi flexible but easy to print.

    Several of the filament suppliers sell small samples of filament usually about 50g try a few till you find the one that works for you - every application is different.

  9. #19
    Not too worried about the filament.
    As long as there is something there for me to test with. That will be fine.

    - Silent motherboard?
    I saw on a youtube review that is was noisy

    - Is there anything else I should get or will there be enough supplied for me to test with?

    Last edited by starplanet; 04-13-2021 at 12:24 PM.

  10. #20
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    well noise is relative.

    I've got 6 machines - all different, all making different types and volumes of noise.
    One sounds like r2d2 - which I like.

    Only one has silent steppers - and I frequently find myself looking at it to make sure it's still working - it's that quiet.

    But until I got it, I really didn't notice how noisy the others were.

    As a general rule the fans make more noise that the steppers. And when the steppers do make noise - it really does sound like R2D2.

    Plus the sv01 is a standard i3 - so were you to get skr 1.4 turbo with some 2209 or 08 stepper drivers - it would only cost you about £40, and there are a lot of users on the facebook group who have done similiar. So you can probbaly get a ready made up firmware as well.

    IAs long as you don't have to configure the marlin firmware (a true nightmare) and can just download ready made bin files - it's a doddle :-)

    UPDATE: Okay, like everything else this bloody semi conductor shortage has hit the motherboard makers as well.
    What would have cost £50 this time last year: skr 1.4 turbo, 3.5 inch touch screen and 4x tmc 2209 stepper drivers.
    Is now pushing £120.

    My advice - put up with the noise until prices become a bit more normal. Assuming they ever do.

    I don't know what board sovol are using - but you might just be able to change the steppers over. And to be honest all you really need to change are the x & y axis drivers. Extruders make almost no noise and the z axis isn't exactly running fast or often.

    As far as material goes.
    The best and easiest to use flexible tpu I've used recently is this stuff:
    Love it !

    As a general rule red and orange filament is the easiest to use and the least temperamental.
    White is also very good.
    I bought three rolls of different colour tpu from amazon - all the same brand. And they've all been good - but the red is the best to use and requires the least fiddling with settings to get good clean prints from it.
    Hell I've even got it printing up to 40mm/s - which is pretty fast for tpu. .

    I'm one of those people who don't easily register colours - it's just not that important to me.
    To the question: what's your favourite colour ? - I genuinely have no answer. I don't like pink and pastel colours - but other than that, don't really care :-)
    The coloured things I've been making recently - aren't for my own use.

    So I'll be getting some more of that red tpu. Got some biggish brackets to print in the near future.

    The trickiest tpu I've used recently is Amazon basics - 'greyey silvery'. I needed that actual colour to blend in with aluminium - but I wouldn't recommend it if you didn't absolutely need that particular colour.

    Stick with the red :-)

    Hands down the best budget pla around is from aldi: balco pla.
    About £14 a kilo, currently sold out.
    My mate always gets me some for my birthday and christmas :-)

    Other than that I've been using this stuff:
    It was £14 a roll a few months back.

    Basically I tend to go for whatever the cheapest -delivered from a uk based warehouse - chinese pla I can find on ebay is.

    If you want samples of different materials then check these guys out:

    And if you want some easy to print spools for your samples - try these:

    And if you want to try out flexible filament samples - try these:
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 04-13-2021 at 02:22 PM.

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