Assembly of a Chinese 3D Delta Printer Kit

I got myself a Chinese 3D printer kit. It is a delta configuration build after the Reprap Kossel Mini . The Set included:

  • Hardware (linear rails, belts, motors, screws feathers, print surface)
  • Electronics (RAMPS 1.4, LC-display, SD-card, switches, cables)
  • Extruder (direct bowden extruder)
  • Hotend (E3D clone with heater cartridge and thermistor)
  • Heated Bed PCB (for heating up the print surface)
  • Free PLA filament
Contents of the two packages

Everything was shiped with DHL Express from Hong Kong and arrived 7 days after purchasing. Which is very nice for a package from china. Shipping was only 32$ extra. In Germay customs claimed another 68€ so in total 370€ which is not too bad for the two packages containing (hopefully) all of the parts needed for assembly.

Unpacking all the boxes leaves us with heaps of material. The threr cardboard boxes contain all of the parts. The tube contains the linear slides for the towers. The black beams are for the frame and the red PCB is the heater for the print surface. Included in the package were all the Allen keys needed for assembly. A lot of M3, M4 and M5 screws, nuts and various bits. An SD card with the necessary firmware and build instructions were included as well. All the mechanical connections are printed with PLA in a OK quality. The dimensions are met so I was no problem to put everything together.

All the assembly parts layed out on the table

With my comprehensive knowledge of simplified Chinese symbols, which is none, I could read some of the documentation. Luckily the internet is full of assembly instructions for the reprap Kossel mini.

After a few hours the mechanics where done and everything moves smoothly. After adjusting the delta values in the firmware, z height and probe offset for finding the true Z0 position it printed with the included PLA filament. The test cube was sliced with slic3r with a configuration I came up with. After a few layers the extruder stopped working and nothing was fed into the hotend anymore. After some fiddling around with the temperature and manually trying to push the filament through the hotend I dissembled the whole hotend part. It showed that the free filament sample had a huge part of 2mm diameter instead of 1.78, which i measured before configuring the slicer. Due to the large diamter the filament got stuck in the cold part of the hotend. Stupid thing but easyly fixable. Pushing with a small screwdriver from the nozzle side of the cold part released the stuck piece of filament.
Well the free sample found its way to the bin and a spool of light blue high quality PLA found its way to the extruder and out of it again. Tightening the hotend in a hot state will hopefully do the job.

The thing is running, litterally. A nice piece of hardware

If you are looking for a nice kit to build yourself a kossel mini 3D printer you can go for one of the cheap sets from china. But keep in mind, you are in for a steep learning curve. If you want to print 3D models and not fiddle around to much, buy something else.

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