Nova3D Elfin 3D Printer Review

Looking to buy the Nova3D Elfin? Before you do so, what do you know about it specs, features and price? Read our Nova3D Elfin review to find out everything you should know about the printer.

The Nova3D Elfin is an SLA 3D printer that stands out for its particularly strong adhesive pressure plate and the ability to integrate it into WLAN.

Nova3D Elfin Review

Nova3D Elfin Review

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Nova3D Elfin 3D Printer Specs

Model: Nova3D Elfin
Speed : 30 mm / hour
Printing process: LCD SLA
Printing area: 130 x 70 x 150 mm
Layer height: 0.025 to 0.1 mm
Particularities: Fully assembled, 4.3 inch touchscreen, “NovaMake” slicing tool

We’ve previously reviewed two other SLA 3D printers; the Elegoo Mars and the Anycubic Photon S. The Nova3D Elfin is our third SLA printer to test.

In this review, we’ll provide our experience with the printer to help you know what to expect of it.

Let’s get started.;

Packaging & Delivery

There are no surprises here. The printer comes in an “ordinary” box and is encased in foam to prevent it from getting damaged during shipping.

nova3d elfin 3d printer packaging

The shipment packaging looks almost similar to that of the Elegoo Mars.

The printer is covered with an orange cover that prevents too much UV radiation from getting inside. This cover also contains the resin smell. Even during printing, you will not smell the resin as long as the cover remains closed.

nova3d elfin 3D printer

The Nova3D Elfin 3D printer has a display and power button are at the front. The power and USB connection are  at the back. However, there is no real back since the printer is triangular and tapers towards the back. This unusual design makes it stand out a little from the rest.

nova3d elfin 3D printer

The resin tank is also slightly different. Unlike other printers, the tray is not pushed into the holder and fixed with two screws. Instead, there are four hooks on the side of the tray through which the printer is hooked on from above.

nova3d elfine 3d printer resin tank

There is also the Z-axis tower, on which the pressure plate is raised and lowered via a spiral rod. The plate and the bracket look very massive. However, you can easily remove it, as is the case with other 3D printers.

The plate is attached with a locking screw on the top.

nova3d elfin 3D printer display

The casing of the base is made of plastic. However, the printer is still quite heavy (7.3 kg). Of course, the large display sits on the front.

Accessories

The Elfin comes with various accessories, including a power cable, a power supply unit, and a small bottle of resin. There are also a few small Allen keys and spare parts for the resin tank. The test file and slicing software are on a small USB stick.

nova3d elfin 3D printer accessories

A plastic spatula is included to remove the prints from the plate. There are also a few disposable filters for the resin and a small funnel.

Printing Settings

Like all SLA printers, the Elfin has a small print space (compared to FDM printers). However, the print areas is slightly larger than that of Elegoo Mars and Photon S.  The Elfin has 130 x 70 mm of print space, compared to 120 x 68 mm and 115 x 65 mm of the Elegoo Mar and Photon S respectively.

The height of the print is about 150 mm, which is usually not used to the full. After all, the amount of pressure in the end is determine the duration, while the dimensions of the X and Y axes have no effect on it. You can tilting a narrow, tall model instead of printing it upright to reduce your printing time.

The height of the layers is between 0.1 and 0.025 mm. Therefore, not all the details will be printed. However, this is not a disadvantage considering that individual layers are barely recognizable depending on the model, even with a layer height of 0.05 mm.

Everything below that is an optional extra, especially since it involves significantly longer printing times.

printing an octopus with nova3d elfin 3d printer
The first test octopus turned out well.

The test file (sliced) that is on the enclosed USB stick, is the octopus seen in the picture. The model turned out great even though it has moving parts.

The layers are hardly recognizable here. The layer height of the test print was 0.05 mm. The octopus looks particularly good because of the slightly transparent resin used.
The next print was the Eiffel Tower seen here.

We printed it with the minimum layer height of 0.025 mm. The printing took a correspondingly long time (approx. 22 hours) because of the pressure.

Nova3D Elfin Eiffel Tower 3D Print

As you can see from the pictures, the level of detail is unbelievably good. All structures within the tower are successful, nothing protrudes here and there are no unsightly loops or fiber residues. The level of detail you get with SLA printing is just amazing!

Check the individual beams of the railing in the middle, all of which were correctly printed.

Nova3D Elfin Eiffel Tower 3D Print

Nova3D Elfin Eiffel Tower 3D Print
The individual layers can only be recognized in the macro recording.

Printing Plate

Coming to the printing plate, the models stick extremely well to it.

20 seconds is the default value of the printer’s exposure time  in the slicing software. This is already much shorter considering that most printers have an exposure time of between 40 to 60 seconds.

However, the print is very difficult to remove from the plate. In fact, I’ve ended up damaging some of my prints during the removal process.

If you increase the exposure even higher, you won’t be able to remove your models without leaving scratches on the plate myself. See what I mean in the image below:

Nova3D Elfin Eiffel Tower 3D print destroyed
Extreme sports 3D printing: There is no other way to solve the print here.

When you set the exposure time to the default 20 seconds, you can be sure that the printer wouldn’t fail because of the print failing to stick to the plate. Just be careful when removing the prints. In fact, lower the exposure time at the beginning to avoid ruining the printing plate.

I’ve experimented with setting the exposure time for the first layers no longer than for the rest, and the prints still hold up well.

NovaMaker Slicing Software

Nova3D includes its own slicing software, known as NovaMaker, which is on the USB stick shipped with the printer. Installing the software is easy, just like is the case with other slicing software.

NovaMaker software works exactly like ChiTuBox or Anycubics Photon Workshop. However, its interface looks slightly different.

NovaMaker Slicing Software

All settings are on the left, while in the top right there are only buttons for rotating the model or aligning the view.

NovaMaker Software

Also, on the bar on the left, there’s the button for the support structures.

NovaMaker Software

The other settings for printing are located at the bottom of the screen. Select the printer from the list, set the layer thickness and exposure time, and you are ready to print.

WIFI printing

The Nova3D Elfin supports WIFI printing. You can integrate it into your WLAN and control it directly from your computer or laptop.

After slicing, you don’t have to drag the file onto a stick and then plug it into the printer. Instead, you can start printing directly from NovaMaker.

NovaMaker Software

However, the integration into the WLAN did not work right away for us. There were always connection errors, but then suddenly they didn’t occur again.

Sometimes it works right away, sometimes not at all. I can’t say exactly why that is at the moment. Most of the time I still use the USB stick.

How do you connect the printer to WLAN?

The first step is to manually connect the printer to the WiFi. Simply navigate via the display to Settings and then to Network Settings and enter the network data there. Then you will see an IP address for the printer. Enter this IP address in the slicing software and you are don.

NOTE: For WI-Fi to work, the corresponding computer must be in the same network.
NovaMaker Software
You can switch between printing and network settings using the tabs at the top of the screen.

With the WLAN connection on, you can control the printer directly via the software. You can move or recalibrate the print platform, send print files to the printer, and start and monitor printing. This saves you having to look at the display again and again. You can even operate the printer in a different room and still monitor it from your workplace.

Verdict: Is the Nova3D Elfin 3D Printer Worth It?

So far, we’ve been impressed by the Nova3D Elfin 3D printer. The WIFI support, in particular, makes printing even more pleasant – even if it doesn’t change anything in the print result itself.

The quality of prints is very good. However,  you only have to be careful with the strongly adhesive printing plate.

To be honest, I have come to love SLA printers than their FDM counterparts.  The technology is much less error-prone. Moreover, while you have to struggle with clogged nozzles and improperly screwed axes in FDM printing, these problems are not there with SLA printing.

I particularly like the beautiful display and pleasant WIFI printing. However, I have more of a love-hate relationship with the printing plate. After scratching it with a plastic and metal spatula at the beginning, my prints performed better when I significantly reduced the exposure time.

Overall, I can definitely recommend the printer. This printer simply works very well right from the start.

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