Wanhao has been rapidly improving its i3 series based on company feedback. Their latest i3 series is the Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus MK 2. Read our review to find out everything you should know about the printer, as well as how it compares with previous models.
Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus Review
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Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus is a 3D printer based on Prusa i3 design. The printer is manufactured by the Chinese company, Wanhao.
This 3D printer is small and affordable, making it suitable for beginners and semi-professional use. The machine requires no assembly; you can start using it straight out of the package.
Here is a video summarizing how the Wanhao Duplicator i3 3D printer works:
Wanhao Duplicator i3 Specs
|Number of 3D printheads||1|
|3D typing method||FFF|
|Construction speed||10-70 mm / s|
|Material support||PLA, ABS mm|
|Material Dimension||1.75 mm|
|Bearing thickness||0.1 mm (100 microns)|
|Position accuracy||XY = 12 microns / 0.012 mm, Z = 4 microns / 0.004 mm|
|Building platform||Heated – up to max 100 ∞ C|
|Flow temperature||260 ∞ C|
|Connections||SD card, USB|
|Construction volume (WxDxH)||200 x 200 x 180 mm (7.2 liters)|
|Machine Size (WxDxH)||400 x 410 x 400 mm|
|Writing program||Open source, Cura (open source), Simplify3D|
|Operating System||Windows, Mac, Linux|
|Machine weight||10 kg|
Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus MK2 Overview
As the 3D printer model suggests, the Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus Mark 2 is an upgrade of the popular Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus. While this upgrade does not feature much in terms of design, functionality has been greatly improved.
For example, the calibration system and the rails of the printing bed have been upgraded. On the same note, the extruder has been updated and is now completely metal.
The 3D printer uses FDM technology. The upgraded single extruder has three plain bearings that make the printer more stable when undertaking a job. This also means better print quality.
The Duplicator i3 MK2 has a touchscreen display and uses a CNC cable chain. Good cable management in the printer ensures that the collected cables are not hanging loose nor do they rub against the printer frame.
This printer now has the capability to resume printing in case of a power outage.
The Wanhao Duplicator i3 MK 2 3D printer is primarily targeted towards beginners with a small budget.
What’s in the Box?
When you buy the Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus MK 2, you’ll get the following items in the package:
- The 3D printer
- Set of hex keys and bolts
- USB cable
- Power cable
- Heated bed film
- SD card
- Filaments spool holder
- 10m of test filament
Wanhao Duplicators i3 Plus MK2 Set Up
The Wanhao Duplicator i3 MK2 comes already assembled. This is why we recommend it for beginners. You can remove the printer from the box and start printing immediately.
The printer has both a manual and automatic calibration mode and works with both Cura slicer and Replicator G (Wanhao’s proprietary slicer).
The Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus can be connected to the computer via a USB port. The printer also has an external SD card reader. The printer package comes with an adapter that you can use to insert the card into the card reader on your computer.
Like other 3D printers in its class, the Wanhao i3 Plus has an LCD monitor and a control button.
You can control the printer through the built-in LCD interface or through your PC. The touchscreen is intuitive and has easy-to-understand commands.
To print your models, simply do so through USB or via an SD card.
The size of the Wanhao Duplicator i3 V2 is 400 x 410x 400 mm. This is a pretty small printer that can easily be used in the office or home table.
The machine has a movable metal sheet with a heated building plate. The plate prevents the material from cooling too fast to become misformed.
The printer’s nozzle diameter is 0.4 mm. Therefore, you can print models with relatively high precision.
Filament and Material
Thanks to the new MK10 head, you can print items in multiple materials with the Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus, including PLA, ABS and PETG.
You can also print metal-based materials and nylon that require slightly higher temperatures to be used for printing.
However, to print the high-temperature materials, you should get an “all metal hotend” which is a nozzle with a higher temperature limit.
The standard software for Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus included in the package is Cura. However, you can also use Simplify3D and other slicer software.
Depending on your workflow, these are the programs we recommend:
- .AMF: Solidworks
- .DAE: Blender, FreeCAD и Autodesk
- .STL: Google SketchUp
- .OBJ: Microsoft Visual Studio and CADRazor
Duplicator i3 Plus Print Quality
The Wanhao Duplicator i3 V2 has a build volume of 200 x 200 x 180 mm. With this volume, you can print medium-size objects. The print quality is very high when compared to other printers in the same price range.
If you have larger models, you can print them in parts and then assemble them with glue (for PLA) or acetone (for ABS).
The 3D printer can print at a speed of 100 mm/s. However, for normal operation, the speed should be somewhere between 10 and 60 mm per second. The machine can print layers that are as thin as 0.1 to 0.4 mm in thickness.
The surface finish of the printed models is not as smooth as you would get with more expensive printers. However, the quality of the prints is good enough for household use and prototyping.
The printer has a 0.04mm nozzle, which gives a great balance between detail and speed. See the example print below made by the printer of the infamous Millennium Falcon.
The printer’s print head runs on rods with linear bearings. This design is simple, lightweight and effective.
On the outside, the printer is covered by a sturdy metal frame that helps to keep it stable during print jobs. The new touchscreen has also made the printer metal frame larger, further improving the stability of the machine.
The Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus MK32 can print a wide range of materials, including PLA, ABS, PVA, HIPS and others.
Check the image below of the Benchy printed by the different Wanhao i3 series machines:
In some instances, it would be best to make the large parts assemblable by design. For example, with this Lego model, all the parts can be attached together to create the full model.
The Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus MK 2 produces high quality prints than most beginner’s 3D printers. The smartphone holder below that is in the shape of anime character Goku took 3 hours to print with PLA. The layer height is 0.25 mm.
This copy of the famous frame for the peephole from “Friends” was printed using PLA. The layer height is 0.3 mm and the print job took about 11 hours to complete.
Below is a model of the Church of Saint Save in Belgrade (Serbia). The model was made using CCTREE PLA filament, with a layer height of 0.2mm. The model took 13 hours to print.
The next test print was an eyeglass holder with a layer height of 0.2mm. The holder was printed using PLA material and took about three hours to complete.
This Nefertiti bust took about 8 hours to complete with PLA filament. The layer height is 0.12 mm.
Another print that was made is this playing card case with a layer height is 0.25 mm. PLA material was used and the total printing time was 6 hours.
And here is an interesting keychain/opener that looks like a slice of pizza. To use the keychain for opening bottles, you simply need to insert a coin.
PLA was used for this print project whose layer height is 0.2 mm. The print took about 2 hours to complete.
Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus Vs i3 Plus MK2
The Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus MK2 is an upgrade of the Wanhao Duplicator i3. The main difference between the two printers is that the newer edition has a built-in touchscreen display while the former has a control box.
The inbuilt touchscreen makes the printer more convenient to use and reduces instances of vibrations.
Below is an image showing the change in design of the Wanhao Duplicator i3:
In our test prints, we didn’t notice any huge difference in the quality of the models. However, keep in mind that the newer Wanhao Duplicator i3 MK2 has a larger fan. This helps to reduce instances of warping.
The Duplicator i3 MK2 also has a heated print bed. Therefore, you can print ABS materials with it.
See the image below comparing the quality of the Benchy printed using the different Wanhao Duplicator i3 series printers:
As you can see, the Plus MK2 model looks smoother. However, you may have some problems installing a closed chamber. We recommend installing a closed chamber to protect your prints from drafts.
The new touchscreen on the MK2 makes it difficult to install the chamber. However, with some effort, you will succeed.
High-temperature materials, such as glass fiber, carbon fiber, PEI, PC/ABS, and PEEK cannot be printed with the Wanhao Duplicator i3 3D printer. These materials need a printer whose extruder temperature exceeds 572°F (300°C). Unfortunately, the Wanhao Duplicator i3 extruder only manages a maximum temperature of 500°F (260 °C).
Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus MK2 Review: Verdict
Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus MK2 is easy to use. The printer comes fully assembled and, therefore, is suitable for beginners. This affordable machine produces high-quality prints that are at par with some of the more expensive printers.
Overall, we love how simple the Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus MK2 is to use and the quality of prints. This machine is versatile and can be used in many applications, including home use, education use, souvenir production, prototyping, advertising, architecture and design.
The stable construction ensures accurate printing and the machine can also resume print jobs after a power outage.
However, the printer is quite slow and not as high precision as professional-grade printers. Moreover, it has no enclosure, and this means you’ll have to deal with odor when printing certain materials.
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