Wanhao GR1 3D Printer Review

We greet you.

Wanhao is arguably one of the oldest home 3D printer companies. And undoubtedly one of the largest. Some of their models can be called good, some not very successful. But one thing is for sure, Wanhao 3D printers are used all over the world.

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Wanhao has had two photopolymer printers, the Duplicator 7 and Duplicator 8, for quite some time now. More recently, they introduced another SLA printer, which is somewhere between the D7 and D8. It is called GR1 for short, and its full name is Gadoso Revolution.

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Let’s start with the stated specifications . The print area is 140x78x200 mm. The resolution of the LCD-screen is 2560 by 1440 pixels with a diagonal of 6.33 inches. That is, the size of each pixel is 55 micrometers. The layer height can be changed from 35 to 100 micrometers.

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The UV LED-matrix is ​​made using the Uniformtrix technology – special faceted lenses are installed on each diode. And according to Wanhao, this technology should provide an unprecedented uniformity of light output across the entire print area. Whether this is true or not, let’s try to check it in our tests.

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Despite its small size, the printer weighs an impressive 12.5 kg. The body is made of steel. Durable, reliable, nothing dangles anywhere. But it looks a lot like … Oh, yes, it’s D8, only smaller and gray. Wanhao decided not to bother too much with the design. But let’s not deny, it looks pretty stylish.

In front and on the sides, there are plastic windows that do not transmit ultraviolet light. The lid, like the D8, swings up and also does not have any position latches or soft gaskets. In general, you should be careful with the lid and do not drop it down, otherwise it can damage the paint from impact.

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Left and right handles are placed for easy carrying of the printer.

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At the back is the power cable connector and the power button.

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At the bottom of the front there is a touch screen and a USB port for a flash drive. The screen is crisp, the response is good, but it felt a little pale to us.

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The touch screen interface is designed in red and black Wanhao style. The menu has everything you need.

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Interestingly enough, it is possible to change the exposure settings right during printing. This can be useful if you want to print an already cut model with new resin. Run the file for printing, change the exposure time and that’s it, the model is printed with new settings.

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A carbon filter with an exhaust fan is installed inside the rear wall.

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The Z-axis moves along two rail guides and is driven by a motor through a trapezoidal single-thread screw.

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The printing platform is completely new, in shape somewhat similar to the Anycubic Photon S platform. The top is painted black.

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The bottom is unpainted and has a slightly roughened surface for better adhesion. Calibration is done in a slightly peculiar way, but more on that later.

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The bath is very similar to the D8, only smaller and in one of the corners there is a cutout for more convenient drainage of the resin.

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In the middle there is a transparent area with MIN, 250ml and MAX markings. Theoretically, using this window, you can understand how much resin is poured, and during printing you can check if the model has adhered to the platform. In practice, it is somehow suitable for determining the amount of resin, but what happens on the platform is absolutely not visible.

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The printer includes: a set of hexagons, two pairs of black gloves, a 4 gigabyte flash drive, a plastic spatula, a 250 ml bottle of resin, a spare FEP film and a printed test model of a ring with a screaming man.

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Platform calibration is slightly different from other printers. The basic principle, of course, is the same, the platform should be exactly parallel to the screen and at the zero point be at a distance of about 0.1mm from it. But here is a very specific way to align it. In the carriage, to which the platform is attached, there are 4 vertical threaded stoppers, which abut against the corners of the upper part of the platform. And 4 more horizontal stops on the sides, which should fix the vertical stops.

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The calibration procedure is as follows. It is necessary to unscrew the vertical stoppers. Remove the bath, put A4 sheet on the screen. Some calibrate directly from the bath using FEP to obtain the required clearance. But as practice shows, it is more convenient to control the pressure of each of the corners of the platform without a bath. Therefore, we calibrate with a sheet of paper. Through the printer menu, go to tools – move z-axis – home .

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The carriage moves down to the zero point. We install the platform without twisting its lamb. Use a hex wrench to tighten the 4 vertical stoppers so that they evenly press the platform against the sheet.

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The procedure is not the most convenient, it is difficult to understand at what point the pressure is sufficient, but not too strong. As a result, it is necessary to ensure that when the platform wing is swirled, the sheet of paper moves with resistance, evenly in all corners. Then you can screw the stoppers on the sides to fix the vertical ones. Then press the Calibration OK button on the touchscreen and the calibration is complete.

Yes, the method is not the most convenient and requires some skill. But it has one big plus – the platform itself has no moving elements and all the parts that are responsible for calibration are on the carriage. As a result, the calibration cannot accidentally go astray when parts are removed from the platform.

Also, before the first print, it is advisable to check the performance of the spotlight and LCD screen. To do this, before filling the bath with photopolymer, you need to go to the tools – detection menu, select the exposure time, press the forward arrow and Start Exposure. A rhino with the words Wanhao should appear on the screen. If it is visible, then the spotlight and screen are working properly, you can pour resin into the bath and start printing.

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To prepare models for printing, Wanhao made a separate slicer – GR1 Workshop. The slicer itself is paid, but the printer comes with a license for it. And yes, it didn’t seem to you, it is almost no different from similar slicers for Wanhao D7 and D8. Unless the colors are different and the files are exported in a different format. We haven’t found any significant changes.

The slicer is not bad. Works quickly and smoothly. The control is convenient. All the necessary functionality is present.

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It is possible to create profiles for different resins.

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You can make models hollow and create infills in them, cut drain holes in models.

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Of course, it is possible to customize and add automatic support. You can also edit and arrange them manually.

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There is an interesting function Islands Detector , the detector of islands. It consists in the fact that after the placement of supports, in automatic or manual mode, the slicer goes through all the layers and finds the places that begin to be printed in the air, highlights them and allows you to dot the missing supports.

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It is not very clear why the slicer itself cannot put them, knowing where these places are. Well, okay, and so good.

Of the minuses noticed, in the automatic mode, the supports are often set close to the surface of the model. Which makes them very difficult to remove.

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When checking the prepared model, you need to carefully monitor this. That’s basically all, otherwise the slicer is good.

Printing

On the USB flash drive, along with the printer, there is an already cut file with the same ring that was in the box. First, we tried to print it with the original Wanhao gray resin. The ring was printed without problems, the quality does not differ from the one that came with the kit. The detailing is good. The layers lay flat. In general, everything is in order, the first test is passed.

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The ESun Hard-Tough blue resin was poured, according to the manufacturer, this resin should have physical and mechanical properties comparable to ABS plastic.

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Since there are no print settings for GR1 with third-party resins yet, we selected the exposure time by printing a test model – the city of Ameralabs.

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It turned out 60 seconds for the first layers and 8 seconds for all others with a layer of 50 micrometers. The city itself turned out: the windows on the houses were printed, the slots up to 0.4mm were open, the thin columns were almost all in place.

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The same resin with the same parameters was printed for the uniformity of exposure test. It consists of 40 identical models resembling small Christmas tree decorations, with thin lines twisted in a spiral.

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They are spread over the entire area of ​​the table. All the models were printed, but unfortunately there is a slight lack of light in one corner.

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At first glance, this is imperceptible, but a direct comparison shows that the lines of the model, which was in the front right corner, are slightly thinner than on the others. But even she ended up printing to the end.

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Then a very popular model was printed – the Eiffel Tower. It is printed without support, right on the table. Has strong slopes, bridges, thin elements and holes. It also printed without problems. At the very top, the holes were closed, or we did not wash the model well in alcohol after printing, or we could have made the exposure time a little less. In general, the tower printed well, even the railings, which are held by very thin posts, turned out to be even.

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And the last test with this resin. This is an interesting and difficult model to print. A lens holder for one of our clients.

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It is not possible to print it at an angle, since small details would require supports that could hardly be removed. Therefore, the model was laid flat on the table, for everything else I had to put up a lot of supports.

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Partly automatically, partly manually using the Island Detector feature in the GR1 Workshop. The bottom, where the supports held the wide horizontal surface, of course, didn’t turn out very nicely.

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This area had to be thoroughly processed with a Dremel.

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But from above everything is very neat and even. The spring-loaded elements that are supposed to fix the lenses all printed well. Here this resin showed itself in all its glory, it is quite tough and elastic at the same time. The clamps are bent without breaking, and normally restore their shape.

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Monocure 3D Rapid GunMetal Gray resin was used to print Tifa Lockhardt’s action figure from Final Fantasy. In the slicer, the model was turned at an angle and placed on the supports. Exposure time 70 seconds for the first layers, 8 for all others.

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The supports were not enough, the stand unhooked from them a little and turned out to be crooked.

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Also because of this, there are small stripes on the surface in places. Probably, when the layers were detached from the bath film, the model slightly shifted. The slicer put some supports close to the surface of the model and they left quite strong marks.

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When slicing in the GR1 Workshop, you need to pay close attention to these areas. The rest of the figure turned out well.

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Another figurine was printed with Monocure 3D Rapid Gray resin, similar to the previous one, but in regular gray. This is a Tusken Raider from the Star Wars universe. This model is printed in two parts, the stand and the figure itself.

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Both parts fit into the GR1 platform without any problems. In a slicer, they were hollowed on the inside and two holes were created to drain the resin.

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The raider turned out well. There are only a couple of slightly bulging layers on smooth surfaces. But they are visible only under certain lighting conditions. Overall, it looks good. True, the resin turns a little yellow after additional exposure, which makes the model look slightly worn.

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What is the result

Wanhao GR1 can be called a worthy representative in its price segment. Among similar printers, it is distinguished by the increased print area compared to Anycubic Photon S or Elegoo Mars. Because of this, however, I had to sacrifice a little accuracy in the XY axes, but this almost does not affect the print quality. Reliable case, user-friendly touch screen, carbon filter, two rails on the Z axis, good slicer included. Sufficiently uniform illumination, only in one corner there is a slight lack of light, but perhaps this is a problem of our particular specimen. Not very convenient, but reliable calibration.

We wouldn’t call the GR1 revolutionary printer, there are no cardinal differences from the previous Wanhao photopolymer models. But still, there are some nice changes that we wrote about in the review. Why was GR1 released? Wanhao’s logic is clear enough. It is priced slightly from the D7, is much cheaper than the D8 *, and the build area is somewhere in between. In fact, GR1 is the golden mean of Wanhao and will definitely find its buyer.

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