All are welcome! Today, the elder brother and the ideological successor of Duplicator 6 – a novelty of this year, a desktop printer from Wanhao – Gadoso Revolution 2 – came to our table . Despite the fact that the first in the Gadoso Revolution line was a photopolymer printer , model number 2 was the “classic” FDM printer.
The main innovation in this model is a full-function, color touchscreen display, which made the printer much more convenient to work with.
A rather rich package bundle is supplied with the printer. In addition to essential items such as a power cord and a USB cable for connection, the kit includes a 1 kg PLA reel and a box of tools and spare parts. Let’s analyze it in more detail. Inside is a 4 GB flash drive, on which the Wanhao Cura slicer is recorded, a spatula for prying models, sharpened, which is important, sharp tweezers, hexagons of all necessary sizes for repairing and setting up the printer. Additional parts include a holder for a Teflon tube on the body and a holder for a spool on the back wall. By the way, it is designed for coils up to 750 grams, which is strange. The sales version will be equipped with a replaceable heating block assembly with a nozzle and a metal thermal barrier designed for printing ABS and other high temperature plastics. They didn’t give it to us. And in the extended version of the delivery we also receive an acrylic printer cover, consisting of walls, a roof and a door with a convenient handle.
Overview of technical features
As in the younger model, the kinematics are based on a circuit similar to the Ultimaker printers, where the extruder carriage moves along crossed polished shafts, sliding on brass bushings. The Z axis has undergone changes and now instead of expensive and, often, average quality ball screws, a conventional 4-lead T8 screw with an “Anti-wobbling” nut is installed. The table itself is a 6mm thick slab, from below which a heater is attached, and an adhesive coating is glued on top. The table, as before, is screwed to the bed by 3 bolts with springs and iron nuts “lambs”.
The entire structure is assembled in a steel case with a wall thickness of 2 mm. Thanks to this, the rigidity increases and vibrations are concealed at high printing speeds.
The printer has a fairly modest size and can easily fit even on a small nightstand. Its dimensions are 460 x 440 x 550 mm. Its print area has not changed from the previous model and is 200x200x175 mm.
The print head of the printer has also changed from its predecessor. In particular, the new model has an MK11 extruder with two feed gears instead of one as in the old M K10.
The radiator and the heating block remain the same as before, which allows us to say about the interchangeability of these units.
The model’s cooling fan has become a bit more powerful and now allows printing more gentle overhangs.
The extruder head is connected, as before, using a connector with a fixation at the top.
Since this printer is designed with a claim to be professional, it, like the more expensive models, has a carbon air filter that eliminates unpleasant odors when printing with odorous plastics. The filter can be easily removed, and behind it is a fan that circulates air when the cover is closed.
Let’s look inside the case, where all the electronic filling is located. The heart of the printer is a proprietary board, updated, but similar to its predecessor. It is based on the STM32 processor, the modern quiet TMC2209 drivers are responsible for the movement, unfortunately, they are soldered on the board. We will talk about them separately. There is a quiet but powerful fan for cooling the board. A 24-volt power supply unit with 350 watts power is installed. It is more than enough to power the printer. All wires are crimped into terminals and neatly laid, which undoubtedly pleases and gives a plus sign to safety.
Display overview and new features
Now let’s talk about the most interesting, namely about the new possibilities of the printer electronics. The first thing that catches the eye is, of course, a bright touchscreen display with a diagonal of three and a half inches.
To the left of the display is a niche for a complete stylus.
Despite its presence, the display also responds well to finger presses.
On the main screen, you can see information about printing, hot end and table temperatures. Above them are the buttons for entering the settings menu and the camera.
Yes, yes, in addition to new functions, there is a built-in Web-camera with the ability to record time-lapses or control the printing process remotely if the printer is connected via Wi-FI.
Under the display there is a port for an SD card and a USB connector of the standard two zero, and the connection to a computer is carried out from the back of the printer.
Let’s go back to the interface: Under the temperature indicator, there is a control window, in which you can set the preheating of the hot end using the side buttons. The preheating for the table is also exposed.
By clicking on the Axis icon in the lower left corner, the printer switches to manual axis control. The axis is selected by pressing the central button, the side buttons can be moved.
Now let’s take a closer look at the Settings menu. The first item is the Wi-fi connection setup. Upon opening, we will be shown a list of available networks with a signal strength, and after selecting your network, you will be prompted to enter a password to connect to it.
The lower lines contain the language selection menu. There is no Russian language here, but this does not interfere with printer management. After that, there is a section on pairing a printer with a mobile application. There is not much information about it, but the manufacturer claims the ability not only to start printing from the phone, but also to edit models, place them in the print area and cut them into layers.
At the end of the menu is the firmware update section, and even lower is the reset button to factory settings.
Getting started with the printer.
As we all know, the printer must be calibrated before printing. Here Wanhao has tried, and the GR2 provides functions that greatly facilitate the process, clearly demonstrating on the display what and in what sequence should be done. This is the first printer in its price segment to offer such a convenient feature. The two menu items that we skipped are responsible for this. Now let’s take a closer look at them.
To set the table on the horizon, we need a piece of paper. You can tear off a piece of A4 sheet. Next, select Bed Leveling in the settings menu and, following the instructions on the screen, adjust the height of the table so that at each of the three attachment points the piece of paper barely rubbed against the nozzle.
The next step is to adjust the Z-offset. The print quality of the most important first layers of the model directly depends on the calibration accuracy at this point. We select the item Print Bed Calibration and adjust the gap using the buttons on the display and the same piece of paper. When you are satisfied with the degree of paper clamping, we confirm the calibration and exit to the main screen.
The last step before printing is loading the filament. Set the required preheating temperature on the display, then go to the Filament menu and click Load. We push the bar into the hole from above, until it stops, and the printer itself will begin to feed plastic when the temperature you specified is reached.
We test the printer in different modes.
Well, now it’s time for the first print. For her, a low-poly, or more simply angular, model of a bear was chosen. We will print from Poymaker red PLA with a layer of 0.2 mm.
The first impressions at the beginning of printing were very pleasing. First, the printer, thanks to the new drivers, has become much quieter compared to the Duplicator 6. The mechanics of the printer move almost silently and the only thing that stands out is the noise of the small fans. But hearing the fans is still better than the loud buzzing of stepper motors. Secondly, the first layer lay perfectly without any tweaks, and the tabletop became much more tenacious.
We see the excellent quality of the printed model. The most difficult elements – the overhang under the foot and on the chin – were perfectly printed, although they were not supported by anything. The only difficulties arose with a very sharp overhang in the ear area, and even then only because the model was not deployed by him to the fan. The edges of the model are even, layer to layer, no visible external defects are observed. Decent result.
Let’s move on to the next tests. A model of a cup for pens with holders for flash drives and SD cards was chosen. The material will be PETG from Tiger3D . We also print in 0.2 layer.
Now let’s examine the resulting model of such an interesting color. Despite the high fluidity of PETG, the whole model was printed very well. The overhangs are smaller here than on the PLA bear and they print better. Holes for flash drives and cards have not sagged anywhere. Fillets at the bottom too. There are problems with a little under-extrusion on the upper layers, but I would associate this with the insufficient density of the model walls. This does not appear on the side faces.
For the following seals, we need to install the walls, roof and door on the printer. The assembly is quite easy and everything is assembled without problems. But at this stage we were disappointed, because instead of a door with a cutout for a new screen, we got a door from the previous model. Alas, you have to use it as is.
When everything is finally assembled, you can start printing ABS. This will be a box for storing various small items. It doesn’t look complicated, but it’s actually very thin-walled. For it, a filament from eSUN was chosen .
A feature of this model is that such boxes can be assembled into a small storage system and therefore we printed several more, hoping to also catch problems with sticking off the table. But no, none of the seals had any problems with tearing off the model. As promised by the manufacturer – the new table cover keeps even the most difficult plastics from tearing off.
As we can see with a closed camera, Wanhao GR2 prints perfectly with complex plastics. The wall thickness of this model is only 1.2 mm. But she did not lead, and did not tear between the layers, which often happens on open printers. Looking at the contact plane, you can once again make sure that it is firmly stuck to the table and does not come off. From the jambs, a visible seam can be noted at one of the corners of the model, but it can be removed with a quiet one using any tool. This result inspired us to try to print something more complicated than ABS on this printer.
Having changed the plastic to Polycarbonate from the Polymaker company , we launched a fairly well-known model of a wrench for printing, the trick of which is that it fully functions immediately after printing. The model already provides support and does not need to be turned on when printing.
The model was printed without any problems and, after removing the supports, immediately spun. During this printing there were a lot of difficult sections that were printed on the supports, but the cooling did a great job of them, allowing you to separate the supports with your hands. And the accuracy of the printer is clearly demonstrated by the convex inscription on the handle of this key.
Unfortunately, no matter how much we tried to print with nylon, we didn’t get much. The model started to print, it adhered perfectly to the table, but in the middle the plastic suddenly chewed into the gear and stopped squeezing out. The situation is better with carbon-filled nylon, it is stiffer and can be printed, but occasionally, due to the small diameter of the nozzle, it also clogs it. If you need to print durable carbon-filled plastic models, our recommendation is to use a nozzle with a diameter of at least 0.6 mm.
It’s time to take stock. Wanhao’s Gadoso Revolution 2 3D printer can rightfully be called the successor to the Duplicator 6. Wanhao took the best from the previous model and improved it with a new, much more advanced, but inexpensive model. Thanks to the user-friendly touch screen, the printer became much more convenient to operate, and the feedback is more informative. All actions are literally performed one tap at a time.
The new design of the extruder, with two feed gears, increases the stability of the bar feed into the extruder, which positively affects the print quality. And the built-in camera allows you to record and review the printing process. As we could see, this 3D printer is capable of working with all the most interesting types of plastics used in 3D printing. Moreover, thanks to the separate configuration, you can not overpay if you plan to print only PetG and PLA.
During testing, no significant disadvantages of this printer were identified, with the exception, perhaps, of the difficulty of printing with too flexible materials.
In our opinion, the Wanhao GR2 is a great option for novice printers due to its ease of use and visual calibration assistant.
More advanced users will appreciate the ability to print with complex plastics, as well as connect the printer via Wi-Fi and control it remotely. Perhaps there will be a place for it in small, small-scale, production, due to accuracy and reliability.