A few days ago I looked for a 3D printer at Gearbest. A printer with a dual extruder would be nice so that we also have a little something for our readers to demonstrate. You then have the option of printing with two different colors at the same time, or using water-soluble filament for support struts, etc.
At Gearbest there is the possibility to buy fully assembled printers, or so-called KITs, which then have to be assembled by yourself with a PDF / Youtube manual and are a few euros cheaper.
The Zonestar P802QR2 is one of these DIY KITs and comes to Germany for just 226 euros. The price is understandably so low because the printer has to be screwed together and that can take 3 to 4 hours.
A few details about the Zonestar P802QR2
- 2 extruders and can therefore print in two colors
- Metal case
- Memory card and USB port for data transfer
- Chinese, English, Portuguese, Spanish and German
- Supported Material: ABS, Flexible PLA, PETG, PLA, PVA, Wood
- Print size: 220 x 220 x 240 mm
- Weight: approx. 9 kg
- Based on the Preprap Prusa I3
In my case, the package was sent via London. That’s why I probably didn’t have to give myself a customs whiz, but I just had to wait 21 days for shipping. More than half the time the package was lying around in London without any further information in the tracking app as to what is going on with it.
I suspect they are waiting until several parcels are going to Germany in order to save shipping. But if you plan that right from the start, the waiting time is fine.
The videos on the net of the assembly of a printer are often recorded in the form of a time lapse and give the impression that everything is very simple. A first unpacking of the parts makes your heart slip a bit:
Well what the heck – let’s go! Absolutely all tools for assembly are included in the package. Pliers, screwdriver, tweezers, Allen key, cable tie etc. On the SD card, which can later be used to transfer the print data, there are instructions in the form of PDFs, demo files to test the printer later and much more .
Do a little browsing on YouTube and you’ll find a few more videos in which the printer is screwed together. We also set the cell phone to timelapse and recorded the following video (4 minutes from 4 hours of handicraft work).
For the sake of order, it must be said that there were two of us and that the last hour was spent on optional cable management (color coding of the cables using adhesive tape). The printer could very well have been assembled in just over two hours.
Zonestar P802QR2 assembly in the video
On the video you can see briefly that I had not only used the PDF instructions, but also googled with my mobile phone and looked for instructions on YouTube. The enclosed PDF instructions are very detailed, but here and there one or the other part is missing.
For example, the bags are labeled with letters and numbers, but the instructions don’t mention one of these names for a second. Then the stepper motors are almost all the same, but two of them have a shorter drive shaft. Neither in the videos nor in the PDF could I see where these motors should be located. So just try.
A few parts have also been created with a 3D printer. Unfortunately one of them already had a hairline crack in my case. When threading through one of the axes that guides the print head, the page is then almost completely torn. Nothing that a bit of superglue can’t save, but it’s a bit annoying.
The DIY or KIT printers are nerd objects in my eyes and in no way comparable to printers such as the Dremel .
The power supply is simply screwed to the side and has a CE mark and a flap that covers the connections, but basically 220V goes through there and I don’t think that would go through the authorities with us .
But keep going … First the stepper motors are provided with the appropriate ends. One to transport a V-belt, the other to transport the filament, etc.
Then the display is screwed into the socket and the frame of the printer screwed together. Next to the display is a 5-way control pad which guides you through the printer’s menu. The same is kept simple, can even be set in German and is by and large self-explanatory.
The following picture shows the display with the information shown during the printing process. E1 and E2 stand for extruder, followed by the corresponding temperatures and below that the printing progress.
The frame is one of the advantages of this printer, by the way. The printer is based on the Preprap Prusa i3 and has a metal housing instead of the plastic housing that is often used. This is much more stable and less prone to twisting.
Once the motors are installed and the frame screwed together, the wiring is basically done. Screw the power pack to the housing, screw the circuit board to the housing, screw the emergency stop sensors for the respective axes and screw the printhead together with the corresponding temperature sensors.
Connect everything to the board and off you go the first attempt. We started out on the terrace for the first time because it was a bit strange feeling with the cables and the power supply, etc. In the end it turned out that everything in terms of electronics worked.
The printing process itself was still a bit of a challenge. We had postponed this part to the next morning because after 4 hours of screwing there was simply no longer the necessary rest for adjustment work etc.
Since, as mentioned before, we weren’t sure whether we had installed the stepper motors correctly, we rebuilt them a total of three times until we finally got everything back to the beginning and the printer finally worked.
We are super happy and proud that it prints so delicately and actually even that it prints at all. You’re not so sure when you screw it together for the first time. 🙂
But everything worked out! In the meantime, the first objects have already been printed out and tested and we are currently trying out which slicer software we will use in the future and which are the best settings for a beautiful print.
As with the Dremel 3D printer , there will be a few more articles on the topic here in the blog. I am currently thinking of reports about printing with 2 filaments at the same time, possibly about different filaments (wood, water-soluble, etc.) and again about corresponding software that has to be used to create and slice. Stay tuned!