3D Printing - "It's all about design and quality output. Not how fast the printer can run."
When I published this website, I considered many options on the printer hardware I would be using. Low cost was important. I decided not to promote specific hardware. Creative use is the mission. The Cetus3D has become an exception. I have no connection with Beijing Tiertime Technology Co., Ltd., UP3D, or Cetus3D in any way except as a customer. I like the minimalistic printer and design but it isn't perfect. It's ouput is so good, it deserves its own category here in RD3DPDS.com. Please decide what hardware fits your needs.
I ran across a test block on Thingiverse. It is a SLA test model created by 3DSLA. I was looking for test items for my Wanhao D7. The picture to the right shows the tiny one in white plastic I printed on the WD7 at 50nm layer height. No clean up on either. They are exactly as-printed.
I wondered how the Cetus FDM printer would handle the test. I knew the original size was out of the question at .2mm (200nm) resolution so I scalled it up five times. The red box is about two inches square and two and three quarter inches tall.
Not too shabby a job for a FDM printer. It did take a long time. I sliced it in Simplify3D and imported it to the Cetus as a G-code file. Yep, G-code runs fine on the Cetus. The pictures tell the story.
Cetus, you know how to read G-Code quite well. You earn another, “I’m impressed!”
The Cetus native operating software does a very nice job of 3D printing. However, it is a proprietary system. The user must run it the way Cetus built it. Variables are limited so operating options are also limited. I want to run a print without a raft. I can, but Cetus will add a bottom layer and a skirt I don’t need or want. It can’t be turned off. If I want supports, there are a few tweaks available, but not something like “from the bed only”.
There is a work-around. The Cetus team has taught their controller program to read G-Code to create a print from other slicer /control software such as Cura or Simplify3D
New Cetus 3D Extruder
Latest word on the Cetus 3D is they are “messin’ ‘round” with a new extruder design. My extruder has been working great, so I am not certain what they are trying to improve. Perhaps cost.
I do know they have already changed the design of their nozzle. I received three 0.40 MM nozzles and they have an extended PTFE tube sticking out the top end. They are supposed to be a nozzle design change to fit the new extruder but can be adapted for use with the style extruder I have.
I am still having a love/hate relationship with my Cetus 3D printer. The printer itself is an outstanding example of a minimalist 3D printer. The print quality is excellent. The quality of the components is outstanding.
The pain part is the dealing long distance with China. They admit publicly on their store website that they have more to do than they can handle. Orders will be delayed by several days for processing. That is not a good impression when buying spare parts.
I now have a bunch of various size nozzles and a plain, printing base plate on order. I am going to glue a PEI sheet on the plate and eliminate the base plate holes while providing a far smoother surface. The stock plate works well but is intended for using a raft when printing which consumes a lot of plastic for large items. I like rafts for holding small area items. The stock plate is not smooth.
The printer makes a very nice PLA printer. I was able to do some PETG but the constant cooling fan isn’t a good match with PETG requirements. I won’t consider ABS. Cetus has an available heated bed, but it is not temperature regulated by the printer. There are some hints about cobbling-up an extra power supply and an external temperature controller for a controlled hot bed. Some folks like to play with things like that…
As I have said, Cetus is a great PLA printer. No need on my part to make it anything else. Why spoil a good thing? Ha!
The controlling software is a bit unique if one is not familiar with the UP3D system. Not a lot of tweaking can be done. That means it can’t get too messed up by the user. Like I have said, it does PLA very well. However, there are a few things I would change if I could. Like the excruciating slow first layer speed when printing directly on the bed (no raft). It seems like a penalty inflicted for going raft-less.
A good first printer? Maybe. Any printer is better than no printer. An experienced user will have no issues. A newbie can handle it because, just hook up a few parts and it just works. The website provides support but there have been changes and some of the advice posted there is out of date. A new user needs to read to the end to get the latest, and even then the info may be out of date.
Support is trying, and I’ll say they can be very trying (on my patience) More than 30 days trying to sort out a few print nozzles… sigh…
Cetus Nozzles (with updates)
Right now they seem to be made from pure unobtainium. They are made in three sizes. 0.2mm, 0.4mm and 0.6mm. One of each comes with a new printer. I ordered a spare 0.2mm and 0.4mm nozzle as part of my printer order on October 13, 2017. That is now almost a month ago.
Mamacita is Mexican slang for a georgous, or hot “babe” (young sexy female). So, I created a pun name for my little Cetus 3D printer, as it is a georgous little hot... uh… machine. Well, in a nerdy sort of way. And it IS hot when printing... See the yellow warning label?
Just give me a little creative liberty here. There is no sex (I know of) in 3D printing. But then, I am 70 years old… Ha!
I just can’t pass up creating a bad visual pun when I have the chance. remember, you saw it first here...
Without this explanation, the visual pun (the name on the print head) in the first picture may not have been understood. The second picture is a real mamacita. They don’t look at all the same.
Cetus3D, I Am Impressed!
Cetus3D has produced a winner in the minimalist 3D printer classification. It is what it is and it does it quite well. The standard out-of-the-box set-up is providing very nice high-quality 3D prints. Better prints than most I produce on my other printers. No visible surface “ringing” patterns at all. Great quality bearings are certainly the reason as well as proper belt tension.
I think I may have just avoided loosing $300 I was going to spend on a Cetus 3D printer. It’s a made in China product that got started through a Kick-start campaign. I tried to register on their web site so I could place an order for their smaller machine.
It seems there is no one at home in China at 1:30 in the afternoon (their time) The website would not generate the confirming email to which I must respond to prove I am a real person. I eventually sent an inquiry to them through their support desk. I received two very quick and obviously automated replies from Jason Wu. aka "Team Cetus"