While it certainly has its problems, HICTOP Auto Prusa I3 is a worth to get 3D printer in case you don’t mind doing DIY stuff. As well as tinkering & trying to make your 3D printer work for you. There is a learning curve to get through in order to get good results out of this printer, but once you get there, you will find yourself with an affordable 3D printer that does a lot for you.
The fact that HICTOP Auto Prusa I3 has some nifty features compared to the first Hictop Prusa i3 I reviewed. Like heated bed, which allow you to print with ABS filament & other types. As well as the auto-leveling bed, which can save the time of having to do it manually. I totally recommend this Hictop printer over the other one.
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- A very affordable 3D printer that offers a lot in case you don’t mind tinkering with it.
- Printing files from the SD card may not work at all.
- The USB cable that comes with it is very short.
- Some of the M5 nuts you need for assembling it can be missing, so you may need to buy some.
- Automatic leveling probe helps create a good print. And will save you a good amount of time.
- Has an all metal(aluminum) frame structure.
- A self-assembly 3D printer, which mean you need to assemble it yourself, and you will learn more during building the 3D printer.
- Printing size:- 270 X 210 X 200 mm
- Comes with all installation tools.
- Structure:- Aluminum Frame.
- Supported printing material- PLA,ABS,HIPS,Wood,Nylon,Flexible.
- Extruder temperature:- 250.
- Hot bed temperature:- 100.
- Extruder diameter: 0.4mm.
- Model:- 3DP-11-ATL .
- Technology:- Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM).
- Printing software:- Cura.
HICTOP Auto Prusa I3 is a 3D printing kit, which mean you will need to assemble it. The good about that is you get to understand how your printer work eventually, and with experience, you will be able to tinker & modify it to your heart contents. Think of it like building a PC. It requires some learning, but it all worth it eventually. The bad thing about assembling your printer is the hassle & time it takes for you to do it. Depending on your skills, it will take you from few hours to few days to assemble it.
The assembled HICTOP Auto Prusa I3 is not enclosed, that makes it less safe to keep around children. If that’s an issue for you, you can make your own enclosure. Which will also help you contains the noise it makes when it prints. There are many enclosures for Prusa i3 3D printers in Thingiverse, the popular site for finding 3D objects to print.
HICTOP Auto Prusa I3 comes with a standard blue LCD screen, which you control through the knob on the side. The LCD screen gives you access to many options, like printing from SD card, and displaying different information, like the extruder & printing bed temperature. HICTOP Auto Prusa I3 doesn’t have a power switch, something I found weird about it.
Since it is based on an open Prusa i3 design, you can find replacement parts more easily, you can even print your own parts with it. Either to replace an existing part, or to make it better. Thingiverse.com is full of such parts, and other parts are available on other sites as well.
To a great degree, HICTOP Auto Prusa I3 is similar to Hictop Prusa i3, which I reviewed here. Except that it comes with self-leveling bed, something many 3D printers requires you to do manually. Many of the 3D printers that has this feature are much more pricier than HICTOP Auto Prusa I3, so it is good to see a 3D printer at this price range that has that. And unlike the other Prusa i3, it comes with a heated printing bed. Which allows you to print using ABS filament type. I will talk about filament types later in this review.
HICTOP Auto Prusa I3 comes with all the tools you need to assembling it. But there is a chance of missing M5 nuts you need for that. And you could also get some additional nuts of another size instead. Not a big issue as you can use the extra nuts instead of the missing ones, or in case you have access to a hardware store where you can get those parts. To help you with the assembly, there is a manual with many pictures in it. The manual language is not well translated to English, but it is totally possible to get your way through it. The real problem is how some parts of the manual are not clear & may confuse you a little bit.
Out of the box, HICTOP Auto Prusa I3 is set to 220V, so you will need to switch it to 110V in case you live in USA. Or in case you plan to plug it to a 110V socket (Some countries has both 220V & 110V).
The printing size of HICTOP Auto Prusa I3 is about 270 X 210 X 200 mm. You can of course print larger objects than that on installments, and then you can glue the two parts together. And overall, the quality of the prints HICTOP Auto Prusa I3 provides is good as long everything is set up nicely, and you used the correct settings in your 3D printing software.
You can print your files from computer that is a connected to your printer via USB. Supposedly, you can store the files on a SD card & print it from there, but there is a chance this function won’t work at all. Also, make sure you have your own USB cable, as the USB that comes with HICTOP Auto Prusa I3 is very short.
When it comes to the supported filament types, HICTOP Auto Prusa I3 can be used with PLA,ABS,HIPS,Wood,Nylon & Flexible filament types. Filament is the material 3D printers use to produce the objects you print. Think of filament as the equivalent of ink in 2D printers. There are two common types of filament, PLA & ABS. Since they are very common, I will give you a short introduction about them. If you are familiar with them, or in case you read some of my other 3D printers reviews. Then you can pretty much skip the next part.
PLA is environmentally-friendly filament, it is made of corn starch, which is why it smell nice when heated & melt. It also melts in lower temperature than ABS, something that makes it unsuitable to printing objects to place outdoor. ABS filament, on the other hand, is capable to withstand outdoor temperature, as it melts on higher temperature. But this also means it requires 3D printers to be equipped with a heated printing bed to be able to print with it (HICTOP Auto Prusa I3 has that). It is worth to note that for some people, ABS smells bad when heated & melted.
HICTOP Auto Prusa I3 comes with Cura. A free slicer that prepares the models to print & allows you to control your 3D printer from your computers. It is simple to use. There is a chance that you won’t need to use any other Slicer software, but there is no harm in trying out other ones later in your 3D printing journey. Like Slic3r, or paid software like Simplify3D.
Giving how HICTOP Auto Prusa I3, and all the other 3D printing kits, requires a lot of tinkering & learning in order to get results from them. They are not for everyone. But in case you went through assembling it & making it work for you, it is totally worth it, giving how you will end up knowing how your 3D printer work. As well as getting a lot of value for the money you paid for it.
If you are not one to tinker with things, then I suggest you get one of the more expensive plug & play 3D printers out there(even those may require some fixing up though).
I hope you liked my HICTOP Auto Prusa I3 review, and see you again in another review. ^^