With 3D printing, you can create almost anything you can imagine. The SUNLU T3 3D printer helps you get there faster, while running quietly. The small size makes it ideal for hobbyists. The only question is how does the T3 work? I had the pleasure of taking this printer for a test drive in this review to answer this question.
This is a sponsored post and was made possible by SUNLU. The actual content and opinions are the sole views of the author who maintains editorial independence even when an article is sponsored.
The SUNLU T3 3D printer is perfect for creating small 3D creations. A print size of 220 mm (8.66 inch) x 220 mm (8.66 inch) x 250 mm (9.84 inch) is ideal for making figurines, game pieces, decorations, etc. The Terminator 3, T3 for short, also offers print speeds of 20-250mm/s. This allows you to work quickly on small projects, saving minutes and even hours on average print time.
The full metal frame keeps the machine sturdy while it works. Even during fast prints, the machine itself remains perfectly stable.
The removable magnetic plate helps the surface heat up faster, leading to better conductivity. In addition, it is non-stick, which allows objects to slide more easily.
Heat is not an issue with the T3 3D printer. Easily heat the nozzle up to 500°F/260°C, and the bed goes up to 212°F/100°C. You will obviously need to adjust the temperatures depending on the material and the project. This printer supports 1.75mm PLA Meta, PLA & PLA+, Carbon Fiber, ABS (low temperature), PETG, HIPS, Wood, PCL and TPU.
Even with a quick print, projects can still take hours, depending on size, material, and complexity. The 32-bit high-performance motherboard has an impressive operating noise of less than 45dB. The printer runs almost silently in the background. If you notice any noise, it may be the X and Y axis belts, although they are adjustable to eliminate loose belts that occur over time.
The dual metal gear extruder smoothly guides the filament. This allows for faster print speeds without as much risk of broken filament.
In the event of a filament break, nozzle clogging, or power outage, the T3 is designed to immediately stop printing and go into sleep mode and resume when the problem is resolved. Even during power outages, the resume position is stored in memory, so you don’t lose your progress.
The printer comes with Cura software for loading and preparing files. It is compatible with STL, OBJ and AMF formats and generates projects in Gcode format. You can print directly from a microSD card or from a physical connection to a computer.
What’s in the box
The SUNLU T3 3D printer requires assembly, but it is surprisingly easy to assemble. It comes with all the components to put it together, including spares, just in case you lose something during the process. Keys of different sizes are also included.
Along with the assembly components, you also get a scraper, cable tie snips, a small spool of white PLA filament, a computer cable, a microSD card and card reader, and cable ties for secure excess cable. There is also a user guide.
The assembly required may make you cringe, but it’s actually simple with the SUNLU T3 3D printer. Use the included user guide or the handy video tutorial on the included SD card. The board has quite a bit of information, including the Cura software, some sample projects, an assembly guide, and a user’s guide (a much more comprehensive version than the paper version).
It takes about 10 minutes to assemble the printer. The only thing you really need to pay attention to is the voltage of the power supply. By default, it is set to European standards. If you’re in the US, you’ll need to toggle the switch behind the sticker on power. Otherwise, it will not turn on properly.
Once assembled, I used the guide on the SD card to adjust the Z-axis offset step by step and install/configure Cura to work with the Terminator 3 printer. I highly recommend using this guides rather than just piloting it to make sure everything is fine.
The last thing to do was to load the filament. I used the trimmer to cut the end of the filament at a 45 degree angle. You need this angle for it to load properly.
The first impression
When I first set up Cura, there was already a nice little robot file ready to use, so I saved the gcode file to the included SD card, inserted it into the SUNLU 3D printer T3 and used the printer menu to select my file.
Prior to any project printing, the machine goes through a 16-point self-leveling process to ensure everything is in order before printing begins.
The robot was about 1-1.5 inches tall and a light and fast print that was completed in about 10 minutes. If I had selected more padding, which would have been a good idea in hindsight, it would have been much sturdier, but as you can see below it still looks like a robot.
The little 3D robot smoothly pulled out of the mat. The printing process was incredibly quiet.
printing other things
It takes some trial and error with the bed temperature to make sure the filament adheres properly to the bed. It also depends on the ambient temperature. I found that 10-20 degrees above room temp tended to work best.
The projects included with the SD card were a boat and a detailed mug. However, the estimated times on these were quite long, so I opted to visit the SUNLU website, where you can find a dozen project files. These are designed specifically for the quick print setting, which you can turn off if you’re not getting the detail you want.
I went with the simpler cup and scoop. The mug printed in about an hour, while the scoop printed in about 15 minutes.
I was really impressed with the cup. The thick sides and slight wavy pattern resemble a quality plastic cup you would use for a quick drink of water in the bathroom at night or to rinse your mouth after brushing.
The shovel looked more like a scraper but is strong enough to use.
The included filament is more than enough to print several small projects, even with a few missteps. The only problem I had was that when I tried to get the bed temperature right, starting a project didn’t go well at first.
The nozzle ended up de-centering it, but the filament that landed on the bed before I could stop the print got stuck. It hardened and stuck. It took a lot of scraping to get it off the mat, even with the mat heated. I had to use a little acetone to finish removing the excess filament before cleaning the mat and moving on to another project.
But that only happened once. Everything else slid off easily with just a little push from the included scraper tool.
Overall, SUNLU T3 3D printer is a powerful 3D printer for hobbyists. The print size is perfect for a wide variety of projects and prints quietly in the background. Thanks to the automatic pause and stop functions, you never lose your progress in the event of filament problems or power outages.
I really like the quick print feature. Although not ideal for all projects, it works well for many projects.
Whether you are a beginner in 3D printing or want a smaller machine for faster printing, you can try the SUNLU T3 3D printer yourself for only $219.99.
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