This is a build guide and review for the new Tevo Tarantual Pro 3D printer. I got this printer from banggood.com for review. It's also available from Tevo directly, but the lead time is 20 weeks currently!
Marlin 2 configured for TMC2208 drivers with dual z-axis motors and BLTouch: [https://github.com/nathantsoi/Marlin/tree/tevo-tarantula-tmc2208-bltouch-2.0.x]
December 2019. Fine tuning and PETG printing. One thing I noticed while printing PLA is that it's hard to get the bed perfectly level. This is fine with PLA where you can just jam the filament into the bed, but if you get PETG too-stuck to the heated bed, it's really hard to remove. So, I ordered a BLTouch clone and tried out bed leveling. Wow this makes a huge difference. This printer is awesome with bed leveling! You'll just some servo extension wire and a couple standoffs to mount it. Alternatively, you can just buy the kit from Tevo.
The non-kit version (like I bought) wiring looks like this:
October 2019. Upgrades! Tevo were kind enough to send along a dual axis upgrade kit as well as the TMC2208 upgrade kit. I've installed them both and updated the firmware and the machine runs great! The biggest improvement in this kit are the Trinamic drivers, which make the machine run smoothly and quietly. In my experience printing with a single lead screw on the Z-axis, it works fine with just one. The frame appears to be rigid enough that the extra lead screw, included in the upgrade kit, is probably not really necessary. There was also no noticeable difference in print quality with the extra vertical lead screw.
I have also been printing ABS with this printer and am please to report the hot end handles 240c just fine! The print quality is quite good as well.
The only thing left to add now is a bed-leveling sensor and this machine will be fantastic!
Overall, the build quality on the physical components of this printer are very solid. The whole thing is well thought out and organized, even the cables are made to the right length and labeled! The physical quality of this printer is fantastic and it shows in the final quality of the prints. I used the sample of filament included to print the file on the SDCard, but it ran out before it was complete. The z-axis looks fantastic though!
At this point I should note I did not install the included bracket and bearing for the top of the z-axis. I have found it better to leave these out in general as they tend to over-constrain the z-axis, unless perfectly aligned (which is basically impossible). Plus, they're entirely unnecessary, as gravity and the screw on the coupler hold in the leadscrew just fine.
I did have one issue where the y-axis would just bump a screw on the power supply, but bending the bracket slightly so the power supply sits closer to the table fixed this problem. I also had to add a small spacer (2 washers) to the z axis motor mount). It would be nice if these were included. Again though, the physical properties and build quality of this printer is great.
The other minor complaint I have about the physical design is the heated bed. Everything feels so polished except the included 3D printed knobs. I'm not sure why they included these as 3d printed parts. The large knobs are nice, they would just be a level up to "pro" if they were injection moulded or milled from aluminum. Also, the included sticker (which I hope is PEI or some similar material, I never know with these sticker things and they never really say what they're made out of) has holes for the screws, which is silly, since it renders these 4 corners of the printed bed useless, or at least less useful as the heads of the exposed screws cannot be printed on! The sticker should cover the tops of the screws.
The electronics on the other hand are not what I would call "pro".
There is nothing wrong with them by any means, but they are very basic -- e.g. no automatic bed leveling, no filament width or filament runout sensor, no special motor drivers (it appears to use the very standard A4988 drivers). The board is a MakerBase MKS 1.0, which is a basic 8-bit all-in-one RAMPS board, 24v compatible, which is nice. This all makes sense though, the solid build quality is fantastic, it's well designed, but doesn't cost more to produce. The electronics are a bit more get-what-you-pay for, in the sense that better electronics or more sensors will be more expensive, so they've left them off the board. The did include an extra port on the back of the control-board housing, which is for an auto-level sensor (to be purchased later) I believe, which is nice.
In terms of print quality, I am very impressed, at least with the included PLA filament. There is basically no z-axis wobble, so the print came out nice and smooth. The heated bed did take quite a few minutes (maybe 10, but I didn't measure it) to heat to 80° for the first layer, but there really isn't a need to print this hot, I usually use something like 40° and it works fine. Also, I have not printed ABS with this printer yet, but I think it will do fine. One does need to be careful though, since the hot end does have a PTFE liner (e.g. it's not all metal) and will start to break down around 240°, releasing toxic fumes. Also, there was a bit of stringing and blobbing, due to the bowden setup no doubt. I'm a bit baffled why they went for this setup, I guess it helps with speed, but a direct-drive extruder always gives better control. Given how solid the physical design is, a lightweight direct-drive extruder wouldn't slow it down much at all. The first upgrade I'll make to this printer is a nice, light, direct drive extruder with an all-metal hot end.
All-in-all this printer is great value for the money. Physical qualities are fantastic and while the electronics and extruder leave something to be desired, the printer forms a fantastic base for future upgrades. I plan to be printing with this as my primary machine in the future!
It comes well packages, but not assembled:
The total build time was about 3 hours and all of the necessary tools were included, except a Phillips screw driver.
Start by assembling the base, like so:
Then the z-axis motor and pully
Then the mount for the hot plate and z-axis carriage
Install the z-axis carriage, then the motor
Align the gear with the slot on the carriage then tighten well
Next, install the z-axis belt
Then the z-axis end stop
Now, we'll install the electronics. They come in this nice case
Install the power supply, be sure to connect the yellow plug before installing
If the y-carriage bumps into the screw on the top of the power supply, gently bend the bracket to move the powersupply closer to the table.
Attach the LCD display to the front panel
Install the front panel on the printer
Install the z-axis rails
Assemble the x-axis carriage
Then build the other side of the x-axis
Install the stepper motor and the limit switch
Slide the x-axis carriage and install the other end
Install the x-axis
Install the last aluminum extrusion onto the top of the printer
Prepare and install the z-axis motor
I did have to add some washers here to get proper vertical alignment of the z-axis
Put the little green gasket into the z-axis coupler
Install the z-axis coupler
Install the leadscrew
Do not install the included bracket and bearing for the top of the z-axis, for the reasons noted in the review above
Using the three long screws, install the motor and extruder onto the z-axis carriage
Install the x-axis gear, aligning it with the slot on the x-axis carriage
Install the x-axis belt
Secure it with 2 zip ties on each side
Next we'll install the hot end
First, install the hot end mounting bracket using the 2 silver screws. The x-axis carriage is threaded
Then install the extruder with the 4 black screws
Install the PTFE tube between the extruder and the hot end. It should insert as far as I am showing in the photos here (up to my finger) or about 4cm.
Remove the protective cover from the heated bed
This is the heated bed assembly kit, go ahead and mount the heated bed
Next, we'll apply the sticker, unless of course you buy a different top-layer of material, like a PEI sheet. Ideally we would use one that covers the screws and does not have cut outs for them as it renders these 4 areas useless for printing.
The trick to applying these things is to peel up one side
Then slowly roll it onto the bed from one side, the same way you would apply a screen protector
Pull back the backing as you go
Finally install the last endstop
This is how the z-axis and x-axis endstops look when assembled
Time to wire the electronics. First, connect the front LCD panel. The ports are labeled, make the names match at each end of the cable
Connect your motors and endstops. The labels on these are fantastic
Connect your extruder and heated bed to the back, notice the ports are different sizes, so you can't plug them in the wrong way
Zip tie all the cables down and you're done!
Heat up the bed and level it, I used the included business card. You want the card to slide, easily between the nozzle and the heated bed, while still giving a little bit of friction. More importantly it should be the same in all 4 corners, so move the bed and head around to get everything level
Heat the hot end and test-extrude the filament and print your first print!
There were no instructions in my box nor could I find any online, but the bags are nicely labeled and organized into groups for each assembly step.