First of all
I could write a welcome text and stuff for my first post on my Blog. But instead of this i start with real content.
Lets take a look at my newest 3D Printer: Elegoo Neptune 2.
Since i heared about the Neptune 2 i wanted to buy one. But this printer was sold out everywhere and it seemed to be a non-exisiting printer, besides of them, who owned one. Well this state didn’t changed and it is still a pretty rare FDM Printer made by Elegoo. The Neptune 2 isn’t well known in the german 3D printer community,too. The rareness of this printer made me much more curious about the printer and i wanted it way more. Well we all want unicorns, right? But the most i was interested in was: Is elegoo able to produce a good FDM Printer on this budget price class? – Regulary the machine is about 170€. I had some luck and grabbed one in a sale event through Aliexpress for 130€. I made my experience with Elegoo Printers with the standard Mars – a budget dlp printer, which got me very fast into resin printing. Their DLP Printers are pretty good. The Neptune 2 is similar to the Ender-3 pro from Creality – A printer i had 5 of, when i had my little printfarm. This printer is also that one i always recomment to beginners, because it delivers awesome quality prints, when well assembled and without modifications (Yes. I don’t modificate my 3D printers.).
Lets find out: Is the Neptune 2 a good FDM 3D printer?
Well to make it short: Yes. I go so far that i would recomment it to everyone and even beginners. The Neptune 2 replaced my alltime favorite Creality Ender-3, which is a pretty good printer and i still would recomment the machine, too. But why do i like the Neptune 2 and delivers it good quality prints? Let’s take a deeper look.
First of alle the packaging is pretty neat. Okay to be honest there i no difference to other budget 3D-Printers. But its the first view on a machine you get and you can be pretty sure all arrives safe. When there would be any issues on the parts, then there was a sleepy head in quality assurance.
There are blogs out there who says it comes in more parts then similar printers. Well i cannot confirm this information. When i compare it to the Ender-3 then its pretty much similar single parts to assemble.
The assembly instructions are pretty clear and well written. For Beginners its better made then others. You have pictures, text and if that don’t help they delivers a assembling video, which you can find on the included USB stick. One point which i have to mention, what i didn’t like: The screws are chucked into one single plastic bag and you have to figure out which one, is the one mentioned in the instruction. That could be better.
I asked myself what was meant by a wobbling machine, when i read reviews about the printer and i have clearly to say:
It should be fully normal to you and become a regular routine: When you get a new printer, you loose every single screw and bring everything in line before assemble everything. The most printers doesn’t come well pre-assembled. Just don’t expect it, then you can’t get disappointed. 3D Printers aren’t a hairdryer or a toaster. Its a complex machine. You don’t order a bike online and just start to ride it. You would also inspect if every screw is tightend up and well assembled.
I got a so called „wobbly“ base, too. But for me its so normal like breathing that i just loose screws on both sides and reassebled them.
I always take a lot of time to assemble a new printer. Yes you’re impatient and want start to print immediately. I understand this. But please, take your time. Your start with the new machine will be far better when you take a lot of care while assemble the machine.
At least i needed 1,5 hours to assemble it. Yeah you can do it much faster. But much slower also. Time doesn’t matter unless you take part in a 3D-Print-Speed-Assemble competition (Does something like this even exist?) After the machine is assembled – i made the first adjusments: adjust the excentric screw nuts and the newel nut in z axis. The excentric nuts on y-axis (print bed) and x-axis should be tight, but not that tight that nothing can move. The secret on the newel nut in z-axis is: it should be tightend very light. I always tight it like normal screws and then loose it a half circle back. That works always „perfect“.
After assembling we can talk about the real stuff.
I really like the touch display. Its very comfortable and works super well. I didn’t expect this.
The first option i very like, because I am oldschool and do manual bed leveling: the neptune 2 comes with the option to pilot specific points on the printbed. This makes manual bed leveling pretty comfortable. I start left, front corner, go to right back corner, then left back corner, right front corner and the middle. All with a regular piece of paper. The function let me do a very quick pre-leveling. Afterwards i use a first layer print (4 squares in the corner a circle in the middle) and adjust the corners and the middle while printing. With this way i always see directly if its good or not.
Next point i really like: The whole printer display surface. The thumbnail is a very nice feature. The shown filename, a progress bar, time, heat, options… This makes controll over the printer settings very easy and avoid that stupid people like my print the same part twice (happend to me more then one time… :“D). I do not use repetier host or octoprint. Thats why this is super comfortable to me and i don’t want to miss this features anymore. After bed leveling i ran my set up routine for FDM Printers (Download)
The Elegoo Neptune 2 delivers very good prints just out of the box. It has many features, which makes my printing process much more comfortable. The Assembling was simple, the first adjustments was fast made. It even motivated me to use the free slicer cura again (Elegoo delivered a Cura-Elegoo Edition with the printer). I was used to Simplify3D over years, but the new cura version works pretty well, too. I already set up a simplify3D profile, too – because i simply prefer the custom support option of it. The 3D-Printer looks pretty good. The frame is very solid. I like the whole closed look. Its hard to say what i dislike. Maybe that the display is under the print bed. On the side it would be better, but this way it makes the printer a little more compact. So i would not see this as a negative point, but i need to mention it.
One negative/neutral thing i have to add: To be honest i removed the filament sensor. My experience said its not working well – same build like Anycubic i3 mega and CR-10S ones and they caused more problems then has any use. I would always recomment to remove it.
Another point which i have to mention it is much more quiet then a stock Ender-3 is. Its far from whisper quiet, but when you’re into crafting then you won’t be disturbed by the noise. When printing you can hear the steppers a little. The fan of the power supply is the loudest part. Its fully okay for me. I wouldn’t call it noisy in any ways.