The (#amazon link) Qidi Tech 3d printer is produced by Ruian Qidi technology Co., Ltd ( pronounced cheedy, so I’m told by a foreign language teacher).
They have taken the reliable and well proven Makerbot 3d printer technology and improved it.
Though a newish starter in the market they have built on proven existing technology and priced it to sell
see what customers think here (#amazon link)
What is the Qidi tech 3d printer?
This works by extruding a thin filament of plastic layer by layer until the model is complete.
The printer itself is constructed with a metal frame for stability and weighs little more than 21kg (46lbs).
The printers outside dimensions are 465X320X375mm ( 18.3X12.6X14.76 in)- this will sit very comfortably on a desktop beside your computer.
The printer features an aluminium heated build platform so you can print with a variety of materials, such as PLA, ABS and PETG. With the metal build platform you will get even heating across the surface so you are able to print anywhere on it without problems, unlike the pcb heated platforms.
The printer has acrylic covers so you can see what is going on with the print while protecting you from the heat of the nozzle and build platform.
The dual print heads allow you to print two colours or to add a support material for intricate prints in a single colour.
The two spools of filament are located at the rear of the unit so you will either be turning it around, making a new holder for the spools or be able to access the rear of the machine.
To print the models you will need to either plug in a usb cable, located at the rear, or transfer the model to sd card, located inside the front right of the printer. Unfortunately there is no wifi connection.
Printer size: 465x230x375mm
Printer weight : 21kg
Build volume : 230x150x150mm
Layer thickness : 0.1mm to 0.3mm
Nozzle diameter : 0.4mm
Printer type : FFF (fused filament fabrication)
Filament size : 1.75mm
Printing material: ABS, PLA, Nylon, PVA
Heated bed : yes
Max nozzle temperature : 260C
Max bed temperature : 140C
Connectivity : usb, SD card
Software : replicator G
File types: STL, GCode
PC compatibility : Windows, MAC, Linux
How difficult is it to setup
When your printer arrives, it will have been shipped in a large cardboard box.
It looks too big, but when you remove all of the outer packaging you breathe a sigh of relief that it is not as big as the box lead you to believe.
Make sure all of the parts are inside the box, if not get in touch with customer support, they are very good at sorting problems.
If you don’t live in a country with 240v mains and need to change the power supply to 115v , you will need to take off the bottom of the printer to access the power supply.
The dual print heads and tools are well packaged for their journey to you.
Unpacking these and removing the two screws, fitting the print heads and tightening the screws is an easy job.
With the space at the top you could always look at moving the spool location to the top of the machine for easier access.
Remove all of the packaging from under the build platform.
Fitting the filament guides and feeding in the filament should be straight forward.
Assembling the perspex top can be a little tricky but there is a video of it being assembled here
And you should be nearly set to print.
How do you print with your Qidi tech 3d printer
Qidi have supply a program on the included sd card. This is effectively Replicatorg, the software used by Makerbot
If you have difficulties installing the software you can go to the open source website for more information here
If you click on file – examples, you can choose from standard, single or dual nozzle examples.
Click on generate Gcode and this file can either be transferred to your printer, once connected, or loaded onto the sd card.
I would advise organising the sd card so that you don’t get confused with which file you want to print. This is easily done with the standard file manager with the platform you are using, windows, linux or mac.
Printing straight from the computer will mean leaving the computer on for the full duration of the print – so if it will take 17 hours for the print then the computer will be on for that duration.
The resolution of the z layers is 0.1mm to 0.3mm and can be easily set in the slicer. Just remember that the finer (smaller) the layer the longer the print takes.
Setting a model up for dual colour is a little more complicated but your manual does a good job of explaining how to setup a two colour print using the example dual colour world.
If you have to calibrate the machine, you can use either the computer or the built-in calibration routine.
With this you will find out how noisy your machine can be telling you that it either needs a user input or is going onto the next stage.
What’s good about it
The price – especially for your first dual head 3d printer.
Material compatibility – you are able to print with a wide range of materials.
Two print heads – you would not believe how boring printing in one colour gets!! definitely an advantage to add another colour.
Excellent customer service – if you get stuck with setting up your printer or if there is another problem within the three month warranty then the customer support is second to none – very friendly and quick response.
What’s not so good.
Location of the sd card – fitting this just inside the front panel can cause a little difficulty in either finding it or inserting the card – you may be picking it up a few times before you know exactly where to insert it.
Operating manual is a bit on the thin side – with a new technological product you would expect a manual bristling with information on what you new purchase can do and how it works, but unfortunately it gives you the barest minimum of information
lack of extended warranty – the standard warranty that comes with your machine is three months.
What do people think
86% of purchasers give it 4.6 out of 5 for easy handling and reliability. 80% found it to be a good choice for the beginner at the right price.
Novices and experienced users found using it to be ‘a very good experience’.
What do you do now
Well if you are just starting out on your 3d print experience and are thinking of buying one of these then I would say go for it.
There is very little assembly upon arrival.
The price of the printer, coupled with the fact that it is a dual colour printer – you really can’t beat.
It is almost plug and play out of the box.
The aircraft grade aluminium heated build platform allows printing with many of today’s – and tomorrows – materials.
The metal frame gives your printer good stability for high quality prints.
Thanks for reading
Qidi Tech 3d printer Forums
Other users can be found here
Qidi Tech 3d printer Upgrades
There is a page on thingiverse for upgrades here
Qidi Tech 3d printer Maintenance
There is a video here for dealing with nozzle blockages
youtube Qidi Tech channel here