This printer ships in a huge box. Most of the frame is already pre-assembled, making the big box a necessity. All of the pieces are packed neatly inside styrofoam. In addition to the printer itself, Alfawise throws in a few extra goodies. They make sure everyone is ready to go with an assortment of 3D printing tools and a roll of PLA filament.
In the box
- 3D Printer components: Bed, frame, main box with touch screen
- Additional tools: metal scraper, wire cutters, zip ties, hex keys
- Micro SD card with a USB card reader
- Sample filament: Yellow PLA
- Filament spool holder
The assembly instructions provided may be out of date. I had much more success looking online for recent Alfawise U20 assembly videos. The frame is held together with a few screws. It's possible to put the machine together alone, but it's easier if you have an extra person to help hold the frame in place.
There are a few labeled cables that need to be plugged in. I highly suggest laminating the labels with tape as they fall off very easily.
The firmware needs to be updated immediately after assembly. It’s worth noting, I ran into some issues with this. There’s a support group on Facebook run by Alfawise with other users who had the same problem. On occasion, the SD card provided by Alfawise won't allow the firmware update to install. The group suggested I format a different SD card to get the firmware to update correctly. This resolved the issue for me and I haven’t had any more problems since the update. You can still use the original SD card after the update.
Total assembly time: ~20 minutes
The overall design of this printer is well thought out. It's very easy to change the filament, there's no extra bulk to the design, and the frame is incredibly durable.
The printer is built with very clean, high quality aluminum alloy. The frame is finished with a shiny red coat and also features black matte railings for the motion system.
The motion system is constructed with high standard v-slot wheels. The result is clean movement with very smooth prints.
The bed has some of the most exciting benefits. The Alfawise U20 comes with a heated glass bed right out of the box. The build space is huge and maintains a consistent temperature throughout the entire bed surface. On top of the glass bed is a custom adhesion plate. It's more than capable of withstanding the heat and helps your filament stick when creating a base layer.
The bed is pre-assembled with huge knobs for leveling. Coupled with the leveling feature in the printer settings, the bed is very easy to adjust.
The Alfawise U20 features a bowden extruder system. The filament is fed into the printer away from the extruder head where it travels down a tube before feeding into the nozzle. The benefits of this design allow for speedy prints with less wobbling on your final print.
Once you've finished printing your piece, the Alfawise U20 will remove the nozzle from your final print and immediately start cooling. The temperature will need to be manually set for your next print.
Printing on the Alfawise U20 is an exciting experience. It's easily one of the most efficient printers on the market today. From the print quality to the volume capacity, this is one of the coolest 3D printers I've had a chance to experience first hand (especially in this price range).
The printer includes a .4mm nozzle and it supports 1.75mm filament. The result is seriously fine print quality and really awesome prints. As with any printer, it can be a little tricky and take some time to dial in the best settings.
The bed is huge! The exact build space dimensions are 300mm x 300mm x 400mm. This printer is more than ready for some large scale printing projects.
The Alfawise U20 comes with a touch screen interface. The box is large enough to support the power supply and motherboard. It features a small LCD screen to adjust the printer settings. There could be a few improvements to the English translation, however.
In order to create printable files, you'll need slicing software. Free software works fine. I was able to complete these projects using Cura. The Alfawise website offers a direct link to the latest firmware upgrade here.
Loading print files into the printer is incredibly easy. Just drop the gcode files onto the Micro SD card and pop the SD card into the printer. You're ready to print!
This device is one of the most versatile when it comes to filament compatibility. The official spec list features several different kinds of filament. The Alfawise U20 can use PLA, ABS, PVA, PP, TPU, and even wood filled filament.
Overall, this is a really capable printer. It's not the cheapest printer on the market, but it's absolutely one of the most affordable. There are a few small tweaks that can be improved on the software side.
Otherwise, you'll find some of the best features around for 3D printers: a heated glass bed, simple assembly, and incredible print quality.
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