Today we are going to be reviewing the Neva 3d printer, a very unique delta style 3d printer. Upon arrival I did not know what to expect from the Neva. For starters, I have extremely limited experience with delta style 3d printers and the little experience I have had with them has not been the best. The Neva is a pre-built pre-assembled 3d printer, which will save you a ton of time trying to put together a box full of parts.
With it being pre-built setup was a complete breeze and it took me no more than 5 or 10 minutes from opening the box until it was ready to print. The process was just to connect a few magnetic arms, and hit the auto calibrate button while the machine performs its magic. If you do get this printer make sure to remove any 3d printed surface on the units bed. I did not even notice there was a thin 3d printed circle and the company’s logo on the bed when I initially calibrated. It did not seem to cause an issue but the bed should be clear before running the calibration.
The Neva is a very well designed/built machine and if needed to move around you will not feel concerned about breaking it. Neva actually posted a little video of someone standing on the frame (although I do not recommend this, it will be hard to explain if you bend the frame). You will not be getting confused with operation on the machine from there being one singular button to start and pause a print.
Aside from the auto level the machine does have a couple of other really neat features. The machine has a filament run-out sensor which when triggered will pause the print allowing you to swap in new filament and not ruining your print. Also, they made it easy to do multicolored prints by swapping filaments mid print. I tried this in a live stream and it went very well. When printing you just hit the button to pause the print then double tap the bed which will cause the filament to unwind. Then insert new filament and press the button again to have it pick up where it left off with a new color.
As far as print quality goes I did do a few different prints on this machine. I did not go smaller than .2 resolution because I really do not ever print anything finer than that, but you can go down to .1. Overall I was very impressed with the quality of the print. Considering it came out the box and printed I had no complaints. The build surface is covered in something called build grip which I believe is similar to buildtak. This does work fairly well at holding your prints down and I do recommend every couple of prints to give it a wipe down with some rubbing alcohol.
On the software side, I was told that you would be able to use this machine with any slicer, but I did have issues trying use it with Repetier. I was unable to get a response on the correct baud rate so that is something I think that needs to be addressed and released with the final retail shipments. The slicer I had to use was one created by Dagoma that was a much slimmed down Cura slicer. It did work and was able to output a .g file that you would put on an SD card and insert into the printer to print, but the software was lacking.
I do understand that they want to keep it simple and that it is in beta, but they do need to either show how to use it with your normal slicer and/or incorporate more options into the slicer they had created. I like to print at .3 for larger prints and with the software they had .2 was the largest layers I could choose from.
This machine is a PLA machine, meaning exactly that. It does not have a heated bed, which the company says was part of their vision for creating a machine that is Eco friendly. For me, this is no problem since I really only print in PLA, but I do know for some this is a deal breaker. This machine does just have one fan that is blowing on the hotend, and does not have a dedicated first layer fan. It does seem though, that the design from the assembly allows some of the fan to blow onto the first layer. I did have a bit of stringing on my prints which I do think could be solved with better first layer cooling or at least the ability to edit retraction settings through the sliver.
To wrap this up and sort of recap on the Neva from Dagoma. I do think it is a pretty great machine. Some of the positives, are a fairly decent build area at 7 inches diameter by 8 inches tall. It prints well at roughly 80mm/s which is not a speed demon but is fairly quick. There is no setup other than auto calibration and maintenance is a wipe down now and then. This printer could easily be used by someone with no experience 3d printing and if they do allow it to be used with and slicer would be enjoyed by a professional. It also has some pretty great features built in and at roughly 400usd for a prebuilt delta the price is definitely fair.
On the other side of the spectrum, if you need to print in other filaments besides pla this machine will not be for you. Also this machine does not have an LCD screen which I do know some of you really like to have. Lastly as mentioned the machine’s Cura beta software definitely needs some added features that it is lacking in.
That is just about going to wrap up this review of the Dagoma Neva delta 3d printer. I do hope you enjoyed this and look forward to seeing you in my next post!