The K280 Kossel Delta 3D Printer from HE3D is a monster of a 3D printer. The printer has a massive 280mm round by 600mm tall build volume that is absolutely ridiculous. It is a 24V system with a heated bed and an LCD screen for untethered printing. This printer runs Repetier firmware which is something I have not seen as often lately with most 8-bit machines running some version of Marlin. HE3D reached out to me and asked if I was interested in reviewing this printer. Seeing its large build volume, and that it was a delta printer which I have not used in quite some time, I agreed.
This printer showed up in a pretty flat and long box which made sense since it has very long aluminum extrusions that make up the height of the printer. Although the outside of the box looked pretty dirty and quite beat up, the inside of the package was safe and nothing was damaged during shipping. This was a huge relief since this printer has a large round glass base that I was worried might have been damaged in shipping. I took everything out of the box and took all of the plastic covers off of the aluminum extrusions. Everything inside came in a few assorted boxes that where all numbered.
I got all of the items prepared and set off to the side to begin building the following weekend. This is where I ran into my first snag. The printer comes with a two sided piece of paper front and back that is not clear and is missing quite a few steps and photos on how to assemble this printer. This printer is a full kit and nothing comes pre assembled. You will be connecting all of the extrusions to each other as well as all of the injection molded parts. (Along with everything else)
HE3D sent me a link to their video series that shows how to assemble the printer broken up into a multiple video series. The video series can be found here. This video series was very little help to me since the videos are all recorded in 480p, and they move along so quickly that you cannot easily tell what parts are going where. They also linked me to this video illustration of parts going together very quickly, which helped some but was not great. I ended up having to use all of those sources along with the PDF build of how to assemble the Anycubic Kossel just to put together the printer.
I do not think you should need to use multiple sources as well as look at a competing brands build guide to put together this machine. That was one of my biggest gripes for this printer and is both inconvenient as well as very confusing. Once I had the printer together assembled and wired, it was time to power on the printer. This is where I ran into my next issue. The power supply that was sent with this printer was completely dead. I reached out to HE3D and they did apologize but instead of offering to send a new one they asked for a video with a multimeter showing the outputs so that they could argue with their manufacturer…
I sent them a photo of the Power Supply plugged in and not working which to me should be more than enough. I appreciate that they responded so quickly but I have been on my own to source another power supply. For now, I stole a 24V supply from another printer that is down due to me upgrading that machine. Once I had the machine powered on, it was time to calibrate the printer. For some reason, I could not get this printer to connect to Repetier Host on my desktop but it did work fine on my laptop. This 3D printer has a form of auto bed leveling that uses a pad that goes around the nozzle of the machine. Since this machine homes at the top and uses this unique leveling setup, I was not sure how I needed to calibrate the printer.
Luckily, I found to individuals that created blog articles on this machine. (Both of you are saints) CNX-Software has a blog where he documents his experience on assemble as well as upgrading which came in very handy while going through this build. For calibration, Maker Steve put together an article explaining how to calibrate the leveling as well as a spreadsheet with formulas on how to make sure you set your max height on the machine correctly after leveling. Maker Steve’s article and spreadsheet saved me a ton of time as well as frustration on the calibration software. (You rock)
Once I had all of that calibrated I was ready to print. This machine comes with two layer cooling fans but no shroud or mount. You will have to print this out yourself. Because of this, I started out printing in PET-G since cooling is not as mandatory with PET-G. I printed a test cube that turned out decently. After this I tried a few larger PET-G parts that both turned out pretty sloppy. One of them had imperfections all over it, and the other was very choppy from not having any cooling to cool the part quick enough.
Left Side K280 Right Side Another Printer
After those two initial prints the hotend clogged completely, and even after taking the nozzle off and running an allen key inside of the heater block, I cannot get filament through. So, due to this, the machine is on the back burner along with the other projects I have that have taken much more time than they should or that was expected. I do plan on likely designing a completely different hotend setup on this printer that will end up using an E3D hotend. So after all of this I am sure you are thinking I must strongly dislike this printer.
Well not entirely. Was the printer much more frustrating and time consuming than I had hoped? Yes absolutely. This machine is far from perfect it really is. However, if you know this going into it you can do alot with this printer. It does come with a huge frame and lots of parts that function as they should. To me, this printer is more of a starting point or a project that if you add a better hotend and extruder, you can get a massive delta for a ridiculously low cost.
I would recommend this printer to extremely veterened or advanced 3D printer enthusiasts that want a Delta and are willing to spend time modding and tweaking the hell out of it. If this does not sound like you, then I would strongly recommend going with a more familiar cartesian style printer. There are also delta printers with much better instructions that will be quite alot easier to get built and calibrated. Have you used the K200 or K280 from HE3D? Please let me know your experience below!
Find out more or purchase here (K200 Smaller Version)