The Tevo Tarantula is a 3d printer that has been out for quite a long time now and I have been wanting to get my hands on it. Well I finally did and it is the Tevo Tarantula 2017 edition. I will say that I am not sure of what the main differences are between the original version and the 2017 but that my review will be on the 2017 3d printer version since that is the one that I got in.
The Tarantula came in a very nice box, nicer than just about all of the 3d printer kits that I have gotten in and was packaged just as nicely on the inside. The printer parts come packed with thick foam and are all laid out nicely. The biggest thing I was surprised by with my initial impressions was the fact that it came with a very nice large paper build guide.
Having a paper build guide is so nice as now it seems most kit printers only come with a sd card that includes a pdf version of the build. Being able to not need a computer while building was something that I was very happy with.
Assembly of the 3d printer went fairly quickly, for the most part it was straight forward. I did end up finding a series of YouTube videos that helped by streamlining the whole process that I followed. This was the fastest printer I have ever built which was partially due to me not recording the build or live streaming it on my channel. From beginning to end it was about a 3-4 hour project.
The main issue I ran into was with the bed being far too loose. The Tevo Tarantula uses these things called eccentric nuts that are used to tighten or loosen all of the different axis and their carriages. I had never seen them before and had no idea how to use them. It seemed the more I tried to tighten the bed the looser it got. I ended up finding another YouTube video that explained how they worked and I was able to get the bed fairly solid.
I had no problem leveling the machine at all and once I had the printer leveled I set out with a fairly large initial test print:
The print did not turn out terrible but there was some serious under extrusion going on which I ended up having to calibrate the steps on the extruder motor and adjusting the tension on the extruder motor spring to fix but once I did that the printer printed at a quality I was fairly happy with.
After using the printer for a few weeks for various print and upgrades I put together a list of the things I like and dislike about the Tevo Tarantula 2017 3d printer.
Let us start off with the things that I do like about the machine:
For starters, the cost at 185 USD it is a very budget friendly 3d printer and right up there with some of the cheapest priced kits that are available. One difference between this machine and many of the other similarly priced printers is the frame is mostly aluminum. This is much nicer and durable than the nearly full acrylic frames that similarly priced printers often come with.
Like I had mentioned earlier the build for this printer was relatively painless. This does not mean that if you have no knowledge of 3d printers or are not somewhat experienced with electronics that it will be “easy” but if you have an idea of what you are doing it definitely is better than a lot of other kit printers that I have built in the past.
This printer has a hot bed which will allow you to print things such as PLA, ABS, PET-G, along with a wide variety of other materials that you may want to use. The build plate has a layer of buildtak type material on it that makes prints stick extremely well I had no problem getting my PLA prints to stick to the bed with no additional help.
The extruder comes with two options both an aluminum traditional style extruder along with a plastic Tevo Titan extruder. I did have issues with the Titan extruder not extruding properly but the aluminum extruder has been working very well for me. The printer also has an LCD screen that will allow you to print with an SD card that is not tethered to a pc for wireless printing.
Lastly, the printer has a great community on Facebook from basic things like setup to more advanced things like upgrades and fine tuning:
Now that we looked at all of the things that I do like about the printer let us look at some of rooms it has for improvement.
The Z-Axis only has one lead screw which is just poor design. This means that the other side without the lead screw sags and even with tightening the eccentric nuts it still sags heavily. This means that you have to have the bed leveled at an angle to offset the sag that is created on the X-Axis. It does not seem to affect print quality but the machine should really have a lead screw and motor on both sides.
Next, the eccentric nuts are a pain. There is no reason why the machining cannot be good enough to where you do not need to tweak the eccentric nuts to even be able to get things to not wobble. I have never needed them on other kits and think they will cause headaches for quite a few people.
Lastly, is the placement of the main board. The mainboard for the Tevo Tarantula is mounted on the front of the machine in clear acrylic. What this means is that cable management is a nightmare and it is near impossible to not have a rats nest of cables which is a definite eyesore. It does not affect the printer other then for aesthetics but still I cannot understand why they went with that route.
I did some basic upgrades to the machine to make it look cleaner along with added a fan for the first layer cooling which made a huge difference in the quality of my 3d prints when printing in PLA here is a list of all of the upgrades that I did:
My verdict for this printer is that it is really not a bad printer. The cons that I have with this printer do not affect print quality but rather the overall experience that you can expect from this printer. The price is good, the quality is good and I think it is a solid kit. If you are like me then you will not keep it stock anyways and there are many upgrades you can do to make this printer even better than it already is.
If you want to find out more about the Tevo Tarantula 3d printer or purchase one for yourself:
Use Coupon Code GBTE