24hr Review: Kodama Trinus 3D Printer

24 hour review of the Kodama Trinus 3d Printer:
In short: I love it as a rock solid, stable, and precise unit.
tl;dr pro/cons

 

Pros:
– very fast for a lead screw
– high level of precision
– most robust printer I have put my hands on (and that I can find) suitable for home use
– support for non-official slicers (like Repetier), along with the official Pango
– Support for customer extruders via generic stepper driver & control FET. This might as well be a generic CNC kit that happens to come with a print head. I see this having a large customization community once more are shipped
– Easy enough to use that I could recommend it as a starter unit for those who have never used one and can’t take a large learning curve
– preprogrammed SD cards are useful if you have repeat parts that need printing, but unless you have the LCD screen or another controller it will only be practical with one print set per card since you cannot select the file to print.

Cons:
– custom print head rather than tried and true RepRap model. This means that if they go under, parts may be hard to come by for things like worn nozzles. However, with the ease of integrating other extruders this may not be as much of a long term issue as some are working to port other print heads (even dual extrusion, though last I checked they had not finished this)
– smaller print area
– bed material choice of Acrylic for the default, rather than a heated bed support by default
– heated bed really was an afterthought (see notes below about motherboard comms)

Longer Description:
It may not be the fastest printer in the west, but it is running lead screws at 70mm/s with accuracy, and I am running 100+mm/s for simpler prints without any real issues.
The biggest gripe: the bed heater is not tied with the motherboard (I didn’t even get the heated bed option anyway for the time being. Since it is not tied into the primary controller might as well make one). Whilst the printer waits for the
nozzle temp to be appropriate, it has no way of knowing the bed temperature before it starts the print. It also cannot shut off the bed after the print is done.
Biggest plus: the thing is rock solid; it is all steel and aluminium with no belts or gears. It doesn’t need bed levelling (smaller print size, with incredible design tolerances). I could travel with this thing and not have to recalibrate anything.
It is not too loud, but not the quiestest printer either. Overall it does not seem to have changed too terribly since the pre-production reviews from during the kickstarter. However, they did take in some backer feedback such as identifying the different Z-Axis leads in the documentation better. It also works fine with or without Pango, and since I may make a build server using a rPi will likely switch to Repetier in the long term.
I have printed 4 items with success, and two had issues. One of the two I tried to print without supports and that was a bad idea with a long bridge (and thus operator error). The second detached from the bed at a faster print speed and stuck to the head. I reprinted that one just fine by lining the bed with painters tape (planning to make a better bed wither by A) better material than the stock acrylic, or B ) just putting said tape down before prints). Regardless I feel I would not have had the detachment with a better bed surface.

I am currently procuring various types of filaments to play with in this unit, and so far have been mostly using standard PLA. I am also waiting on an order of more nozzles before I start doping metal printing since they may cause faster wearing.

Some sample prints:

batman spinner. Printed using Inland PLA @ 100mm/s, 210C, and .15mm layer resolution. For a simpler design such as this perfect for faster speeds.
37mm grenade holster. I needed a belt holder for grenades for my under-barrel launcher. Printed using Polymaker PLA (included with the Trinus, and sold through them at a discount to original backers). Run at 70mm/s @ 205C and .15mm resolution. It printed a belt look without any issues

What is really neat is that I didn’t even bother to calibrate this printer. It does not even have a bed levelling function since it is so robust, and the print area small enough that the bed itself would not introduce much in terms of error.

 

 

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