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This is a build guide and review for the new Tevo Tarantual Pro 3D printer. I got this printer from banggood.com for review. It's also available from Tevo directly, but the lead time is 20 weeks currently!

Review

Overall, the build quality on the physical components of this printer are very solid. The whole thing is well thought out and organized, even the cables are made to the right length and labeled! The physical quality of this printer is fantastic and it shows in the final quality of the prints. I used the sample of filament included to print the file on the SDCard, but it ran out before it was complete. The z-axis looks fantastic though!

At this point I should note I did not install the included bracket and bearing for the top of the z-axis. I have found it better to leave these out in general as they tend to over-constrain the z-axis, unless perfectly aligned (which is basically impossible). Plus, they're entirely unnecessary, as gravity and the screw on the coupler hold in the leadscrew just fine.

I did have one issue where the y-axis would just bump a screw on the power supply, but bending the bracket slightly so the power supply sits closer to the table fixed this problem. I also had to add a small spacer (2 washers) to the z axis motor mount). It would be nice if these were included. Again though, the physical properties and build quality of this printer is great.

The other minor complaint I have about the physical design is the heated bed. Everything feels so polished except the included 3D printed knobs. I'm not sure why they included these as 3d printed parts. The large knobs are nice, they would just be a level up to "pro" if they were injection moulded or milled from aluminum. Also, the included sticker (which I hope is PEI or some similar material, I never know with these sticker things and they never really say what they're made out of) has holes for the screws, which is silly, since it renders these 4 corners of the printed bed useless, or at least less useful as the heads of the exposed screws cannot be printed on! The sticker should cover the tops of the screws.

The electronics on the other hand are not what I would call "pro".

There is nothing wrong with them by any means, but they are very basic -- e.g. no automatic bed leveling, no filament width or filament runout sensor, no special motor drivers (it appears to use the very standard A4988 drivers). The board is a MakerBase MKS 1.0, which is a basic 8-bit all-in-one RAMPS board, 24v compatible, which is nice. This all makes sense though, the solid build quality is fantastic, it's well designed, but doesn't cost more to produce. The electronics are a bit more get-what-you-pay for, in the sense that better electronics or more sensors will be more expensive, so they've left them off the board. The did include an extra port on the back of the control-board housing, which is for an auto-level sensor (to be purchased later) I believe, which is nice.

In terms of print quality, I am very impressed, at least with the included PLA filament. There is basically no z-axis wobble, so the print came out nice and smooth. The heated bed did take quite a few minutes (maybe 10, but I didn't measure it) to heat to 80° for the first layer, but there really isn't a need to print this hot, I usually use something like 40° and it works fine. Also, I have not printed ABS with this printer yet, but I think it will do fine. One does need to be careful though, since the hot end does have a PTFE liner (e.g. it's not all metal) and will start to break down around 240°, releasing toxic fumes. Also, there was a bit of stringing and blobbing, due to the bowden setup no doubt. I'm a bit baffled why they went for this setup, I guess it helps with speed, but a direct-drive extruder always gives better control. Given how solid the physical design is, a lightweight direct-drive extruder wouldn't slow it down much at all. The first upgrade I'll make to this printer is a nice, light, direct drive extruder with an all-metal hot end.

All-in-all this printer is great value for the money. Physical qualities are fantastic and while the electronics and extruder leave something to be desired, the printer forms a fantastic base for future upgrades. I plan to be printing with this as my primary machine in the future!

Unboxing

It comes well packages, but not assembled:

Building

The total build time was about 3 hours and all of the necessary tools were included, except a Phillips screw driver.

Start by assembling the base, like so:

Then the z-axis motor and pully

Then the mount for the hot plate and z-axis carriage

Install the z-axis carriage, then the motor

Align the gear with the slot on the carriage then tighten well

Next, install the z-axis belt

Then the z-axis end stop

Now, we'll install the electronics. They come in this nice case

Install the power supply, be sure to connect the yellow plug before installing

If the y-carriage bumps into the screw on the top of the power supply, gently bend the bracket to move the powersupply closer to the table.

Attach the LCD display to the front panel

Install the front panel on the printer

Install the z-axis rails

Assemble the x-axis carriage

Then build the other side of the x-axis

Install the stepper motor and the limit switch

Slide the x-axis carriage and install the other end

Install the x-axis

Install the last aluminum extrusion onto the top of the printer

Prepare and install the z-axis motor

I did have to add some washers here to get proper vertical alignment of the z-axis

Put the little green gasket into the z-axis coupler

Install the z-axis coupler

Install the leadscrew

Do not install the included bracket and bearing for the top of the z-axis, for the reasons noted in the review above

Using the three long screws, install the motor and extruder onto the z-axis carriage

Install the x-axis gear, aligning it with the slot on the x-axis carriage

Install the x-axis belt

Secure it with 2 zip ties on each side

Next we'll install the hot end

First, install the hot end mounting bracket using the 2 silver screws. The x-axis carriage is threaded

Then install the extruder with the 4 black screws

Install the PTFE tube between the extruder and the hot end. It should insert as far as I am showing in the photos here (up to my finger) or about 4cm.

Remove the protective cover from the heated bed

This is the heated bed assembly kit, go ahead and mount the heated bed

Next, we'll apply the sticker, unless of course you buy a different top-layer of material, like a PEI sheet. Ideally we would use one that covers the screws and does not have cut outs for them as it renders these 4 areas useless for printing.

The trick to applying these things is to peel up one side

Then slowly roll it onto the bed from one side, the same way you would apply a screen protector

Pull back the backing as you go

Finally install the last endstop

This is how the z-axis and x-axis endstops look when assembled

Time to wire the electronics. First, connect the front LCD panel. The ports are labeled, make the names match at each end of the cable

Connect your motors and endstops. The labels on these are fantastic

Connect your extruder and heated bed to the back, notice the ports are different sizes, so you can't plug them in the wrong way

Zip tie all the cables down and you're done!

Heat up the bed and level it, I used the included business card. You want the card to slide, easily between the nozzle and the heated bed, while still giving a little bit of friction. More importantly it should be the same in all 4 corners, so move the bed and head around to get everything level

Heat the hot end and test-extrude the filament and print your first print!

There were no instructions in my box nor could I find any online, but the bags are nicely labeled and organized into groups for each assembly step.

Hope this was helpful. If so, feel free to checkout my YouTube channel, get updates when a new article is posted by following on Feedly and read the the other guides at nathan.vertile.com/blog