Featured Image: Amazon
What began as a crowdfunded Kickstarter project has now become a fully-fledged product that is available for retail purchase. When the Cetus 3D Printer was first launched on Kickstarter, the device was offered from Cetus3D, a subsidiary of Beijing Tiertime Technology LTD., for only $199. Now that the project has been funded, and the Cetus 3D is available to the general public, we’re here to see if the Cetus 3D can actually “Make It Happen”, as its tagline suggests. With 589 backers supporting the project with over $169,103, it seems that this 3D printer is a success. Let’s dive deeper into the features and benefits of the Cetus 3D Prints, as well as its advantages and disadvantages.
What is the Cetus 3D?
A 3D printer is a machine that is capable of additive manufacturing by way of creating three-dimensional objects from digital files. The additive creation process describes the creation of an object through building an object upward with successive layers until the object is complete. On the other hand, subtractive manufacturing describes the process of creating an object by cutting out or hollowing out pieces from a block of material. In this way, 3D printing is a more efficient way of manufacturing while retaining the ability to create complex three-dimensional objects.
Using a 3D modeling software on your computer or a 3D scanner, a digital file is where the three dimensional printing begins. 3D scanners can range from industrial grade to homemade scanners that can be built for around $30, and 3D modeling software is similar in nature, with both costly professional grade programs and free open source programs available. No matter which route you take to obtain your model, you will need to prepare it for printing.
The process of preparing your 3D model for printing is called slicing, which divides the model into a multitude of layers so that a 3D printer can build it from the ground up using additive manufacturing. This is typically done with a separate slicing software, and it should be noted that some printers might require proprietary slicing software. Once the model is sliced, you are ready to begin printing, which can be done over SD, Wi-Fi, or USB connection. When the printer receives the 3D model, it will begin printing your object layer by layer.
The Cetus 3D Printer is a minimalist 3D printer that is constructed from an aluminum body that can be divided into six different modules: the extruder; the build platform; the main board; and the X,Y, and Z axes. Although the machine is small and only weighs just over three kilograms, its build volume is massive for its size. The volume of the machine itself is 260x260x280mm, and the build volume is 180x170x180mm. This means that you are able to print objects that are nearly as big as the machine itself.
Additionally, the rails are self-lubricated and maintenance free. The machine is quiet, and offers high precision without the noise that accompanies other printers. Three nozzles are also offered in different sizes for detail. A 0.2mm, 0.4mm, and 0.6mm nozzle are available, and each has its own preset profile for a hassle-free print.
The 3mm aluminum build plate guarantees that your print surface is flat, as it is fixed directly to the linear guide, giving a flat surface that runs parallel to the X-axis. Furthermore, each Cetus 3D Printer comes from the factory with a pre-calibrated Y-axis to allow users to be able to begin printing right out of the box.
The Cetus 3D Printer has a dedicated modeling software that utilizes a user-friendly interface that is supported on Mac, Windows, and even iOS, and a big advantage that the Cetus 3D Printer offers is the ability to work with third-party slicing software, such as Cura, Slic3r, and Simplify3D. This gives users who are more familiar with 3D printing the ability to achieve the best quality print from the Cetus 3D Printer. For particularly advanced users, the Cetus 3D Printer is Gcode compatible and can be modded in order to perform laser engravings and other functions that operate by Computer Numerical Control.
The Cetus 3D Printer can be purchased for $399 from the Cetus3D website.
How It Compares
Cetus 3D Printer
MonoPrice Maker Select Plus
ABS, PLA, XT Copolyester, PET, TPU, TPC, FPE, PVA, HIPS, Jelly, Foam, Felty
Original Prusa I3 MK2S Kit
Any thermoplastic including Nylon and Polycarbonate
How We Reviewed
We believe that it is important to bring you accurate and honest information in our reviews, and as such, we like our readers to understand the review process. First, we search for all of the product data available for the product that is under review, and then we find some of the item’s closest competitors and research them in a similar fashion. We also take into account user feedback from people who already own each product. Once all of the data is compiled, we are able to offer factual information while also highlighting the opinions of the product’s target audience.
If you are interested in diving into the hobby of 3D printing, following these tips in our Buyer’s Guide can help you to choose the correct 3D printer to get you started. Whether you decide to begin with one of the printers that are found in this article or another 3D printer, following these helpful tips can make the purchase of your new investment hassle-free and painless.
Set a budget for yourself, and don’t deviate from the limit that you set for yourself. If you decide to continue your research for a 3D printer outside of those models that have been covered in this article, you can begin to filter your options by maximum price. This can narrow your choices down and make the process of finding the right 3D printer for you that much simpler.
Familiarize yourself with common features that appear in the models that fall within your price range. You can eliminate models that have features you believe you will not need or will not use during your time with the machine. By eliminating models with features that will go unused, you can once again narrow the choices for your perfect printer. This may also help to lower the cost of your machine. By that same token, make not of models that have features that you would enjoy.
Review feedback from customers who have already purchased the 3D printer. Typically, you can find these reviews on the manufacturer’s websites. It should be noted that analyzing both positive and negative reviews is important, as it will help you to find a balanced take on how you might feel about the printer if you decide to purchase it. Once again, reviewing this type of feedback can help to thin out competitors even more in your search, because an overall negative customer rating is generally a red flag indicating that you would be better off looking elsewhere.
After our thorough review, we believe the Cetus 3D Printer is a perfectly suitable 3D printer for those who are first entering the 3D printing and plastics hobby, and for veterans alike. While some users found issues with the proprietary Cetus nozzles, and others mentioned that the cooling fan is loud, these qualms shouldn’t necessarily disqualify the Cetus 3D Printer from consideration, because this little machine has its strengths. The biggest advantage to the Cetus 3D Printer is the build volume that the device offers. For its reasonable price, the Cetus 3D Printer gives you the ability to print fairly large objects. Additionally, the Cetus is incredibly easy to use. Many users noted how quickly they were able to begin creating while their friends were frustrated with the more complicated machines that they purchased. The Cetus’ minimalist design is truly the heart of this 3D printer. It is sleek yet efficient, and it has a no-nonsense approach to 3D printing.
That’s where you come in. Another of the Cetus 3D Printer’s big advantages is its flexibility when it comes to compatible software. If you are already familiar with slicing programs such as Cura, Slic3r, and Simplify3D, you can continue working with those programs and still use the Cetus 3D Printer. Additionally, the printer is fully calibrated from the factory, and the build platform is flat and requires no leveling, ensuring a perfect print every time. The linear rails are quiet with the frame constructions being generally solid in nature. The Cetus 3D printer also offers an extendable design for more advanced users to tinker with, and the Wi-Fi connectivity makes sending files to the printer easy to do. Tiertime, the company of which Cetus3D is a subsidiary, has been steeped in the 3D Printing industry for 15 years. This brings experience to the table, and recognition of talent.
Speaking of recognition of talent, it bears repeating that the Cetus 3D Printer was a successful Kickstarter project. In the sea of projects vying for crowd funding, the Cetus 3D Printer was able to source the funds needed to make their printer a complete package while offering backers the printer for an unreal discount of $199. Supporters for projects such as the Cetus 3D Printer are usually people who have their finger on the pulse of newly available technology. That simple fact may be enough for some to make the Cetus printer a cut above some of its competitors who haven’t had seal of consumer approval in their pre-retail stage.
When all of the dust has settled, the positives of the Cetus 3D Printer far outweigh the negatives, and we would be confident in recommending this 3D printer to anyone who is interested in purchasing one, regardless of experience. From its ready-to-use nature to its incredible build volume and ability to be customized for other CNC functions, this printer nearly does it all. The Cetus 3D Printer is simply one of the best available at its price point.