I’m the type of person who thinks BIGGER is always better. When it comes to 3D printing I select mostly large volume printers. Then I got this little printer sent to me from Tevo for a review. The Michelangelo has a build volume of 150X150X150. This little guy has changed my mind!
The great thing is that most models online are sliced up to print on smaller machines. You also have the option to scale the models down or in some cases, you can slice the prints into smaller parts on your own with the Meshmixer program which is free and easy to learn.
The Tevo Michelangelo 3D Printer: Specifications
- Brand Tevo
- Type: Complete Machine
- Engraving Area: 15 x 15 x 15cm
- Engraving Accuracy: 0.1mm
- Frame material: Aluminum
- Platform board: Aluminum Base
- Nozzle quantity: Single
- Nozzle diameter: 0.4mm
- Nozzle temperature: Room temperature to 260 degrees
- Layer thickness: 0.1mm
- Print speed: 60 - 120mm/s
- Supporting material: PLA,TPU
- Material diameter: 1.75mm
- Language: English
- XY-axis positioning accuracy: 0.01mm
- Z-axis positioning accuracy: 0.002 mm
- Working Power: 60W
- Host computer software: Cura, Repetier-Host, Slic3r
- Packing Type: Assembled packing
- Connector Type: USB
Unboxing this printer was a breeze. It comes fully assembled, except the four feet which could easily be done at the factory. Either way it’s simple to install them on your own.
The SD card contains 2 sample GCODE files as well as the manual in pdf format. It also contains a copy of the Repetier-host software.
The Repetier-Host software on the SD card is not my favourite program to use with printers. The software just “hosts” a slicer engine. A slicer is a program that slices the 3D object into layers, then turns it into instructions the printer can understand. If you need a free program then I would recommend Slic3r or Cura, but if you can afford it I would recommend Simplify3D.
The Michelangelo doesn’t come with a heated bed. This limits the types of filaments you can print with. Basically, it limits you to PLA and TPU. PLA is the most common filament and TPU is a flexible filament. The reason for this is because PLA and TPU don’t require heat to keep it from curling up as it cools down.
The Tevo Michelangelo 3D Printer with PLA Filament
This printer got off to a bit of a rocky start. I printed the included Wave test GCODE file it printed well until about 90% of the way up. That is when the layers started to shift on the X-axis.
I printed a couple of dinosaurs for a friend and a couple of Benchis (benchmarks). They have a lot of layer shifting and artifacts. I wasn’t sure what was going on. After some troubleshooting, I discovered the small grub screws that hold the pulley to the motor shaft was loose on the X-axis.
After tightening those screws I printed a new Benchi, a dinosaur, and a statue of Captain America. They came out way better than I expected. I got the same quality I get from the Tevo Tornado and JGAurora A5 which is saying something.
The smaller build volume doesn’t keep this printer from practical printing. I purchased a new set of jewelers screwdrivers for my workbench. I plan to use them quite often and don’t want to get out the case and open it then put them back when I’m done. So I opened Fusion 360 which is a free computer aided drawing (CAD) for students and Hobbyists.
Then I designed the cool little holder that I can screw to the side of the desk and have easy access to the screwdrivers. It printed easy and is plenty strong enough to hold them and not break if it gets knocked by something or someone.
I love playing in Fusion 360. There are plenty of free YouTube or other online tutorials to get you started. There are also plenty of advanced tutorials. I get a sense of accomplishment when I print something I came up with in my head.
The last PLA print is the Moon City from Thingiverse.com. This is a beautiful model and the detail is amazing. The Michelangelo printed it beautifully and got all the details perfectly.
(For more on the above 3D printouts, see my review of Neat PLA Filament.)
The Tevo Michelangelo 3D Printer with TPU Filament
Flexible filaments are good for things like phone cases and RC tires. I usually print soft toys for the kids. My friend asked me to print some dinosaurs for a 3-year-old. I chose this low polygon dino because it would print well in TPU. The Michelangelo has the same extruder as the Tevo Tornado so I knew it would print TPU without any issues.
Video with the Tevo Michelangelo Printing
The Michelangelo doesn’t need any modifications. The one I did was a spool holder that mounts to the top of the Z extrusion. You can see it on Thingiverse.
Pros and Cons
- This printer is among the best prints I have seen yet! I am blown away by how well it prints.
- The Titan extruder works great and has little to no space after the gear. This makes printing with flexible filaments much better.
- The extruded aluminum frame uses wheels instead of bearing on smooth rods. Rods can bend easily and bearings wear out.
- Comes pre-built
- Tevo has done a great job making their printers look nice as well as print nice. The logos and boot screens have been well executed.
- No spool holder. Hard to print without a spool holder, you have to make a makeshift one until you can print one.
- No heated bed. This is a con but most only print with PLA anyway.
If you have limited space and you want a 3D printer you can’t go wrong with the Tevo Michelangelo. It is easy to move around because it’s light and all one piece. The printer doesn’t come with a spool holder but it’s simple to jerry-rig something to print one. The front access SD card is the best I have seen on any printer I have owned to date. They usually have them on the side back or behind the LCD screen.