Recently I was lucky enough to get my hands on an EasyThreeD DORA. This is very simple to use printer designed for people with kids in mind so they too, can experience the magic of 3D printing! Michael Bird will be reviewing the EasthreeD Nano which is another kids 3D printer.
This for me is a hard review because I am not a kid anymore so I need to think like one. Currently, I have a Creality Ender 3, this 3D printer is in a different category than the Easythreed Dora because the ender 3 is not a kids printer and its a totally different style so I can’t compare it this. Let’s stop kidding around and get to it. Specifications
Unboxing the DORA was a very simple but strange experience. It arrived in a plain simple brown box with no branding at all, this was a bit disappointing as for a finished product a logo on the box at least would’ve felt a bit more “professional”. Hopefully, in the future, EasythreeD will put a bit of excitement on the box to get the kids going.
Besides the unmarked box, the unboxing was very pleasant. DORA was sitting in there all cozy wrapped in some nice soft foam. She was just raring to start printing. The 3D printer also shipped with an SD Card reader, a VERY cheap scraper, a power cord and 0.25 kg of white PLA. There is no printed manual, but the digital guide was very helpful and informative.
An important note to mention here is the build plate. Now, my friends here at Inov3D found it quite funny that I spent a good 20 minutes searching around complaining that I never received a build plate. The build plate for the DORA is attached magnetically. So don’t be afraid to pull it off or panic, thinking you’ve broken it.
EasythreeD Dora The First Run!
Once she was out and sitting pretty on my desk, I powered her on. When I first powered her on, I got a bit of a shock when I heard the high pitch whining of DORA while idling. In the beginning, this was very annoying for me. After using the DORA a lot, I don’t even notice it now. So for children with autism, this might not be a good 3D printer for them or children that have sensitive hearing. I did find a temporary solution which was some small rubber domes from Amazon to attach to the window. This reduced the noise a lot and gave a much nicer experience.
The DORA ships as a “work out of the box” product and EasyThreed have managed this very well. Loading the PLA filament was very easy, causing no problems at all. Loading filament in the DORA is a very simple process even kids can do it! When you first power on the DORA you are given 3 options. Model, Setup, and Help. The “Setup” screen walks the user through loading filament. Most of the loading process is automatic and the only manual part is inserting the filament. Simply insert the filament into the hole and hit feed on the DORA and the rest is done!
The first time she heated up there was an awful smell and black PLA coming from the extruder. This was obviously the remains of the PLA used from factory testing, so nothing to worry about. Once my PLA was loaded I decided to hit print and see what happens.
The hotend went straight down into the bed, a lot further than it should have gone. For being “working out of the box/minimal setup” I was a bit upset to learn the bed was not level. The 3D printer may have become unlevel during shipping. If you see from the above close up of the hotend, you will see that there is a safety sticker meaning DON’T TOUCH!
We all know kids with little fingers like to touch things they shouldn’t. However, my first print came out rather well. This shows me that the printer can print rather good on an uneven magnetic surface. Not everything needs to be perfect, meaning that the bed doesn’t have to be perfect, its easier for children to print on.
After testing DORA from a consumer/newbie perspective, I thought I would look at it from more of a technical side. The EasyThreeD DORA is an amazing printer. It has a clean modern design and in my eyes, it is very pleasing to look at, from a kids perspective she is very vibrant in color, unlike the adult printers you get PLAIN!.
There are no hard edges or sharp corners and the whole machine looks brilliant, so good job to EasyThreeD for that! Having practically no setup was very pleasing and great. All axis was perfectly leveled from what I could see, with the exception of the bed. I’ll get more into that later. The touch screen interface on the front was clean and was very easy to use and navigate but for me being an adult with big fingers can cause a bit of a problem, one of the methods you can use is a stylus pen. For children, the screen won’t be a problem.
Which brings me to the next point, Speed. DORA is definitely far from the quickest of printers with a recommended and default speed of 40-50mm/s. Kids would get bored after the first 20 minutes of watching it go back and forth, so I’d suggest bumping it up to 60mm/s. I discovered no problems there. In fact, I feel it performed better.
DORA is an amazing machine and is great for parents and their children but there is some room for improvement. For starters, the simple clip-on windows for the DORA increases the noise, a lot. I understand why and it isn’t a big problem but if you are using this for very long prints it could be annoying. But there is a solution I have to make it quieter, is to add thin bits of foam between the window and the printer, this will stop it from rattling or you can take the windows out.
Leveling the bed of the DORA is something EasyThreeD really needs to work on. They use 4 screws to level the heated bed, tightening or loosening these screws affect how high or low the bed sits to the nozzle. Every tiny little turn of that screw could drop the bed 2-3mm if you aren’t careful and this was the first problem that really annoyed me about the DORA. For kids, this would just get very frustrating and they would lose patience very easily.
To summarize everything, the EasyThreeD DORA is an amazing printer designed for kids. Do I recommend it? Simply put, YES. I would recommend this printer for people wanting to give 3D printing a go and have absolutely no knowledge about where to begin. I also recommend this for people that have children that are interested in 3D printing.
DORA is an excellent printer for children in my opinion and it will be interesting to see what EasyThreeD plan to do with DORA in the future. If EasyThreeD continues to make great machines, I will definitely be considering picking another one up at some point.
Speaking of EasyThreed. Check out this article about them here!