Tevo Tornado 3D Printer Review

There is a lot to like about the Tevo Torando 3D Printer, and a decent amount to be annoyed with.  That being said, I want to make a confession.  I am a Tevo Fan.  My first printer was a Tevo Tarantula and I have (Mostly) enjoyed the trip. That is also the major reason this site started.  Gearbest sent me the Tevo Tornado to review. If you are interested in buying one, I would recommend checking out my “sales” page for the latest discounts and coupons.  This is a relatively inexpensive printer, with a huge print area.  That is it’s major strength.  A build volume of 300x300x400 for under $500 was unheard of until this past year.  This is a great thing for 3D printing enthusiasts. With prices regularly dropping under $350 with a current coupon code, these printers arrive mostly built with very little actual assembly required, and that is very simple to do.  If you want to check out my preview and see what it takes to build this 3D Printer, check out my Tevo Tornado 3D Printer Preview and Live build Page.

The Tevo Tornado is a Good Value for a 3D Printer

The Tevo Tornado 3D Printer is a good value for its cost.  The large build area is probably the most notable feature of this 3D Printer.  It creates a large build area with which to work with.  I regularly put two items on it and have it start printing, where my smaller Tevo 3D Printer, the Tarantula would have to print the two parts separated.  This is both a good and bad point on the printer.  Though, the “bad” point is self caused, and in no part the fault of the printer.  On my other 3D Printer, if the print fails, I lose whatever was on the build plate, and it was restricted in size.  With this newer, larger bed, I tend to have bigger failures.  And failures happen in 3D Printing.  

Probably it’s biggest winning feature, is the time to heat the bed.  It is a very short period of time, getting your print going quickly, and not wasting as much time waiting for that first layer.  The Tornado has a DC Solid State Relay that keeps current from going through the board and allows the bed to heat up very quickly.  As far as I can tell, there is no difference in the red or green stickers for the bed.  I did find that the bed required some use (or hair spray) to start adhering better.  As time has gone on, the be works better, and does a good job on holding onto the print job, and then releasing it relatively easy.  I still personally prefer glass (which is easy to install), but the bed material still works great.  It works “well enough” that I have not felt compelled to switch it to glass.  

The printer comes mostly assembled.  That is really nice.  My live build went pretty fast and the only reason it went so long is I thought there was something wrong, and go to find out the Tornado behaves a bit differently than other 3D Printers I have owned and I left 1 cable unplugged accidently.  It is pretty simple to put together and set up.  This is actually a lot of printer for the price.  

There are some drawbacks

I did run into some problems.  One of them, is a known issue with the Y-layer shift.  The power needed to be upped to the motor.  I’ve also found that I need to reduce the jerk and acceleration settings to prevent Y shift as well.  This one really annoys me, since it does slow the printer down when printing.  Thankfully, it is easy to overcome.  It just requires more time to print. This is a problem, to me.  Out of the box, it should work.  Mine had problems, and other have reported this same issue.  While this printer has a part cooling fan, it is underwhelming.  I have problems with bridging.  I plan to print and install a part cooling fan that uses a 5015 blower like I use on my Tevo Tarantula.

Another issue I ran into, was some quality control issues.  The cowling for the extruder was bent badly.  It actually went below the nozzle and couldn’t print.  Because it is a pretty thin metal, it was easy to bend back into an acceptable shape.  This also created another problem that I noticed later.  The shroud was bent against the cooling fan, not allowing it to spin.  Again, easy to bend out.  This page I put together with some links for tuning your Tevo Torando 3D Printer.

Finally, I have seen the salmon skin phenomenon. This post talks more about it, and has a video on how to fix it.  It’s not that pronounced on my machine, and when you reduce some of the jerk and acceleration settings, it helps to mitigate the problem.  It does not represent enough of a visual problem, to me, to be considered a major problem.  I have seen photos with much worse salmon skin than I have experienced.  They are also now shipping with a new board that supposedly fixes the salmon skin.  Existing inventory will have to be gone through, before these new version of printers arrive.  

Tevo Tornado – A DIY playground

Like other Tevo printers I have used, this one has seen a strong community arrive to help update the printer.  These printers are inexpensive (at least relatively to similar units), which gives you some room to do some upgrades.  For certain people, this will be a major advantage.  It is easy to upgrade most pieces, whether you print or buy new parts.  Like other Tevo Printers, there has been a strong community that helps others with these printers.  I HIGHLY recommend printing the extended leveling knobs and the top-rail spool holder.  I do plan to add some more bells and whistles to this printer, and see how great it can be.

Final Thoughts on Tevo Tornado 3D Printer

The Tevo Tornado 3D Printer a solid printer, and I have used mine quite a bit since it arrived.  At its price point, I haven’t used a better printer.  If you have a bit of extra money, there are similar printers I do personally like more.  This is a very difficult printer to truly recommend for all, though.  It’s a mostly built printer that should work for most people, even newer ones that don’t want to deep-dive into the ins-and-outs of 3D Printing.  Unfortunately, this printer does require some extra work to really get it to work well.  That is where my recommendation with caveates comes in.  For those that need to save some money, this is a good buy.  For those that want an easy to mod 3D Printer, this is a good choice.  For those that want a printer that they plug in and run, this is not a good choice.  As I said in the opening, I am a Tevo fan, but I can’t let that cloud my judgement.  This printer gets it mostly right, with some flaws that are not too difficult to overcome.

If you are interested in this 3D Printer, I recommend looking at my deals page for the latest sales or my Buying Guide as well to compare prices.

Over the past nearly 6 months, I have been following the Tevo Tornado 3D Printer and have put together a page showing its journey to this point with some reviews and other information

Problems just when I was about to publish this review

I’ve actually sat on this review for several months.  I finished it up, as you can see above.  I checked on the 3D Printer before publishing this, and it failed mid print.  I tried it again, and as soon as the hot end starts heating, it reboots.  I’ve replaced the sensor and the heater cartridge (It is the right voltage, ordered it specifically for the Tornado).  Nothing has worked.  I am not sure if the failure point is a bad PCB or a wire some where.  I can trace continuity without problems.  So, there you have it.  The Printer worked fine… but I can’t figure out what is wrong with it.  I have had better luck with the JGAurora A5 in all honesty, and would easily recommend it over this 3D Printer.  The funny thing is, my CR10s also ran into a failure that I have not had time to fix.  (I honestly spent a LOT of time on the Tornado… I have not spent hardly any time on the CR10s).  These both failed within about 2 days of each other.  So, there has been my frustration.  My father-in-law is an engineer, and I am giving him this 3D Printer.  He’s been wanting one, and it will give him something to dink with.

The Final Word – The Tevo Tornado 3D Printer Runs again

My father-in-law finally got the time to fix the Tevo Tornado.  He ended up having to replace the power supply AND the main board to get it to work again.  Now, I had been using the printer for about 3 months when it failed.  That is not a good amount of time to run a printer until it fails.  I can’t say I am happy about this development.  So, this is the final piece of this saga.  The Rebooting Tevo Tornado was caused by a combination of bad power supply and bad main board after about 3 months of use.