Velleman has introduced a very low cost desktop 3D printer kit that could be of interest.
Velleman is an interesting company as they produce only kits and parts, and those kits are for a wide variety of electronic projects. A few years ago they started including 3D printer kits into their rather large product line.
The company is noted that for producing very well documented instructions for their assembly kits, which is not surprising, as they wouldn’t be in business otherwise. That’s vitally important for 3D printer kits as they often have a large number of parts that require careful and orderly assembly.
Previously the company produced the Vertex desktop 3D printer kit, which we reviewed two years ago. The machine is still available, but priced higher than the new Vertex Nano at USD$599.
But the Vertex Nano is a smaller version of the Vertex. The original Vertex has a build volume of 180 x 200 x 190mm, whereas the new Vertex Nano is much smaller at only 80 x 80 x 75mm. This is quite small, and is in the range of jewelry-focused 3D printers. However, the Vertex Nano certainly will not have the resolution of those jewelry machines, as it uses standard plastic filament extrusion technology.
One major difference between the Vertex and the Vertex Nano is that it does not have a heated print surface. This means that you are likely restricted to 3D printing in PLA plastic, as ABS and other materials will certainly warp during printing. Yes, you could attempt to 3D print in ABS, as the hotend does hit the correct temperatures, but only very small prints in ABS would likely be possible.
For print adhesion, they’ve included a removable layer of BuildTak, a popular skin for providing print adhesion in non-heated situations such as this. You simply remove the magnetically attached build plate and pop off the print, making it relatively easy to use.
As a low cost 3D printer option at only USD$349, you cannot expect many features on this device. Velleman lists the key features as “bed leveling memory”, which has really been a standard feature of all 3D printers for quite some time, for example.
However, they do say the device emits only 45dBA of audio noise during printing, making it a relatively quiet device.
While this is an inexpensive 3D printer, you must remember that it is a kit that requires assembly. If you’re not up for that project, do not buy this machine. But if you are, it could be a very fun project and you end up with a basic 3D printer.