Some Chinese 3D printers (China High Tech Fair 2013)
November 17, 2013 07:41AM
A few pictures of printers from the China High Tech Fair today. Not a great showing or many well known domestic 3D printer manufacturers since the China 3D Printing Expo is next week. Most companies are probably holding out for that. I'll post full pictures from that expo as well. These are mostly prototypes or relatively unknown models.

It's worth mentioning that although the 3D printer company booths were small each had a massive crowd surrounding them. Chinese are definitely very much interested. Why, and what they perceive the role of 3D printing to be is a bit more complicated.

CaseT- Cube knockoff, cartridge and all.

Seven- this Ultimaker type of printer is 80% of the domestic Chinese 3D printer market these days. Last year everyone was making Replicator clones (well, actually cloning the Flash Forge or another copy of a copy). This year it's half a dozen different metal Ultimaker variants. I've never see this particular one before but most users I have spoken with are pretty happy with them. Up! is still the workhorse of choice for places doing large volumes of 3d prints for face scanning booths etc.

Han-bot- Nice guys, Prusa i3 based but of course no attribution. All Chinese companies claim their printers are the result of independent R&D. It's the old bosses for the most part. The young engineers are very talented and all for open source but they don't have much of a say.

Topstar- Big crowd so did not that good a look.

Velleman- first time I have seen it in person. Quite nice and a great price point.

Wiestek- they've been around trying to flog some awful overpriced printers for a couple of years now. No one in the domestic 3D printer community takes them very seriously. They make one of a bunch of new Up! clones that have hit the market in the last 6 months- although theirs is in a metal box.

PDF scans of the brochures for each printer and the raw version of the above images are available via BitTorrent Sync with the following secret:
BDJPP6JG34YZHYCBLD5NJHMF6BK7G6O77
Re: Some Chinese 3D printers (China High Tech Fair 2013)
November 17, 2013 05:13PM
how is the hanbot an i3? it uses extruded aluminum, it does share the mendel layout, but so do many other 3d printers. it doesnt look like it even uses smooth rod it has some sort of rail system.
Re: Some Chinese 3D printers (China High Tech Fair 2013)
November 17, 2013 06:07PM
The HanBot looks more like a MendelMax 2

Wiestek looks quite odd, as does the Velleman. Both of look like the move the print bed in X & Y and just move the print head in Z - this seems crazy in terms of movement of mass.

The Seven looks like a cross between a Solidoodle and a UltiMaker (But I presume that both the X and Y motors are fixed?? - like the UliMaker
Re: Some Chinese 3D printers (China High Tech Fair 2013)
November 17, 2013 06:38PM
My mistake- got the Mendalmax and i3 switched around.
Re: Some Chinese 3D printers (China High Tech Fair 2013)
November 17, 2013 06:45PM
I was just looking at a China Replicator 2 knock off called the WanHao Duplicator 4. It actually looks pretty good, prints look great and they have dealers all over the place (U.S., UK and of course China).

Just an FYI, they have them on sale right now for just under $1k (just over $1k with shipping) [www.aliexpress.com]

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/17/2013 06:48PM by tmorris9.
Re: Some Chinese 3D printers (China High Tech Fair 2013)
November 17, 2013 06:56PM
Quote
tmorris9
I was just looking at a China Replicator 2 knock off called the WanHao Duplicator 4.

They have been on AliExpress for ages.

They look like a total ripoff / copy of the MakerBot Replicator, but of course they could use cheaper components, so its hard to tell if the print quality is as good as the real thing.

I wonder what firmware they use, as I thought the MakerBot firmware is now proprietary??. Perhaps they use Marlin.
Re: Some Chinese 3D printers (China High Tech Fair 2013)
November 18, 2013 12:07AM
i know it is open source, but why do Chinese company have to make EXACTLY the same copy? can't they make them look different?
Re: Some Chinese 3D printers (China High Tech Fair 2013)
November 18, 2013 02:11AM
Few people in the Chinese 3D printer community have a very good opinion of the Replicator clones. They are bad copies of a dated design. The guys doing the cloning are usually well trained engineers from top universities- they see the problems in the original designs and I've seen some brilliant solutions on their personal machines. The old bosses that own the factories feel that the "expert foreign engineers" who design the printers must have done all these things for good reasons that a team of lowly Chinese engineers could never comprehend so will usually only let them make an exact copy and not fix the problems. Bit of a cultural inferiority complex along with being risk adverse.

Anyway, you are much better off with one of the metal Ultimaker derivatives or their TAZ copy. Personally I find the Up! Plus 2 to be by far the best printer I have ever used, but not Open Source and all. I use mine as a workhorse so I always have one working printer to make parts for other machines.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/18/2013 02:15AM by Timaz.
Re: Some Chinese 3D printers (China High Tech Fair 2013)
November 18, 2013 12:28PM
why would you want to copy a replicator? it's also stupid they don't let there own tech guys improve it.

And about the up2 not being open source, who cares? the Chinese don't so if you want to make one, just go for it.
it would be cool for ones that we copy something from them.

is there any info of that seven printer? it looks like a great thing.
Re: Some Chinese 3D printers (China High Tech Fair 2013)
November 18, 2013 12:49PM
The Seven looks really nice, but the owl sitting on top of it seems to have to serious Z banding.
Re: Some Chinese 3D printers (China High Tech Fair 2013)
November 18, 2013 06:32PM
Quote
Timaz
CaseT- Cube knockoff, cartridge and all.

lol
Re: Some Chinese 3D printers (China High Tech Fair 2013)
November 18, 2013 07:45PM
Quote
possenier
why would you want to copy a replicator? it's also stupid they don't let there own tech guys improve it.

I ask this same question. The most common reply I get is "Because it's the standard one". No, the quality of the conversation does not improve from there...

The factory owners are just guys who try to copy whatever product they see is selling well, they don't know or care about 3D printing or a good product. The young engineers do- but have no say in things.

Quote
possenier
And about the up2 not being open source, who cares? the Chinese don't so if you want to make one, just go for it.
it would be cool for ones that we copy something from them.

The Up (1) has been copied, there are about three good clones available.
i3D-Print
They sell them at the local electronics market.

Quote
possenier
is there any info of that seven printer? it looks like a great thing.

I put the brochure on Bittorrent Sync but I would not bother. It's pretty standard stuff and available from better known companies.

i3D-Print
Yilin
CreatBot
Suker (yes, I told them, they won't listen),
Panowin
Truemaker
MakerPi
TMTCTW

…and probably a dozen other variations (not just rebranding)

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/18/2013 07:46PM by Timaz.
Re: Some Chinese 3D printers (China High Tech Fair 2013)
November 18, 2013 08:46PM
i had bought a prusa i2 in 2012 from weiztek ,,,, and their kit was crap ... parts put together from here and there ... the extruder was a mk6 ... the electronics were generation 4...... so you have to be careful with all these suppliers as their quality is not always good and the after sales service is useles.... they try to help you a lot but the person online has very little knowledge.... i eventually fixed my prusa kit with help from the irc....
Re: Some Chinese 3D printers (China High Tech Fair 2013)
November 18, 2013 09:20PM
Wiestek is is known for being aweful. I honestly don't know how they stay in business- I had well meaning Chinese makers quietly warning me after I left their booth with their brochures:-)

The other issue is Taobao versus Aliexpress. AE usually represents a tiny fraction of their business compared to mainland sales on TB so they take service much less seriously. Also the bosses generally can't read English- just the sales staff, and they seldom bother to report their own poor conduct to the boss for obvious reasons. The end result- Taobao service and quality control is awesome, Aliexpress service and quality control is miserable. Unfortunately unless you read Chinese or use a sales agent TB is not really an option for most.

Printer sales on the Mainland have sky rocketed in the last 8 months. Most Chinese buy their printers Cash on Delivery via Taobao- and like with most products they purchase they take it out of the box and test it before they pay the delivery guy. It doesn't print, it gets returned and the seller gets nothing plus negative feedback that really hurts. Not just because of their customers, but beause all their investors, friends and reletives can see it also- face is an issue. Bad product and service given to Chinese customers, lead to lose of face in front of Chinese people. Not a factor when selling to nameless forigners overseas.

So the motivation is there- add to this incredibly short lead time (no months/years on Kickstarter), the willingness to pick and choose whatever designs are working best and teams of young, energetic engineers and you have a recipe for rapid improvement. The current state of recent Chinese printers in terms of reliability is well ahead of their Western counterparts.
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