The Good The Be3D DeeGreen 3D Printer works well and is as easy to use as most regular printers. The machine has a useful built-in touch screen and includes simple yet powerful software.
The Bad DeeGreen is very expensive and requires an SD card.
The Bottom Line Despite the cost, DeeGreen is a great entry to 3D printing due to its fast, reliable performance and ease of use.
DeeGreen’s idea that 3D printers are a lot of work is a lesson I recently learned from watching Monocene double extrusion – is not true. Not only does DeeGreen work right out of the box, it also prints quickly (for a 3D printer), does reliable work, and can create objects with high detail.
Before you get too excited about it, the DeeGreen 3D Single Hand Extruder Printer is very expensive at 1500 Euros, and shipping internationally is around £ 1900, £ 1200 or $ 2,200. That’s almost double the price of Monoprice, which is an advanced dual-extruder printhead printer and a slightly larger print platform.
But if you’re into 3D printing, only the time spent on setting up your printer and calibrating it already makes DeeGreen well worth the extra cost. And the low unsuccessful print ratio (I didn’t give one out during testing) is an added bonus, considering that it may take several hours to complete printing a large object.
This means that if you want to get into the world of 3D printing, DeeGreen is a great entry. It’s just a question of whether you can afford it.
Almost plug and play
Measuring 19.4 by 15.5 by 15.3 inches (495x395x390 mm), the DeeGreen has about the same physical size as the Monoprice. However, it only takes some time to set up and run. In fact, it was easier to use than some regular printers in my test.
In the box, the printer is fully assembled with all the important parts tied in place. You only need to install two parts.
First, a 1.7-pound (0.75 kg) reel of PLA thread is included, the string of which needs to be loaded into the print head, which is an easy thing to do, since the tube to load the thread is already assembled. Because DeeGreen is the only extruder printer, it can only work with one coil of thread at a time, so if you want to print objects with more than one color, changing the threads even during single printing can be a common task.
Threads are 3D print media like inkjet print cartridges. They come in many colors and are generally easy to melt, quickly configuring the plastic threads that feed through the printhead nozzles while printing. Be3D sells extra threads for about $ 30 (£ 20, $ 35) for a £ 1.7 reel. DeeGreen also works with other standard 1.75mm threads, such as those sold by Monoprice or MakerBot. DeeGreen can handle both PLA and ABS threads, and although be3D sells both, it recommends only PLA. In addition, it also uniquely works with the be3D thread.
The second part to install is a 5.9-inch (150 mm) square glass tablet that needs to be placed on its holder, the print platform, under the print head. This plate is equipped with three magnetic metal feet designed to fit clearly and stay on top of the platform, while allowing users to easily remove it.
As for 3D printers, during the print job, the printhead pulls the thread from the coil, melts the plastic, and squeezes it onto the platform. The platform descends gradually depending on the height, and the print head moves around depending on the width and shape of the object being built. Because the extruded plastic piles are top layer by layer, it is quickly compressed to slowly form an object. This process is called fused deposition modeling (FDM), which is a 3D printing technology used in all 3D printers for consumers.
As you can imagine, the maximum size of an object that a printer can print depends on the size of the printing platform. In the case of DeeGreen, this size exceeds 5.9 cubic inches, which is quite large. In fact, you print much smaller objects.
However, the DeeGreen detachable nameplate is a nice designer touch that helps with both preparation and printing. To prepare, you can easily put supplies or just glue the surface of the plate with glue to prevent the 3D object from being moved while printing. As soon as you are done with the imprint, it is also much easier to remove the object from the plate itself and also to clean the surface of the plate from residual materials. The DeeGreen kit comes with a stick and a palette knife, which is very convenient for printing several items at once.
The front of the printer has a large 6-line touchscreen with an SD card slot, and the back includes a power switch and a USB port to connect to your computer with the included USB cable. You do not need to use a USB cable as the printer prints from an SD card (a blank 4GB card is included), but you can use the cable to transfer the file to the SD card before printing. More on this below.
I managed to get the printer out of the box in just 10 minutes, thanks in part to the clearly illustrated poster “Make Your Printer Ready in Five Steps”. But mostly because the printer is just so easy to use.
Be3D DeeGreen 3D printer features
|Extruder||0.015-inch Nozzle Single Extruder|
|Plate||Removable glass plate|
|Print Technology||Fused Deposition Modeling|
|Build volume||5.9 x 5.9 x 5.9 in. (150x150x150mm)|
|Print accuracy||0.003 in. (0.1mm)|
|Layer thickness||0.003 / 0.005 / 0.007 in. (0.1mm / 0.15mm / 0.2mm)|
|Nozzle diameter||0.015 in. (0.4mm)|
|Print speed||3.54 in/s (90 mm/s)|
|Printer control||6-line resolution touchscreen|
|Printable materials||0.068-in (1.75 mm) PLA, ABS, WOOD|
|Power source||230 V / 120 W|
|External dimensions||19.4 x 15.5 x 15.3 in. (495x395x390mm)|
|Weight||48.5 lbs (22kg)|
|Inputs||USB, SD card|
No calibration, simple software required
DeeGreen’s biggest time saver is the fact that the printer does not require user calibration. Calibration is an important part of 3D printing that keeps the entire surface of the print platform at a constant and perfect distance from the printhead tip. Proper calibration determines the success and quality of each print. DeeGreen has a built-in sensor for this job, and the machine is so well connected that this self-calibration process, which takes place before each print, will only take a few seconds.
What you need to get to know is printing software DeeControl available for Mac and Windows. Installing this software on a Windows and Mac computer is very easy, you don’t even have to install it, you can just run the downloaded file. After launching, DeeControl has very simple controls with a few large buttons. You can download the 3D model file and then use the mouse to view the model. You can also scale, rotate, or set it to remain flat on the platform. Basically, you can preview what a 3D object will look like when it is printed.
As for what to print, we have a huge collection of 3D models Thingiverse what you can use. You can also make your own using free software such as SketchUp or Autodesk 123D. The third option is to purchase a 3D scanner than can convert the object into a 3D model file. (3D scanners are currently priced around £ 400, £ 250, or $ 450.)
DeeControl allows you to make standard adjustments, including resizing a 3D object (zoom), print quality (fast, normal, or high), print speed, and fill level, which determines whether the object is blank or solid. (By default, the fill rate is 10 percent, the rest will be hollow with supporting cell walls.) You can also add multiple 3D model files to a single print job as long as they don’t exceed the maximum print volume. This is especially useful if you plan to do a great job of printing overnight.
SD card required for printing
There are two print options when you finish setting up the object. You can save the final result to a .gco file on your SD card and then use the DeeGreen touch screen to initiate printing. Depending on the size and complexity of the 3D model, it may take up to 20 seconds to save the file to the map. Obviously, there must be an SD card slot for your computer to work. If this is not the case, you can use the second option before printing – transfer the file directly to the SD card already in the card slot of the printer. Once the transfer is complete, the print job will continue without the need for a computer.
In my test, the second option could take up to half an hour to complete the transfer when I wanted to print a large 3D model. And in this case, the adhesive applied to the surface of the printing plate had dried out before the printing process began. In general, it is always better to use the first printing with DeeGreen.
(In addition to the .gco file, in my test mode, the printer also printed a .gcode file created by other 3D printing software such as ReplicatorG used by Monoprice.)
In general, it is best to copy the file to an SD card and print using the touch screen to start the print job. In this case, the print job starts quickly, about a minute after the print head heats up.
Although printing from an SD card is a great idea, it also means that the printer needs an SD card slot. If something goes wrong with this slot, the printer becomes useless. This happened to my first viewing unit, where the internal cable that connected the card slot to the rest of the printer broke off during transit, forcing me to get a second unit to test. It would be better if the printer also had some internal storage so that it could print without the need for a card slot.
In addition to printing, the touch screen can also be used to change threads (which can be done in the middle), suspend print jobs, view printer status, and more.
DeeGreen worked very well in my test. In just three days, I managed to print more than twice as many items as I did for Monoprice in a week. In fact, I didn’t come across any unexpected prints at all. Each print came out exactly as expected.
I tried a few things to see if I could do the print job. As it turns out, you do not need to use glue on the surface of the printing plate when printing a flat object (such as a phone case). But when printing something with a small print, such as a thin glass, a standing doll, or basically anything that can easily spill over, glue is very important for printing success.
The machine also worked very fast. For example, it took only about an hour to print the highest quality iPhone 4S case, a job that took Monoprice almost twice as long. Print quality is also much better, with more detail and a much smoother surface. Obviously, with such speed 3D printing is still very slow, but DeeGreen is obviously an improvement over Monocina.
As far as how much you can print from a thread reel, the printer actually stores materials fairly well. After a week of printing dozens of objects, using the default fill level, I only used about a fifth of the included coil. Basically, you can print a lot using the Be3D supplies reel. There are also cheaper PLA yarns available from various suppliers.
As with Monoprice and 3D printers in general, DeeGreen is quite noisy at work. It’s not deaf, but noisy enough to interfere with when you use it in a quiet environment. It is recommended that you have another room for this.
After Monoprice, DeeGreen completely changed my perception of 3D printing. The new printer turns new and once complex technology into a simple task that even a smart user can perform. In fact, if it’s one piece more expensive, it’s ten parts easier to use than the Monocina.
And when it comes to pricing, this remains the biggest barrier to 3D printing, as almost $ 2,000 DeeGreen is low for most users. In addition, what it can build (namely plastic 3D objects) is virtually not worth the investment. For example, instead of printing your own iPhone case, you can go to the store and buy even better for a fraction of the price of the printer, and most likely in less time.
But 3D printing is not just about making practical items, but also about building things you can’t buy and being creative. And in this regard, DeeGreen is a great tool that works right out of the box, reliable and really interesting.