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  • 101Hero No Longer a 101Villain

    Posted on December 15th, 2016 admin 2 comments

    When first it arrived a week ago, I wasn't too impressed with my 101Hero 3D printer.  A lot of backers have been plagued with defective motors, missing parts, broken gears.  It was starting to look like a real 101Villain.

    However, after almost a week of tweaking and test prints and settings changes, I did manage to get it settled in, and it is making fair-to-middling prints.   For all its low price, it is is not bad, and is going to be useful for prototyping, toys, and kitsch for the grandkids.  My son says its output is better than our old Makerbot Cupcake.

    Showing layer drift, poor adhesion

    Early print showing layer drift, poor adhesion

    The main issue turned out to be print speed.   The default from the manufacturer was 14 mm/s,  and at that speed there was a lot of layer drifting.   This applied to every print I tried from the creator site,, such as the fish at left.

    However, once I started using other slicers (mostly Cura 15.02.1 for now), and was able to change the settings, I started getting better results.  It turned out that the fastest safe print/travel speed was 12 mm/s with 10 mm/s required for anything approaching decent results.  This is dreadfully slow compared to other (even slightly more expensive) 3D printers:  another example of "you get what you pay for".

    Left, the .stl image; right, the print

    Left, the .stl image; right, the print

    Nonetheless, once I had the settings nailed, prints started coming in better.  Not great, but better.

    XYZ Cube and yes, the top is backwards.

    XYZ Cube and yes, the top is backwards.

    It also turned out that the supplied filament wasn't too great.   I bought a spool of silver PLA from the RepRap Warehouse in Edmonton, and with it the prints got better yet.



    There are some issues that may not be solvable.  For example, I printed a Benchy that came out fairly good except for the smoke stack, which was distorted.  Some tests with an Eiffel tower print suggested that narrow vertical parts (the top of the tower, the smokestack) were printing too hot, and the "minimum time between layers" feature in the slicer didn't work.  Neither did the plugin to turn the extruder temperature down.  The lack of a cooling fan is a serious deficit of this printer.    Adding a small cooling fan on the bed helped, but is not the final answer.

    Today I printed the Octobowl from Thingiverse.    Compare it to the original, and notice that it is a mirror image.  No idea why that is happening.   A close study of this image shows many flaws: missing layers at the top of the tentacles, some poor adhesion in the lower layers, some lines in the body.  I can only hope that when my Kodama Trinus shows up, it will do a better job.   Still, for  printer that was $49 USD for the first backers on Kickstarter (I paid almost four times that in CAD with shipping and duty in), the 101Hero does an acceptable job in my opinion.  And a lot of those flaws could be concealed in post-production cleanup.


    So all in all, my 101Villain turned out to be a 101Hero after all.  More like a kid with a towel cape than Superman, but hey, for the price....

    Further Reading


    2 responses to “101Hero No Longer a 101Villain” RSS icon

    • Hey, Bob. A quick check shows that they are plugged in as per the manual, but I can swap two and reprint the XYZ box.

    • Reversed layers should mean that the legs aren’t plugged in in the right order.

      Swap any two leg connectors and it should be better.

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