At first glance, the Hieha DPX looks pretty familiar. It’s another 300x300x400mm FDM 3D printer with a frame of aluminum extrusions and a Bowden extruder setup. However, upon closer inspection, Hieha made some interesting choices with a variety of aspects of this printer. There are various different motion components, a nice touchscreen, and built in controller area to eliminate a tethered control box. Hieha sent this printer to me for an unbiased review.
It is currently available for purchase for $249 on Amazon here: http://tiny.cc/1p927y
Printing Volume: 300 × 300 × 400 (mm)
Printing Speed: 10-180mm/s (60mm/s recommended)
Layer Resolution: 0.05-0.4mm
Input Power: 110V-250V
Output Power: 24V 15A 360W
Filaments: (1.75mm)PLA, ABS, HIPS,WOOD,PETG, etc
Nozzle Size: 0.5mm/0.4mm/0.3mm/0.2mm
Nozzle Temperature: Max:260℃
Hot Bed Model: 320×320mm, 280W
Hot Bed Temperature:Max:110℃
Connectivity:SD card , USB (Expert users only)
The Hieha DPX came in a smaller cardboard box because it does not come partially assembled like other 3D printers. I’d say this is more of a kit 3D printer. It came well packaged with no damage to any of the components. The touchscreen was in good condition and the rods were straight. The components were separated into pockets in the foam to keep them safe during shipping.
The DPX doesn’t assemble like a typical aluminum extrusion-based 3D printer such as it’s competitor the CR-10. It requires an hour or two to put together but it is not difficult by any means. I followed the instructions and built the printer up. The wiring took some extra time as the wires were quite long and they provided spiral wrap to wrap and protect the wiring. The sheet metal base hides the control board and holds the touchscreen nicely. There are 2 metal feet to raise the back of the printer up.
The PSU wires from the PSU to the main board were just stripped and inserted into connector with a few wires frayed. I wasn’t a fan of this and crimped ferrules onto the wires to make a better connection. I always recommend double checking the wiring from the factory since you never know what can happen during shipping.
I was surprised the z axis v-wheels didn’t include eccentric nut to adjust the tension of the v-wheels however this was noted by the manufacturer and sounds like they may be added in the future. The Y axis rod holders were 3D printed which was just one of very few parts that were printed. I would have preferred these to be manufactured in another method as you need to be very cautious when tightening them into the frame.
I was really excited to see how this printer prints using a STM32-bit control board and a linear rail for the x axis motion. The v-wheels are reserved only for the Z axis and typical 8mm rods and bearings are used for the Y axis which make maintenance rather easy. The sheet metal base and feet also add some weight and stability to the printer and it has some noticeable heft while moving the printer around. The micro SD card slot is located on the right side of the printer and the touchscreen is responsive. It is a very simple interface however it works. I was able to preheat the bed and hot end to my desired temperatures. Scrolling through the SD card was a touch on the difficult side for my big fingers but was quite manageable. The part cooling fan is a 4010 blower with an injection molded air duct directed at the nozzle, very typical these days and it’s nice to see cooling fans come stock from the factory.
I printed a low poly bear and unicorn which showed promise of this printer. I did see signs of salmon skin. I moved onto the articulating octopus which was a success and all the tentacles moved freely without issues. The smaller tentacles adhered just fine on the provide build surface.
I wanted a bigger longer print so I proceeded with a piggybank. The piggybank came out pretty clean printed with Eryone Gold Silk PLA. You can certainly see some salmon skin in the print. The salmon skin could be as a result of a poor power supply combined with the HR4982 stepper drivers. The salmon skin aside, the print came out nicely. The print adhered without issue and infact a little too well as it was difficult to remove.
I wanted to try a taller print and this spring bunny was printed with a pearl white PLA. Again, there were no issues except for the salmon skin and the incredible adhesion that the build surface provide. Too much adhesion is far better than too little though. I did not experience any cooling or z-banding issues.
I designed some bee trays for my neighbour to be used in a bee house which was a good test for this printer. The prints came out as expected which is nice and clean and again there was no issues with adhesion. I followed up the bee trays with a base for a Jon Snow bust I was printing on another printer. The base came out equally well. Top layers were smooth and the side walls had consistent layer lines. Both prints were printed using Geeetech Blue PLA filament.
I easily printed over 100 hours worth of prints. It handled longer prints, over 20 hours, without failure, and the DPX managed to perform consistently which is what we like to see out of a printer.
The user group is not huge by any means but there is activity in the group and the company is responsive.
It is not very often that you find a 3D printer for $249 USD with a large build volume, 32 bit control board, and a linear rail and bearing block included on one of the axis’. While the salmon skin is apparent, the DPX consistently outputted quality 3d prints. As the community grows I suspect there will be more options to upgrade components to your liking. While there are a few flaws, mainly the apparent salmon skin, I think this printer is an interesting addition to the market and I think that it can be quite the contender at that price print.