Common sense tells you to steer clear of such a cheap 3D printer, but curiosity still has you wondering. Is the ALUNAR Prusa i3 an amazing value or an expensive paperweight? Today's ALUNAR® Upgraded DIY Desktop 3D Printer review determines whether this machine is an awesome buy or if you should save up for something better.
ALUNAR® Upgraded DIY Desktop 3D Printer Review Basics
First and foremost, the ALUNAR Prusa i3 is a hardcore DIY kit, meaning it comes to your door in dozens of pieces. You need to perform both the electrical wiring and the base construction of this printer. Rest assured that all tools and plenty of spare parts are included, however. Total assembly takes between 5 and 8 hours, depending on your experience level.
Once assembled, this 3D printer’s basic specs are quite laudable. Starting with a relatively large 7.8”x7.8”x7” build space, the ALUNAR Prusa i3 prints at remarkable resolutions between 50 and 300 microns and at speeds from 40-120mm/s. Like many printers, optimal resolution and speed is somewhere between extremes, but this printer’s range is commendable nonetheless.
Enjoy the use of a heated aluminum print bed and three different nozzles (0.3mm, 0.4mm, 0.5mm) which reliably reach temperatures up to 240C. Upload models to this machine using tethered USB or a micro SD card, using the basic LCD interface to manage prints once you’re connected.
ALUNAR® Upgraded DIY Desktop 3D Printer Review Pros
It’s hard to argue with results, and when properly assembled, the ALUNAR Prusa i3’s results are shockingly good. Tolerances are fine enough for pieces that fit into one another, around .4mm, while details made in “negative space” are well-rendered. We were also surprised to see that despite a lackluster extruder fan, edges and points print sharply.
Without upgrades, however, it’s worth noting that the ALUNAR Prusa i3 commonly suffers from visible waves and sometimes uneven layering. This is in large part due to the unstable acrylic frame. Luckily, this problem can be fixed with 3D printed parts.
We’ve said it before but it’s worth repeating: the ALUNAR Prusa i3 is wildly affordable. With full-sized build space, heated aluminum print bed, multiple filament compatibility, and LCD display, this 3D printer is an excellent value by any measure.
ALUNAR® Upgraded DIY Desktop 3D Printer Cons
Assembly is Needlessly Frustrating
ALUNAR is upfront with buyers that this 3D printer requires assembly, but that’s as far as they go to help. Included instructions and videos are not only outdated, they are poor-quality and confusing to follow. Even taking inventory of this printer’s parts is difficult, since they are mislabeled in the instructions!
The bottom line is that you need more than common sense to put this 3D printer together. If you do not have any mechanical experience, this project may prove too frustrating and ultimately not worth your time. Remember that even small missteps when assembling this 3D printer may result in poor print quality or much worse.
Upgrades Highly Suggested
If you’re still interested in the ALUNAR Prusa i3, you’re likely a serious tinkerer who loves working with your hands. In that case, the fact that you may need to spend days printing upgrades to stabilize and improve this printer’s performance isn’t such a bad thing. For others, however, it’s just a sign that you could save yourself the trouble by simply purchasing a more expensive machine to begin with. Consider, for example, the Anycubic i3 Mega, which costs a bit more but has similar specs and takes just minutes to assemble.
ALUNAR® Upgraded DIY Desktop 3D Printer Verdict
DIY 3D printer kits come in varying states of pre-assembly, ranging from “Paint By Number”-style simplicity to “Composite Atoms”-like complexity. The ALUNAR Prusa i3 definitely falls in the latter category, meaning it takes extreme patience and passion to complete. If that appeals to you, and the challenge of perfecting your handmade machine piece by piece is enticing, then the ALUNAR Prusa i3 is an unbeatable value.
For everyone else, the ALUNAR Prusa i3 is probably not worth the effort to build and upgrade. Don’t be enticed by this 3D printer’s rock-bottom price if you’re a beginner or aren’t prepared to dedicate many hours to its assembly.