Reviews

Review: The Cetus3D Printer

Launched through a successful Kickstarter campaign last year, the Cetus3D Printer has proven itself to be a rare exception. While the 3D Printing community has become understandably wary of crowd funded projects, the Cetus3D not only managed to meet but exceed most expectations. Providing backers with a well built, low cost option, they have created two of the best 3D Printers available in the sub $400 price range.

Using an admirable form follows function approach, the attractive yet simple design is built for one task, creating beautiful 3D prints and doing it well. Addressing some of the structural flaws found in similarly priced machines, they have created a product that is certainly worth consideration.

Ease of Use:
Build Quality:
Features:
Price:
Overall:
Compact 3D Printer with a large build volume using a form follows function design.
Includes a longer Z-Axis, providing an extended build volume of 180x180x280mm.
Specifications
Resolution50 Microns
Dimensions260x260x280mm
Build Volume180x180x180mm
Platform3mm Aluminum Plate
Filament1.75mm
MaterialPLA/ABS/PETG
Weight7 Lbs
ConnectUSB/WIFI

Included Parts

The package comes with everything you will need to get started printing right out of the box. In addition to the 3D Printer unit itself, they include a variation of nozzles, sample PLA filament, spare hardware/tools and more. While I would recommend printing a different spool holder, everything included in the package has been carefully chosen and does serve a purpose.

  • 3D Printer Unit
  • Extruder Assembly
  • Power Supply
  • Aluminum Build Plate
  • Nozzles (0.2mm, 0.4mm, 0.6mm)
  • Filament Spool Holder
  • Nozzle Needle
  • USB Cable
  • Putty Knife
  • Nozzle Wrench
  • Hex Wrenches
  • Nipper
  • (3) 50G PLA Filament Packs
Cetus3D Parts

Assembly

Affordable 3D Printers in the consumer market are quite often DIY kits, providing you with a box of miscellaneous parts and instructions for assembly. The Cetus3D in comparison takes less than 10 minutes to assemble, requiring a total of 5 screws to secure the build plate and extruder head in place. Once complete, it is just a matter of powering it on, connecting over WiFi or USB and calibrating the machine.

Cetus3D Software

The included software is well designed and offers a simple yet intuitive interface. The home screen provides direct access to your account profile, printer management and a self contained model library. From the Print screen, we are presented with the choice to import models, initialize or calibrate the machine, enter maintenance mode or start printing.

The list of features available is certainly impressive and continues to grow based on community feedback. Several unique options such as photo to lithopane are included, allowing you to import 2D images that instantly convert to 3D printable objects. On a more practical level, tools such as Fix Errors will automatically correct broken models and Blackout Recovery will resume printing in the event of a power outage. The best however is the cloud based smartphone app, informing you of both the printer’s status and the print progress while you are on the go.

Build Quality

The minimalist approach is the foundation of the Cetus3D and by far my favorite aspect of this printer. They have placed great emphasis on quality construction using only the essential components. It is compact by design, comprised of 6 core modules that it requires to operate. Mounting these to a frame built from aluminum extrusion, it is extremely durable while being only a fraction of the weight and size of its competitors.

The high quality linear rails are the basic motion system in which the printer moves. By utilizing these in the design, the aluminum build plate is attached directly to the x-axis guide rail, ensuring it remains level at all times. Unfortunately the build plate does not include a heated bed, only a factory coated surface to improve adhesion. While I would have preferred the inclusion of a heated bed within the package, this can be purchased separately from their website.

Final Thoughts

This is a fantastic 3D printer offered at a budget friendly price point. It has a massive build volume compared to its compact dimensions, built using high quality components, and the results are among the best available in similarly priced machines. When you factor in the extras such as WiFi connectivity, Blackout Recovery and the Smartphone app, you have one of the most complete packages available under $400.

The only notable drawback in my opinion is the lack of a heated bed. I deducted one star on the Features rating solely for this reason, where it is something that many do consider to be an absolute requirement. With that said, common materials such as PLA seem to have absolute perfect adhesion to the coated build surface. For those who are on the fence due to this reason, it is available on their website as a separate purchase and reasonably priced at $39.90.

Pros

  • Solid Frame Construction
  • Quiet Linear Rails
  • No Bed Leveling
  • Large Build Volume
  • WiFi Connectivity
  • Blackout Recovery
  • Smartphone Management
  • Extendable Design

Cons

  • No Heated Bed (addon)
  • Limited G-Code Support
  • Proprietary Nozzles
  • Loud Fan
With the printer aside, the company behind the Cetus3D is a subsidiary of Tiertime, a reputable business involved in 3D Printing since 2003. Their staff is extremely committed to the community, using customer feedback to make continual improvements. I spoke briefly with the Product Manager, Jason Wu, who responded quickly and professionally to all of my inquiries. In addition, they are quite active on the support forums, Facebook group and more. Their team appears to be highly devoted to the success of this venture and the happiness of their users, attributes that are not often found among manufacturers in this industry.

Print Results

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Cetus3D Extended
Author Rating
41star1star1star1stargray

8 thoughts on “Review: The Cetus3D Printer

  1. Thank you for the insightful article. I especially appreciate the information related to the software. The dinosaur skull looks amazing. Did you notice any loss of print quality while printing high in the z axis?

    1. There was a very slight amount of degradation towards the end of the snout and teeth, where the layer lines were more visible than at the base. The picture I took actually makes this more visible than looking at it in person, where you have to examine it very closely to see the imperfections. I didn’t find this to be the case with the Mother’s Day statue, it is nearly perfect although not as detailed as the skull.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the article, thanks for the feedback!

  2. Brett,

    Now that five months have passed. Are you still optimistic about the Cetus3d? I’ve heard the proprietary slicing software has held some back from using it. Just curious if you have had any buyers remorse with this printer.

    Thanks,
    Chris

    1. Hi Chris,

      I am still quite pleased with it and use it almost on a daily basis. I’ve recommended it to several close friends as well and they are more than satisfied. The Cetus slicing software is definitely short on features but it does support G-Code and it’s easy to get it setup with Simplify3D (which I did myself recently). There really aren’t many limitations you can’t work around and I would say the addition of G-Code slicing support has made that nearly irrelevant as far as concerns go.

    1. Hi there! A heated bed helps with adhesion, meaning that the plastic sticks to it very well, keeping it in place during the print. Without a heated build platform, the print can warp (curl up around the edges) or detach from the build platform which would ruin it. PLA (the most common plastic for 3D Printing) can print well without heat but almost all other materials (ABS, PETG, etc) require a heated build platform.

      1. Nice!
        Would you recommend me the Cetus as a beginner?
        I want to make a project about sustainable 3d printing with recycled filament and I’m looking for a 3d printer from 200-500$, what do you think is the best option for me?

        1. I think the Cetus is an excellent 3D Printer for beginners. It takes a lot of the work out of 3D Printing which makes it very easy to get started. You may find yourself somewhat limited by the Cetus3D software as you get more familiar with it, however they added g-code support earlier this year, meaning you can use other open source software if desired. Certain features like the Wi-Fi access are also very nice to have.

          There may be better options for you though in that price range. If you want a larger build volume, the CR-10 is an excellent, large volume 3D Printer that can be purchased for around $350. It will take a little more work to get up and running but it has a massive community and plenty of information online. If build volume isn’t a concern, the Monoprice Mini ($199) and BIQU Magician ($199) are also excellent options for someone buying their first 3D Printer.

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