Elegoo Neptune 3D Printer Review 2020 – is the Elegoo Neptune 3D Printer worth the money? Review of features, pricing, print quality and more.
A Comprehensive Elegoo Neptune 3D Printer Review
Features, Specs and Model Information
Nowadays, consumers can find dozens of 3D printers on the market, most of which are high-priced models that require a certain amount of technical expertise to operate. That’s not the case with this product, a work-horse of a printer that calls for no special talent, doesn’t cost a fortune, and can handle a wide range of printing tasks. Indeed, its list price is in the $260 range and anyone over the age of 12 will have no problem following the assembly directions.
The Neptune 3D from maker Elegoo is fully compatible with ABS, TPU and PLA filament and boasts a user-friendly, Prusa i3-sized unit. The extruder make is Titan and the build platform is composed of carbine glass. Note that this model does not arrive assembled; you’ll have to spend a couple of hours following the instruction booklet’s guidelines, but they’re relatively simple.
Here are the listed specs for the Neptune 3D printer from Elegoo:
-Included SD card slot
-There’s an “auto resume” feature
-The bed is heated
-Features simple USB connectivity
-Compatible with TPU, ABS and PLA
-Has a Titan extruder
-The build area is composed of carbine glass
-Includes a switch to activate “filament detection”
-Print size is 8x8x8 inches
-The power supply is single output of 350 watts
Pros and Cons
No 3D printer is perfect for every job and every user because preferences and job sizes differ considerably. However, here are the most commonly cited advantages and disadvantages found on the many online Elegoo Neptune 3D printer review sites:
-The price is very reasonable for what you get and the printer is fully capable of delivering top-quality output
-The modular design, succinct written directions and simple assembly allow for a pretty quick setup time
-The kit is loaded with usable accessories and a good supply of filament, so there’s nothing you have to buy to get started with your own print jobs
-It takes about 30 minutes to do bed leveling with the four included screws
-The printer is not fully assembled so users will need to spend an hour, give or take, to get things together. That does not include the above-mentioned bed-leveling time
-The community and user base are relatively small for this product, compared with higher-end 3D printers
What Consumers Think
Consumers consistently rate the this 3D printer as an impressive product and tend to rave about the low entry cost to the world of 3D printing. The listed layer height is from 50 to 300 microns, but 40-50 microns is suggested for optimal operation based on user reviews. Consumers who purchase the Elegoo Neptune seem universally pleased with the smoothness and resolution of finished products, all of which can be printed at variable speeds.
For buyers of this printer, the immediate impression is positive, with many users noting that even though it comes unassembled, most of the hard work has already been done. There are three plugs to insert and four screws to attach the bed to the main device. The manufacturer includes some sample filament for initial testing, an extra nozzle and a small pair of tweezers. Note: to proceed with jobs of your own, you’ll want to acquire your preferred type of filament in a larger quantity than the sample amount included with the new printer.
Consumers report varying amounts of setup time, from 15 minutes to two hours. About 45 minutes of that is for leveling. The included pamphlet explains everything you need to get up and running, including an easy-to-understand section on running that first print as well as a step-by-step leveling guide.
How it Compares to Other 3D Printers
Many higher-priced 3D printers offer layer heights in the 50 to 100 micron range, so the Neptune’s 50-300 range is a major difference.
Many other 3D printers offer leveling options that are software-based, with a few high-end products featuring a “self-leveling” function. With the Neptune, users have to do the leveling on their own, using the four thumb-screws included in the package. After you place the four screws under the bed, the printer automatically checks five separate bed locations for level. After about 30 minutes, most users are able to get the bed level just where they want it.
-“Print resume” feature:
Not all 3D printers offer a print-resume button, so this product’s ability to do this useful task is a welcome product feature. When filament runs out, the user can turn the power off, add the required filament to complete the job at hand, and turn the power back on. Everything picks up from where you left off before running out of filament.
Many medium and high-end 3D printers take hours to set up and more time to understand the included direction booklet. Not so for the Elegoo Neptune. The handy SD card and USB connectivity make setup quick and easy. Most people can go from opening the box to making printed objects within two hours or less. The package includes a flash-drive adapter and an SD card, which is not standard practice for all makers of 3D printers. Other included items that allow for fast setup are a test file, drivers and software.
-Main competitors and print speed:
Some of the main competitors for the Neptune, in the same general price range, include Monoprice Select Mini 3D, Alunar 3D Desktop, XYZprinting da Vinci Jr, Printrbot Play, Wanhao Duplicator i3 V2, FlashForge Finder, QIDI TECH I, ROBO 3D R1 Plus, FlashForge Creator Pro, and the Dremel Idea Builder. Note that the Elegoo Neptune has a build speed of 20-100 mm per second, while most of its competitors fall into that same range of about 40-200 mm per second. Speed is not always related to price and can be a misleading statistic because high speed does not always equal high quality.
Consumers who want a fully-functional 3D printer on a budget, and one that offers quality printing, top build quality and a generous amount of features that usually come at a much higher price, the Elegoo Neptune is a smart choice. One of the best things about it is that users need not be experts or technical geniuses to do the minimal assembly and get the unit into operation.
Charles Stephenson received a Masters Degree in Engineering from MIT University. Charles has been working in the Industrial 3D Printing industry for over 5 years. Charles regularly contributes content to several 3D Printing websites including Pirate3D.com.