Sovol is a manufacturer based in Shenzen, China previously producing printer accessories and filament. It recently set out to expand its product spectrum.
With its first printer, the SV01, Sovol is entering an already packed price segment in the budget 3D printers. These include the Anet ET4 and the Creality Ender 3 Pro. But can it hold up with the established players?
Read on as we test the performance of this 3D printer.
While the physical dimensions of our benchmarking test prints are good, the visual inspection of the prints showed indicated some minor problems, mostly related to extruder calibration.
An additional print (see above) turned out excellent: Even with the stock slicer settings, layers were perfectly aligned, no stringing was visible, and details were excellent. For this reason, we would say that the Sovol SV01 seems to work well enough out of the box for even a beginner to ease themselves into 3D printing, but to achieve absolute perfection you may need to fiddle a bit with the slicer settings.
If you want to know in detail how we benchmark, please continue here.
Including an aluminum frame and a decent built size, as well as a heated bed, the SV01 has a few cards under its sleeve, despite its price tag. Moreover, being a partially pre-assembled 3D printer, it offers newbies an easy start. But can it really compete with the already established brands in the same price range? Let’s find out what the Sovol SV01 brings to the table.
A recurring issue with fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printers is inconsistency in the print’s surface. The Sovol SV01 is equipped with two Z-axis stepper motor drivers, with dual lead screws. This is becoming a more common sight on printers in this range, but is a welcome sight nonetheless. In combination with the printer’s sturdy aluminum frame, this feature can reduce vibrations, and therefore reduce Z-wobble giving a smoother finish of prints.
Sovol deliberately left room for some DIY improvements. In the printer’s vanilla state, the bed leveling has to be done manually by turning the knobs under the build plate. However, there’s a spot on the tool head to add a BL-Touch bed-leveling sensor – allowing the user to easily upgrade the printer if wanted.
Another neat feature is the Mean Well power supply.
As the FDM technology centers around heat, you want your printer to be capable of heating the bed quickly, as well as maintaining the temperature consistently throughout the print (especially for printing temperature-sensitive materials like ABS).
The Sovol SV01 is equipped with a Mean Well 24V supply that should have no problems with quickly heating the print bed to 110 °C. The certified power supply can also protect your printer from unexpected power surges.
The Sovol SV01 is capable of handling a variety of materials. Aiding this is a direct drive extruder, an arrangement that typically provides a more accurate extrusion and allows for faster retractions. This particular extruder appears to be a clone of the popular Titan extruder by e3D.
Another (somewhat standard but useful) feature is a print bed with strong adhesion. The SV01 is equipped with an Ultrabase-like carbon crystal silicon glass platform. According to the manufacturer, this ensures a super flatness and an excellent bed adhesion, negating the need for glue or hairspray often required when printing on a regular glass print bed. This should also allow you to easily pop off the print once they have cooled to room temperature, even for huge models.
After running some prints we’ve found that in general, the built plate does an excellent job keeping the prints in place. We noted that the print bed needs to be well-leveled for best results. In fact, after a fresh level, the prints almost stick too well!
Additional features of the Sovol SV01 include:
For more information, visit Sovol3D’s website.
To get a good first impression for our Sovol SV01 review, we printed the two torture tests on a new, freshly unboxed and unaltered machine, using PLA filament and averaged slicer settings for the ranges specified for the material.
We used white eSun PLA+ filament. For preparing the needed G-code, we used the slicing software Cura included on the provided SD card. We set the hot-end temperature to 215 °C and the bed to 60 °C.
It took us one attempt to 3D print a Benchy.
We measured the physical dimensions of the print. The Sovol SV01 achieved an excellent 14 out of 15 points. But we found several problems at the visual inspection.
With a score of 23.5 of 30 points, the Sovol SV01 did well. Measuring aside, while inspecting the printer test visually, we found several problems:
You can buy the Sovol SV01 from the retailers on the right.
Here you find the detailed results for the Sovol SV01 test prints. For our benchmarking procedure, please click here.
Overall, the Sovol SV01 scored 42 out of 45 points.
For the benchmarking element of our review, we use the following guidelines:
Unbox the printer: We unbox the printer and assemble it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Deficiencies and errors are noted and build around according to the consensus online for the printer.
Filament: We use white eSun PLA+ filament. Temperature settings are 215 °C for the nozzle and 60 °C for the bed.
Printing: We print two test models — Benchy and the Kickstarter x Autodesk FDM 3D Printer Assessment — using the manufacturer-provided/recommended slicer and settings. If the printer ships without a dedicated slicer and profile, we generate a generic Cura profile using the essential information of the printer.
After the first print, we inspect the object for easily fixable problems (i.e., a loose belt or a poorly leveled print bed) and then print again. If the printer can’t provide a decent result after three attempts, we stop. Printers that fail to produce a test object receive zero points for the respective test object.
The Benchy 3D printer torture test is one of the world’s most popular prints. It helps to measure the dimensional accuracy capabilities of your printer and helps highlight other visible print nastiness.
We measure our best Benchy print using digital calipers, scoring 15 criteria against their target value. A total of 15 points are available.
To accommodate the difficulty and inaccuracies when measuring small features, we have implemented a sliding scale of tolerance in our scoring. The smaller the feature, the greater our allowance for deviation:
Finally, we do a visual inspection.
The Kickstarter x Autodesk print exposes an FDM printer’s precision via six distinct tests in one object.
By pushing a printer’s hardware and software the system to the point of failure, the print reliably visible imperfections that can be used to assess the performance of the slicer, the extruder, and the motion system together.
Here’s what’s getting measured.
The tolerances and measurements are very detailed. You can find the exact measuring procedure on Github. The highest possible score is 30, indicating a very well-calibrated system.
It’s worth noting that these benchmarking tests are not a definitive measure of a printer’s worth. More an indication of a printer’s state out of the box with no-tinkering, it’s only after a full evaluation and in-depth review that we fully judge a 3D printer.
License: The text of "2020 Sovol SV01 Review: 10-Hour Testing" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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