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The Budget Pro Upstart

2019 Tevo Tarantula Pro Review: 10-Hour Testing

Picture of Mika Yeap
by Mika Yeap
Aug 7, 2019
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Tevo adds another sub-$200 3D printer to the race: the Tevo Tarantula Pro. Check out our review to find out if is truly a full upgrade, or simply an old machine in flashy new colors.

At first glance, this Tevo Tarantula Pro appears to be more of the same, as far as Tevo printers are concerned – but the sub-$200 price tag is hard to ignore. Even in 2019, this asking price is on the low end for 3D printers, so a machine this cheap from a brand this popular deserves some attention.

The ‘Pro’ title also begs the question: how does a sub-$200 machine possibly incorporate any features deserving of such a title?

Could the new Tarantula Pro be another hit? After all, it looks a lot like a Tevo Flash in sporty green, but looks can often be deceiving. Read on for our first hands-on impressions of the Tevo Tarantula Pro.

Tevo Tarantula Pro

Product image of Tevo Tarantula Pro
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Tevo Tarantula Pro Review Features

Medium-sized Heated Bed

Boasting a 235 x 235 x 250 mm heated bed, the Tarantula Pro won’t have an issue producing most of the files you can throw at it. Plus, the bed heats to a toasty 70 degrees Celsius in under four minutes. In fact, with this setup, you could probably print almost any ‘squirtable’ material if it weren’t for the…

Tevo Titan Bowden Extruder

The hotend is a fairly average Bowden extruder pumping 1.75 mm filament through a 0.4 mm nozzle. Because it’s extruder motor is decoupled from the hotend, the Tarantula Pro should be faster than a direct drive equivalent, but this can pose a problem for flexible filaments.

Apparently, it does heat to 240 degrees Celsius in less than three minutes, so it’ll get up and running quickly when it can print things.

A Tevo Tarantula from behind. (Source: Tevo 3D)

Solid Mechanics

Running on 24V, the Tarantula Pro is likely to be using stable, tested electronics – mostly borrowed from the Tarantula Flash. You can still travel at 250 mm/s if you so desire, as Tevo 3D advertises on their brochure.

One thing you do sacrifice at the budget price point is automatic bed leveling. Yet some may say that’s actually an advantage, depending on personal preference.

The one sacrifice that’s certainly a disadvantage though is the single Z-screw on the Tarantula Pro. With a gantry of its size, it can pose some issues – especially if it’s being fed by an especially stubborn filament spool.

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Tevo Tarantula Pro Review Benchmarking

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The Tevo Tarantula Pro in action

To get a good first impression for this Tevo Tarantula Pro review, we took the machine for a test ride by printing the two most popular torture tests. If you want to know in detail, this is how we benchmark.

Setting up the Tevo Tarantula Pro was relatively painless. However, we ran into a few problems with the assembly instructions provided with the machine. The initial steps were pretty straightforward, however midway through the build, we found the need to jump back and forth, undoing our work to accommodate parts of the printer introduced in later steps. In addition, other crucial build steps were missing. Overall, it took some trial and error to eventually assemble the Tarantula Pro — an unpleasant experience that mirrors that of our time with Tevo’s original Tarantula printer.

For our initial benchmarking prints, we ensure the printer is in as vanilla a state as possible; no mods or improvements, just the machine as unboxed and built. We use plain PLA filament and middle-of-the-road slicer settings. If you want to know more about our test scheme, read more here.

Benchmarking Object 1: Benchy

The 3DBenchy turned out well for a $200 printer

It took us two attempts to 3D print a Benchy (STL file here) with the Tarantula Pro. We used white eSun PLA+ filament. For preparing the needed Gcode, we used Ultimaker’s CURA 4.1 and a profile as close an analog to the Tarantula Pro as we could find (Tevo does not provide a custom profile for the machine.) We set the temperature to 215 °C and the bed at 60 °C.

We measure many facets of the print (full results here) to determine a score out of 15 points. The Tarantula Pro scored a strong 13, which indicates a pretty dimensionally accurate print. Visually there are issues, with zits, prominent layer lines, and visible infill marks that most prominent flaws with our test print.

Zits, layer lines, and infill marks are visible

Benchmarking Object 2: Kickstarter Autodesk Test

Picture
The first image of the Kickstarter Autodesk test shows the whole object in all its glory

The Autodesk Kickstarter test model looks at an FDM printer’s precision. We used the same white eSun PLA+ filament and the same temperature settings (215 / 60).

The Tevo Tarantula Pro did satisfactory with most tests, with middle-of-the-road scores for dimensional accuracy, spike test, and resonance. Its strongest performance came in the bridging test, with a solid 5 out of 5 points.

Some heavy stringing occurs on the spikes of the test print

We found some problems with fine flow control, negative features, and overhangs.

Overall in the Kickstarter x Autodesk test print the Tevo Tarantula Pro scored 21.5 from 30 points.

Benchmarking Verdict

At this point in our testing of the Tarantula Pro, we see the printer as generally reflective of its price category. A few test runs were needed to get everything ready, especially the bed leveling. The overall user interface is straightforward and easy to use.

Some prints need a little muscle to remove from the bed. In one print we discovered filament leaking from the heater block. While quickly resolved, it gives some indication of the watchful eye needed for a printer such as the Tarantula Pro.

After approx. 10 hours of printing with the Tevo Tarantula Pro, we’re not disappointed with the machine, but nor are we impressed. The printer provided average prints and assembly, giving a mediocre impression.

Of course, this is only after a small slice of time printing with the Tarantula Pro. Stay tuned for our longer-term impressions and final verdict on this colorful budget machine.

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Tevo Tarantula Pro Review Technical Specifications

GENERAL SPECIFICATIONS

Technology: FDM
Type: Material extrusion
Year: 2019
Assembly: DIY kit
Mechanical arrangement: Cartesian-XZ-Head
Manufacturer: Tevo 3D

3D PRINTING PROPERTIES

Build volume: 235 x 235 x 250 mm (9.25 x 9.25 x 9.84 inches)
Layer height: 50– 350Microns
Feeder system: Bowden drive
Extruder type: Single
Nozzle size: 0.4 mm
Max. extruder temperature: 240°C
Max. heated bed temperature: 70°C
Frame: Aluminum
Print chamber: Open, not enclosed
Bed leveling: Manual
Print bed: Heated bed
Display: LCD Screen
Connectivity: SD, USB cable
Built-in camera for monitoring: No
Print recovery: –
Filament sensor: –

MATERIALS

Filameter diameter: 1.75 mm
Third party filaments: Yes
Materials: PLA, ABS, Flexible PLA, Wood, PVA, HIPS

SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS

Recommended Slicer: –
Operating systems: Windows, Mac OSX, Linux

DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT

Outer dimensions: 434 x 333 x 504 mm (17.09 x 13.11 x 19.84 inches)
Weight: 6.3 kg (13.9 lbs)

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Tevo Tarantula Pro Review Where to Buy

If you’re looking to pick one of these machines up, you can use the link below.

Tevo Tarantula Pro

Product image of Tevo Tarantula Pro
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Tevo Tarantula Pro Review Benchmarking Results

Here you find the detailed results of our initial testing of the Tevo Tarantula Pro. Our benchmarking procedure can be found below.

Benchy

  1. Overall length (60 mm ±1 % tolerance): 59.4 mm, 1 point given
  2. Overall width (31 mm ±1 % tolerance): 31.02 mm, 1 point given
  3. Bridge Roof length (23 mm ±1 % tolerance): 23.05 mm, 1 point given
  4. Chimney roundness inner diameter (3 mm ±10 %): 2.36 mm, 0 points given
  5. Chimney roundness outer diameter (7 mm ± 5 % tolerance): 7.11 mm, 1 point given
  6. Vertical overall-height (48 mm ±1 % tolerance): 47.76 mm, 1 point given
  7. Box depth (9 mm ± 5 % tolerance): 9.01 mm, 1 point given
  8. Box inner length (7 mm ± 5 % tolerance): 6.92 mm, 1 point given
  9. Box outer length (10.81 ± 5 % tolerance): 10.80 mm, 1 point given
  10. Box outer width (12 mm ± 5 % tolerance): 12.19 mm, 1 point given
  11. Box inner width: (8 mm ± 5 % tolerance): 7.90 mm, 1 point given
  12. Hawsepipe inner diameter left (4 mm ±10 % tolerance): 3.71 mm, 1 point given
  13. Hawsepipe inner diameter right (4 mm ±10 % tolerance): 3.77 mm, 1 point given
  14. Bridge front window width (9.5 mm ±5 % tolerance): 10.72 mm, 0 points given
  15. Rear window inner diameter (9 mm ±5 % tolerance): 8.82 mm, 1 point given

Overall, the Tevo Tarantula Pro scored 13 out of 15 points.

Kickstarter x Autodesk Test

  1. Dimensional Accuracy: 4 of 5 points (24.81 / 19.73 / 14.93 / 9.86 / 4.84)
  2. Fine Flow Control: 2.5 points (all spires were printed correctly but stringy)
  3. Fine Negative Features: 3 points (3 pins were removable)
  4. Overhangs: 2 points (surface quality got worse at the 30° overhang)
  5. Bridging: 5 points (0 bridges contacted the surfaces beneath them)
  6. XY Resonance: 2.5 points (no ringing detectable)
  7. Z-axis alignment: 2.5 points (not visible)

Overall, the Tevo Tarantula Pro scored 21.5 out of 30 points in this test.

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Tevo Tarantula Pro Review How We Benchmark

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.

1. Benchy

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.

  1. Overall length: 60 mm
  2. Overall width: 31 mm
  3. Bridge Roof length: 23 mm
  4. Chimney roundness inner diameter: 3 mm
  5. Chimney roundness outer diameter: 7 mm
  6. Vertical overall-height: 48 mm
  7. Box depth: 9 mm
  8. Box inner length: 7 mm
  9. Box outer length: 10.81
  10. Box outer width: 12 mm
  11. Box inner width: 9 mm
  12. Hawsepipe inner diameter left: 4 mm
  13. Hawsepipe inner diameter right: 4 mm
  14. Bridge front window width: 9.5 mm
  15. Rear window inner diameter: 9 mm

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:

  • 60 mm to 23 mm: 1 percent tolerance allowed
  • 23 mm to 7 mm: 5 percent tolerance allowed
  • 7 mm to 0 mm: 10 percent tolerance allowed

Finally, we do a visual inspection and note any flaws and problems we encounter.

2. Kickstarter x Autodesk FDM 3D Printer Assessment

The Kickstarter x Autodesk print exposes an FDM printer’s precision via six distinct tests in one 3D printable object.

By pushing a printer’s hardware and software system to the point of failure, this print reliably shows visible imperfections that can be used to assess the performance of the slicer, the extruder, and the motion system together.

The Kickstarter Autodesk test 3D printer test (image: Kickstarter)
The Kickstarter Autodesk test 3D printer test (image: Kickstarter)

Here’s what’s getting measured.

  • Dimensional Accuracy
  • Fine Flow Control
  • Fine Negative Features
  • Overhangs
  • Bridging
  • XY Resonance
  • Z-axis alignment

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 – it’s 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 can adequately judge a 3D printer and offer our measured verdict on its worth.

License: The text of "2019 Tevo Tarantula Pro Review: 10-Hour Testing" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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