Why you should read this: Because All3DP author Victor Anusci had a first look with the BeeTheFirst 3D printer.
Despite its provoking name, it took me quite a while to get my hands on the “BeeTheFirst” printer. But now that I finally got to try it through a friend of mine who distributes them internationally, I can tell you that my testing experience was truly revealing.
I had fiddled with small-sized machines from well-established manufacturers like the Cube 3 and the MakerBot Mini Replicator before, but the BeeVeryCreative approach was something I had been somehow overlooking. This was up until I had the chance to see what it is like to use one first hand.
While the BeeTheFirst is no longer the only portable 3D printer out there, it is one of the most convenient and qualitative little printers. 9.5 kilogram are pretty portable, it prints PLA from 1.75 mm spools. The only thing holding it back at the time is the software. Although BeeSoft is a complete tool based on open source libraries, it still lacks an intuitive interface with responsive elements. After I got used to it though, it ran quite efficiently with only a few crashes occurring possibly due to my over-clicking impatience.
Inexperienced users may get confused with the interface, or the pointer and even simple tasks such as uploading a file on the virtual build plate need some practicing to get used to. Further refinement and better GUI design are imperative in order not to discourage new users. Other than that, this 3D printer is a true consumer-ready product and maybe the best mini printer today in the market. Thinking of the fact that it’s been available for more than three years now, it is like finding forgotten money in the pocket of this jacket you didn’t wear for some time.
All you need to do to get the most out of BeeTheFirst is practice really. Once you got used to it, you can use it to create high-quality models, reliably and continuously. BeeSoft does take care of supports and raft generation when it is needed, and there is also an auto-calibration process integrated in the automatic maintenance options. The extruder gets cleaned automatically as well, reducing the margins for malfunctioning on this vital part. The layer resolution goes to 50 microns, which is pretty good, but doesn’t match the Ultimaker 2.
The “maintenance” feature of BeeSoft also contains helpful tips that will help you get acquainted with the ins and outs of 3D printing. One of the unexpected and characteristics of this printer that I particularly appreciated is its very low operational noise levels. I think this is easily the quietest 3D printer I have ever tested, and this makes the printing process even more captivating!
About Bees and Apples
Operating at relatively low temperatures (without heating bed), BeeTheFirst only uses PLA filaments that are the most widely used materials in the field anyway. When the model is ready, you simply take the magnetic plate off and the printed object is released in your hands. So, this printer made me think about how well every aspect was throughout since the very beginning.
The box included anything that I would need, neatly placed and well secured in a cool looking black styrofoam container. The packaging predisposed me for an Apple-inspired “it just works” experience, and the actual testing justified this. I am not sure about the functionality of the very first models, but the model that I tested performed surprisingly well, looking really good while doing so. What else can one ask from a portable 3D printer?
Interested in other 3D printers? Here are some articles which might also interest you:
- Read our First Impression of the MakerBot Mini Replicator.
- Read our First Impression of the Makerbot Replicator 5th Generation.
- Read our in-depth review of the Zortrax M-200.
- Read our in-depth review of the Ultimaker 2.
License: The text of "BeeTheFirst 3D Printer Review: First impression" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.