What you need to know
- Elegoo is a leading brand in resin 3D printing.
- The company just released an FDM-style printer called the Neptune 2.
- It’s just $160, and it’s surprisingly great.
Elegoo makes some fantastic printers that consistently land on my best 3D printers list, but so far, they have all been resin, not FDM-based printers. FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) printing is what most people think 3D printing is; a long strand of plastic is melted onto a metal bed, and the model builds up in layers. Elegoo changed that with the release of the Neptune 2. I’ve had a unit for a few days now, and I’ve enjoyed it, and while this article isn’t a review, I can tell you a little about the printer and my initial impressions.
|Category||Elegoo Neptune 2|
|Supported filament type||PLA, ABS, TPU, PETG|
The Neptune 2 is a surprisingly good FDM printer with some high-end features and a bargain-basement price. Many printers in the $160 range lack the latest technology like a filament runout sensor or a save feature for when the power goes out, but the Neptune 2 has those as standard. It’s terrific to see a budget printer with these advanced options as standard, and I hope this starts a trend for all budget 3D printers.
The Neptune 2 does still have some money-saving shortcuts, though. While the build plate is technically removable and flexible, it isn’t attached by magnets — it uses binder clips instead — and there is no live z-adjust or automatic bed leveling. The bed is adjusted using four big dials, and they work pretty well, but I would like to see a live z adjust in the software to make adjusting on the fly a little easier.
The print quality itself is pretty good so far. I’ve only printed three models so far — hence this not being a review — but all three have printed extremely well. I’ve been using Matterhackers Build series PLA, and the crystal blue looks really good using the Neptune 2. I printed this excellent cartoon Bernie Sanders in mittens by ChaosCoreTech at 0.2mm layer height, and the print looks really nice.
Overall, I’m pretty impressed with the Neptune 2 so far, and now that I know it’s just $160, it might turn out to be the deal of the year. Stay tuned to our 3D printing coverage for the full review later in the month.
Bargain 3D printing
A surprisingly good printer
Elegoo has made some fantastic printers over the years, and the Neptune 2 looks to be a great addition to the lineup. for $160, it’s a perfect first-time buy.
Easy and cost-effective
Build series PLA from Matterhackers is my go-to PLA for projects that require finishing. It prints smoothly and sands well; perfect for anyone painting a model. It’s really cheap too.
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