Can it print at 450mm/s? Dynamo3D OnePro review!

It’s a great time for 3D printing! New control boards, more user-friendly interfaces, faster machines – but aren’t we forgetting something?

D3D OnePro

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Low-Poly Pokémon by Agustin Flowalistik
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Can it print at 450mm/s? Dynamo3D OnePro review!

Alright, so let’s say you’re looking for a new 3D printer. You want something large, something fast, something that’s easy to use, but feel like the Ultimaker 2 Extended+ or the Makerbot Z18 are maybe a bit too expensive or just not what you’re looking for? Not comfortable with delta 3D printers, either? Well, Dynamo3D claim they’ve got the ultimate solution for you with the OnePro, promising print speeds up to 450mm/s, about 10 times as much as a typical 3D printer, a build volume 410mm tall, WiFi functionality and touchscreen operation, with a bunch of other sweet features sprinkled in. Let’s have a look at what it delivers.

Now, you might look at the OnePro and instantly call it an Ultimaker clone – and i probably wouldn’t disagree much. It does use the exact same kinematics setup for its X, Y and Z axis as the Ultimaker Original, but it’s not a straight-up carbon copy, it’s actually got some original engineering going on as well. So let’s get those core 3D printer elements out of the way, shall we? Up in the top section, we’ve got the same rotating linear shaft setup as an Ultimaker that gives you an up to 210mm square build area, it’s carrying a bowden-driven hotend for reduced moving weight, and at the same time retains the 8mm linear rods that give the assembly its stiffness. For the Z-axis, we’ve got thick 12mm rods and a spindle drive, which gives it that 410mm build height. So far so good, but pretty standard fare, right? Just like the hotend. What’s definitely not standard is the new high-end Bondtech QR extruder, which grabs and drives the filament from both sides, but also comes with spring-loaded gears that make correctly setting the tension on the filament easier, as well as a quick-release lever, something i criticised the original Bondtech extruder for not having, and this allows you to quickly insert and remove the filament without having to use the printer’s insert and reverse routines. So there’s your little mini-review of the Bondtech QR – let me know if you’d like to see a more detailed benchmark in the future!

But, you know, with this printer, using those routines actually isn’t all that bad, because the OnePro uses a completely new hardware and software platform, based around a 32bit microcontroller from ST and a custom-made firmware, which gives it some nice tricks up its sleeve. So first off, it allows the printer to move much faster than 8-bit, Arduino-based systems, where you’ll typically see the processor hitting a performance wall at faster speeds, especially with the finer 32x microstepping that essentially slightly increases the resolution of an axis over common 16x microstepping. Theoretically, at least, more on that in a minute. You also get this 3.5” touchscreen at the front of the printer, in my opinion the best feature of the OnePro. If you’ve used something like the monochrome LCD displays on a “normal” 3D printer, you’ll know how tedious and finicky controlling the printer can be. This is nothing like that. All the features are nicely laid out, easily accessible and the entire interface feels like it’s been very well implemented, even though this is the first time it’s being released. Not only do you get access to the functionality for daily use like printing from an SD card or an assisted way of changing filament, you also get access to the deeper settings of the OnePro’s systems like changing acceleration or even adjusting the motor’s microstepping or current settings with a few touches. The only complaint i can think of would be that the screen could be ever so slightly bigger to increase font size and make the touch targets a bit easier to hit in some situations.

One particularly well-fitting feature is the bed leveling assistant – this printer does not come with an auto-leveling feature, which usually i’d complain about with such a high-endish printer, but how they implemented manual adjustment kinda makes up for it. So first off, you’ve got three adjustment points with a thumbnut each, and the touchscreen gives you this interface that allows you to move the nozzle to any point on the bed with a single tap. While it’s not as highly polished as a full-on assistant that takes you to each point and then tells you exactly what to do, i find this version much quicker and more reliable since you can double-check each adjustment point just with a single touch, and also check arbitrary points between the leveling screws.

As a bonus with this platform, you’re also getting an absolutely reliable pause and resume function, which you can use to stop a print at any time, then swap the filament, move the toolhead around or even turn off the printer’s power for a minute or a week and then come back and resume the print and it will restart without really any visible seam.

So another thing that this entire new platform enables is WiFi functionality, both as a standalone access point, to which you can simply connect with your phone, tablet or computer without needing any sort of router or wifi modem; or, of course, as a client in an existing network. The first mode is useful if you want to quickly print somewhere without WiFi access or just don’t want to configure it, while the latter one is probably more useful for day-to-day use where you can just connect it to your regular WiFi network and access it with any device on the same network. No internet remote access, though, since the network interface doesn’t have any security features that would keep out users with a malicious intent. You could still set it up that way with some basic network config skills. The browser-based interface gives you all the basic features you’d need for day-to-day use: You can move any axis around, heat up the bed or nozzle, change filament, upload a print to the SD card and then start it and tweak settings in real time, which are the same settings that are visible on the touchscreen. Overall, this is a great standalone web interface, and even though it doesn’t offer all the advanced features you might know from OctoPrint, like, probably most importantly, webcam support, or in-printer slicing, i think the OnePro’s built-in interface offers enough functionality to be an easily accessible, but still powerful enough command center. For me personally, i know those last few meters to physically walk to the 3D printer are what keep me from just “quickly” designing and printing something, so expect to really get some good use out of this.

So overall, the new platform does already feel very polished, and it makes getting started with the OnePro particularly painless, since there’s not much in-depth knowledge you’d need to acquire to use it.

Thoug not everything is pink fluffy unicorns dancing on rainbows, there are a few things, particularly about the hardware, that i’m not entirely happy about yet. First off, which is something i’ve complained about on the unboxing livestream, but nobody else was able to hear because i used the wrong microphone that filtered everything out: Stepper whine. Horrible, horrible stepper noises around 14kHz whenever the printer is turned on and the stepper motors are getting current – which is pretty much always, since the software rarely turns them off. This is what it sounds like recorded on a better microphone: ….

And this is essentially an issue with the stepper drivers, the more powerful DRV8825 from Texas Instruments, in combination with the exact stepper motors chosen. It’s by far not the only printer suffering from this, but it’s by far the worst example i’ve heard. I know this is just below the highest frequency i can still hear, and al ot of you who are older will not be able to pick it up at all, but if you’re lucky enough to still hear it, it is incredibly uncomfortable just being around the printer while it is powered on. It’s a bit less severe when the printer is running, but the whine is still there, just drowned out by the rest of the noises. Also an artifact of the drivers and settings used are these resolution ripples, also often called treerings, an indicator that microstepping doesn’t work as well as it should, so the stepper motor snaps towards the full step positions instead of being moved smoothly between them, resulting in these relatively rough surfaces.

Both of these issues can be somewhat mitigated with software configuration updates, since all these settings are controllable through software, and GH, the company responsible for the hardware and software, have indicated that they’re going to continuously work on improving these settings. Unfortunately, both the hardware and software are 100% closed-source and proprietary, so don’t expect any cool community addons or ports to other 3D printers that aren’t approved by Dynamo3D and GH.

Now, on the promises of speed, in particular 450mm/s printing speeds and 900mm/s travel speeds – both are actually completely reachable on this machine, though maybe not 100% advisable. You can totally print at 450mm/s, but you do still need a tight set of parameters to make it work. First off, low layer heights. Even though the OnePro is using a Bondtech Extruder, the bowden setup and the relatively unspectacular hotend do have trouble keeping up with speeds above 120mm/s with anything but super-low layer heights, so you basically need to go below 50 micron layers to make use of those speeds. However, there is another issue popping up once you start cranking the speed – overswings and ripples, both from the bed starting to oscillate, due to the incredibly long unsupported linear rails – which, you know, even though they are 12mm thick, that’s still by far not enough once you factor how much any tiny deflection is amplified by the cantilever bed setup and, ultimately, by the print sticking up once you use the full build height. And on the hotend side, the main drive belts are fairly loose with no way to tension them, so they don’t make for the stiffest and most backlash-free prints, either. Right out of the box, the motor belt was also incredibly loose, but thankfully, that one can be tightened up. Still, the artifacts from that soft drive system are very visible, with ripples after any sharp turns, aka. edges, and other indicators, like the infill actually poking through single-wall prints.

To some extent, both these overswings and and the microstepping artifacts i just showed you can be fixed or at least reduced: By tuning down the acceleration from 9000 to 3000mm/s², you do add a bit to the print time, but get much smoother results in return; and by changing the stepper driver decay mode from mixed to fast, the printer does get even noisier, but will produce less of that roughness from microstepping. Additionally, if you turn down the stepper current a bit, you reduce those microstepping ripples a bit more, and since we also reduced the accelerations, there’s no greater risk of the motors losing their positioning, but remember to also reduce the maximum speeds a bit, especially for the z-axis. Easy fixes, that, at least for me, are worth the tradeoffs, since they immediately result in a somewhat better print quality. Usually, i would not consider modifications like this to be included in a review, but because the touchscreen makes them so easy to apply, i think it’s fair to show you what you can get with a few settings tweaked. Plus, i’ve got a feeling that newer machines will have some updated settings more along the lines of what i just showed you, maybe even with updates to the mechanical side of things to get those belts tightened up.

Overall, though, print quality out of the box is okay, just don’t expect to push those brutal advertised speeds and still get the exact same level of quality, you do need to take it slow – often slower than with other printers – to get prints that i’d call “good”.

Now, a few more quick things i want to touch on, both positive and negative. The frame is all made from acrylic. It’s got some cool handles cut in the side! Awesome! And even though acrylic isn’t like the absolutely best choice for a structural frame, this one is using these metal brackets that connect the frame plates together while keeping the actual forces away from the edges, thus minimizing the risk of anything breaking in the long run or even during shipping. Oh, yeah, shipping, this thing comes in a freaking crate. Which is basically impossible to lug around on your own, so you better borrow a friend to get it all in place unless you want to do the unboxing right there at your front door.

The Dynamo3D does have a heated bed, but it’s simply a 24V silicone heater stuck to the underside of a glass plate. PLA sticks wonderfully to the heated glass without any sort of adhesive, actually much better than any other glass surface i’ve used so far, but when printing higher-temp plastics like PET or ABS, keep in mind that it heats up neither particularly quickly nor evenly.

And on the topic of heaters, both the bed and the hotend do not have their PID control loops configured particularly well, in fact, they only use proportional control out of the box, so when heating up, the hotend has an overswing of over 15 degrees celsius and neither it nor the heated bed are particularly good at maintaining a set temperature without some extra tuning.

Also, this is a 3mm or 2.85mm 3D printer, particularly with bowden setups, i feel like 1.75mm systems do have a bit of an edge, but either one works, just keep it in mind when buying filament.

And one last note on the Open-Source factor: Dynamo 3D boldly claim “The new way for open source”, or translated from italian, “A new era for open source”. And i’d actually call that straight-up marketing bullshit. Both the software and electronics are closed-source and proprietary, even proudly so, and the hardware is another case of “yeah, we’ll publish the files eventually”. So as it stands right now, the OnePro is the furthest from being open-source any 3D printer could be.

So where does that leave us? Overall, the OnePro combines solid, but not particularly spectacular hardware, with an excellent touchscreen interface and built-in WiFi functionality. And while the claims of insanely high speeds are true, using those settings does not yield any sort of usable 3D prints unless you’re printing 20µ layer vases with no sharp corners all day, every day. In real use, you do get decent quality prints if you tune down the speeds to reasonable values.

So depending on your priorities, the OnePro can be a good value at the introductory price of 2500€ including tax. It’s bigger than the Ultimaker 2 Extended, it’s cheaper, it’s got a more powerful user interface, but it’s also a completely closed-source platform, so you’re completely at the mercy of the manufacturers when it comes to how much you can bend the machine truly your own. So always, in the end, the decision is up to you.

Well then, i hoped this overview of the ups and downs of the Dynamo3D OnePro was helpful to you and maybe – manufacturers take note – we’ll see some of the features on other machines as well. If you enjoyed it, leave it a thumbs up, if not, a thumbs down. If you want to stay up to date as new videos come out, get subscribed, and if you want to directly support me and my channel drop me a dollar or two on Patreon. And that’s about it, thanks so for much for watching, and i’ll see you in the next video or in the livestream every weekend here on Youtube.

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