Tevo, a young Chinese company, offers a wide range of printers, far superior to the standards to which the Chinese have accustomed us, and this Tevo Black Widow is its flagship.
The Black Widow is a Prusa printer, with an all-metal frame, and an exceptional printing area, especially in relation to the price. You will hardly find a printer of this size and this quality at this price. Even at the first glance, you realize that it is a well-designed printer, with nothing left to chance.
It is possible to have as an option the self-levelling of the plate. It is available on Amazon, or,if you want to save money, on Gearbest.
After a short period of doubt, I buy this printer. I decided to take my first steps in 3D printing with her. Although it may seem like an unpopular choice, in my opinion this printer is ideal for this new experience.
The reasons why I chose the Tevo Black Widow instead of the smaller sister, the Tevo Tarantula or the much more famous Anet A8 are as follows.
First of all, this printer has a huge metal frame, and it’s only stiff when you look at it. At first glance you immediately realize that the frame is immovable. The second reason, purely technical, was the electronics and the wiring. Being at my first experience and not really experienced as an electrician I jumped on a product easy to connect electrically. In this printer all the wires are marked to be connected very easily. This combined with the presence of better electronics. MKS 1.4 with removable 8825 drivers. The 8825 drivers are necessary because the Black Widow works at 32 microsteps, so it is better not to use the 4988 that would reduce it to 16.
The pros continue
As you can see from photos, it has a case for electronics. It makes the cooling easier by avoiding the supply of eddy air currents on the printing floor, which annoy the printing of ABS.
And then this printer has charm, let’s say it. If one thing those of Tevo know how to do well is just take care of the look of these machines.
Tevo Black Widow: Assembly and use
Obviously, like any self-respecting kit, it arrives disassembled piece by piece. This is not a big problem. In addition to the instructions, actually not too complete, you can also follow the video tutorials for mounting on youtube. Surely you will have no problem in finding them. I invite you to consult this article, where is listed all the equipment needed to deal with the assembly and the first tests of the 3d printer. Especially in the case of printers in KIT.
I think that mounting your own printer, especially in the case of the first one, is an excellent exercise. Through assembly I understand how the machine works, and what parts it is made of. If you buy pre-assembled kits or printers and you pay less than 1500 euro, before or after, you will have problems. If you assembly it, you will have a great advantage when it comes to maintenance, both ordinary and extraordinary, allowing you to save money.
As soon as the assembly has finished, after having installed the slicer and loaded the gcode via SD, the printer already produces excellent prints. It does not need any major upgrades, even if there is always room for improvement. Here I propose you one of my first prints with the Black Widow.
Tevo Black Widow Upgrade: fixed problems
Even though I’ve always been in love with this piece of junk, I’m sure I have some flaws to report.
These are not unresolvable problems but you need to fix them as soon as possible.
First of all the, it is rigid and stable thanks to the 2 worms harnessed in 3 points. However, if by any chance during the assembly you can’t align them perfectly this will create problems of wobble, which will be difficult to solve.
The only feasible intervention, which does not involve the re-installation of the entire printer, will be to raise this bar by 1 centimeter, removing the underlying support. The endless screws will be freer but still very stable. This operation will give you smooth prints with minimal effort. To proceed with this upgrade just buy 2 Collars block of 8mm. These will have to be installed with 2 608 Bearings exactly as you can see in the figure on the left.
A second noteworthy problem concerns the cable carrier chain. Even if it allows you to put a multitude of cables in order, the continuous going and coming on the x-axis in the long run (6/8 months) causes deterioration. Changing the cables is not at all demanding, and it is not easy, especially for a beginner, to come to this conclusion.
Before understanding the very easy resolution of the problems probably we have already sold or scrapped the printer. I solved it by replacing it with a flexible hose, which I recommend!
You can also solve with a spiral cable wrap, very easy to replace the chain with a minimum of effort!
Tevo Black Widow: Drivers
The third and final defect of the Black Widow is its noise (the same as all 32 microstep printers). Let’s say that when it is running…you can hear it…. This is mainly due to the 8825 drivers which are much better than the 4988, but make the printer much noisier. This too, if considered a serious problem, for example if you want to use the printer in areas of the house where you normally stay, is solvable very simply. Being able to buy silent and equally performing drivers: the TMC2100. These are the best solution for maximum quiet, but they will have the opposite problem that will not allow you to understand if the printer works only by listening to it! If you want to use these Drivers you will have to change Firmware. On the Facebook group of Tevo printers, you will find the right firmware among the files of the group and many people willing to listen and solve your problems!
Tevo Black Widow Upgrade: improve and facilitate printing
Black Widow doesn’t need any upgrades to work at its best. But if you’re as fanatical (as much as I am) about perfection then I’d recommend someone to you right away:
- the Layer Fan: cooling fan of the extruded filament, on Thingiverse there are many projects for every type of fan.
- Extruder group: The standard extruder is very heavy and has a very laborious system for changing the filament, with about 30 euros you can buy the extruder Titan clone, always Tevo. This is the best solution, it is a very light extruder that thanks to the reductions needs a very low copy to be operated. For this reason it works with slim motors, which further reduce the weight. My little advice is not to rely on too small engines with too small Vref. It is better work on “big” engines, which will allow you not to “pull the neck” to the engine often. As a minimum size I recommend the one in the picture on the left.
But that’s not all…
- Leveling sensor: although it is not essential to recommend the purchase of the sensor together with the printer, it helps a lot in the phase of leveling the plate. The sensor that I recommend for pairing with this printer is the BLTouch, which will allow you to correct slight imperfections in leveling very easily.
- Aluminium corners: to make the whole unit even more rigid, practically irremovable. This link of the corners is demonstrative, because too expensive, you can find these aluminum corners in hardware or Brico for about 1 euro each!
- Locking cabinet: The last necessary upgrade is not a piece of the printer, but a lock. If you are a carpenter, blacksmith or have a bit of manual skills I recommend you to build a cabinet for your Tevo Black Widow. In this way you can print any material, even the most sensitive to draughts without any problem.
Tevo Black Widow: Conclusions
Tevo Black Widow is a great printer. It is great both to start with and as a second step after a 20x20x20 acrylic printer. Solid, with an important printing area. The company Tevo is very available for support and improvements. Just to give an example to all the “old” customers was sent the new insulated plate and the mosfet (upgrade of the latest version) at the sole cost of transport.
Honestly, although I sometimes lost my mind, this printer has satisfied me.
If you have any doubt you can ask the Facebook group of Tevo printers. You will find many people willing to answer your questions and give you advice about this amazing printer!
Aviable on Amazon, or,if you want to save money, on Gearbest sells it at a very affordable price! Moreover, by choosing Gearbest you will have the security of receiving Tevo Black Widow at home in about 15 days without the addition of customs duties!