The Ortur 4 is an i3 style printer attempting to stand out in a sea of printers that are quite frankly starting to blend together. You’ll notice that this isn’t a CR-10 clone. It’s not an Ender 3 clone or even a clone of any other 3D printer currently on the market. It’s feature set keeps it very reliable and does just enough to stand out from the crowd. When Salon Electronics approached us with the opportunity to review it was an easy decision. At $425 USD it should be in consideration for one of the top sub-$500 printers. Check out their store here.
The Ortur 4 is reliable
If you’re looking for an alternative to the CR-10 and all the clones out there then the Ortur 4 is a solid option.
Build Volume: 310 x 260 x 305 mm
Layer Height: 50 – 300 microns
Top Claimed Speed: 150 mm/s
Nozzle Diameter: 0.4 mm
Maximum Hotend Temp: 245°C (PTFE limited)
Maximum Bed Temp: 80°C (firmware limited)
Filament Diameter: 1.75 mm
Proprietary Filament: No
Software: Cura, Simplify3D, Slic3r
For their first attempt at a consumer level 3D printer the Ortur 4 packed in quite a few features.
Automatic Bed Levelling
This feature has been around for a while and yet it’s one of the simplest ways to ensure consistency from print to print. The Ortur 4 uses an inductive probe before every print to tram the bed. Automatic z-axis adjustments correct the height throughout the print. Fair warning, this does need to be properly set up in the slicer and the z-limit switch will have to be adjusted just right to avoid damaging the bed frame. Autolevelling doesn’t excuse not properly setting up the z-axis and manual levelling when setting up the printer.
The rails are what made me most excited about this printer. They’re not the typical MGN type. Rather, they feature a track with 2 inbuilt rails and a carriage with 3 steel roller bearings. These rails are included on all axes. The stiffness is much higher than rods and by using steel rollers they’ve managed to avoid the compression issues that you face with v-slot and delrin rollers. This translates to more precise movement on all axes.
Filament Runout Detection
This should be standard by now. It’s a simple switch that will tell your printer when filament is either out or broken. However, it should really be called a filament presence detector. What it won’t do is make sure your filament is feeding properly so if you have a clogged nozzle and your extruder is chewing through your filament then you’re out of luck. Odds are that the switch will still detect that your filament is present.
High Speed Printing
This printer is touted as being able to produce high quality prints at speeds of up to 150mm/s. In my experience this printer can hit speeds close to that but you run into cooling issues. When printing with PLA you need a certain amount of dwell time in order for the print cooling fan to prevent sagging. The blower configuration here doesn’t provide enough cooling to warrant printing at this speed with PLA.
This is another feature that can be found on an increasing number of 3D printers out of China. It’s a nice little add-in that doesn’t really cost the manufacturer much but can semi-save a print if your power tends to go out.
The Ortur 4 comes in 2 parts: the base which includes the y-axis and electronics, and the uprights which includes the x and z axes as well as all of the wiring and leadscrews. One of the best parts of the design is that all of the wires are pre-fed through cable chains and plug directly into the side of the base. This means that once you screw in the z-axis finishing the wiring only takes seconds.
I ran into a couple issues mounting the z-axis. First, when inserting the uprights into the base there was a lot of resistance. I found out later that the power supply connection is located in close proximity to the mounting location and I was catching on the mains power in. Luckily I didn’t damage any cables. However, I would recommend reaching through the bottom of the frame to make sure you’re not snagging on wires. It’s also a bit difficult to mount the leadscrews into the couplers while also trying to slot everything together. Overall it’s a lot easier to assemble than a full kit.
For the most part things were issue free. At first the print head would occasionally crash into the bed when homing but that was due to a loose connection of the z endstop. The only other problem that came up was 3 weeks in when the print cooling fan decided to die. To be fair I’ve had this issue happen on other 24V printers as well. The best thing to do is to replace the sleeve bearing blower with a dual ball bearing blower.
If you’re looking for an alternative to the CR-10 and all the clones out there then the Ortur 4 is a solid option. For me, if I can trust a printer enough to hit print and walk away it’s definitely a win. The consistency that’s afforded by the linear rails and the ABL leave no doubt in my mind that it’s a contender for the best under $500.
This printer was sent to us by Salon Electronics for the purpose of an unbiased review.
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