The FFF/FDM technology has many advantages over other methods. First, the 3D printers that use filament are currently cheaper than their counterparts. The technology was the first to gain traction among the enthusiasts/hobbyists 3D printing market, so the prices have been plummeting for years thanks to intense competition. Secondly, large build volumes are easy to come by at affordable prices. There are also plenty of mid-sized machines.
The Wanhao Duplicator 5S Mini might not be the cheapest 3D printer on the market or have large build volume. But this device manages to have both a small footprint and a decently-sized build volume. Moreover, it’s also a really affordable machine by a known manufacturer. Let’s review the device.
The Duplicator 5S Mini is a 3D printer that has a decent-sized build volume packed inside a small footprint. The device features a compact and well-built all-metal case with an open design. Its rigidity makes printing more accurate, while the lack of the lid makes it easier to access the prints, although this design has its obvious shortcomings such as a higher level of noise and more fumes requiring ventilation on a room-level.
A lightweight Bowden style extruder allows the Duplicator 5S Mini to be a fast printer. The speed can reach 300 mm/s, which is impressive for this price range. The extruder is also very durable.
Thanks to its compact size, the Duplicator 5S Mini is also easily transportable.
As was already mentioned in this article, the Wanhao Duplicator 5S Mini has a small footprint. So the package is rather compact as well, also quite lightweight. The device comes pre-assembled. The contents include: a clamp, build plate, spool holder, a USB cable, print wrench, a power supply, SD card and a card reader, as well as 3mm filament.
The printers of the Duplicator series with their own proprietary slicer: Wanhao Maker. The program is a relatively straightforward piece of slicing software.
As can be seen in the picture below, the toolbar takes the whole upper side of the screen. After choosing a tab, a user can operate with tuning the settings on the left side of the screen.
This program has some advanced settings as well.
Wanhao Maker is not the only program that is compatible with the Duplicator 5S Mini. The 3D printer can work with other slicing solutions such as Cura but it will require installing open-source firmware.
The Official American YouTube channel of Wanhao released a video of the Duplicator 5S Mini printing a AA battery holster based on an STL file from Thingiverse
The device had no problems printing the model in a short time.
Below is the final result. It has an impressive surface finish.
Custom battery pack with custom cable soldering and contacts.
It’s a simple but highly practical print. The results are fantastic.
The open-case design has its own problems: higher levels of noise and more fumes
Wanhao Maker is a powerful slicer but it’s the only one the printer can work out of the box with. Working with third-party solutions such as Cura requires open-source firmware that can be easily installed.
The Wanhao Duplicator 5S Mini is essentially a smaller version of the original Duplicator 5S. Despite size reductions, the printer’s build volume is still far from small but the dimensions of the device itself are now much more compact. This makes the Duplicator 5S Mini a great choice for those who need a small case without making severe compromises on the build area.
The machine also combines affordability and high printing quality. Its extruder is lightweight and very durable, which makes the printer both fast and accurate. The surface finishes are impressive.
There are drawbacks, of course: the Duplicator 5S Mini features an open design which makes the machine loud, and the device can only work with a proprietary slicer out of the box.