Solidoodle 3D Printer Review: An upgrade over the previous versions?

Soliddoodle is very familiar for those 3D printing enthusiasts in the industry long enough. Their baseline product lineup, the Soliddoodle series, has been immensely popular for quite a few years now—moderate budget, decent quality, and convenience that’s what this series represented in the past.

Today I have brought you the fourth generation of this product lineup, the Solidoodle SD-3DP-4. As per the manufacturer, this particular model has several hardware and software upgrades that make it a worthy competitor of their mid-budget 3D printers on the market? So, is that claim valid? That’s what I’ll be trying to find out throughout this Soliddoodle 3D printer review.

According to the performance, I have rated some critical aspects of the Soliddoolde 3D printer in the table below. Have a look for a quick idea about the printer.

Soliddoodle 3D printer
Soliddoodle 4 3d printer Performance Ratings
  • Ease-of-Use
  • Features
  • Value for Money
  • Durability
  • Looks
4.1

Summary

Soliddoodle 4 3d printer is an excellent option for people thinking about getting their feet into the 3D printing scenario

Solidoodle SD-3DP-4 3D Printer Specifications

Before we move on to the actual review, let’s have a quick look at the technical specifications. From here, you’ll have a clear idea about the technical aspect of the Solidoodle SD-3DP-4 3D printer. As we advance, you’ll be able t judge whether the printer performed according to its specification.

  • Printing technology: FDM
  • Printing resolution: 100 to 400 microns
  • Printing precision: ±0.1mm
  • Printing area: 200 x 200 x 200 mm
  • Filament compatibility: PLA, ABS
  • Filament diameter: 1.75 mm
  • Nozzle diameter: 0.4 mm
  • Number of extruders: 1

Solidoodle 3D Printer Pros and Cons

Any purchase decision is made by weighing the advantages and disadvantages, and 3D printers are no different. In this segment, I have tried to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of the Soliddoodle 3D printer. This way, you can decide according to your priorities.

Pros

  • The first advantage I would like to mention here is the ease of use of the Soliddoodle 3D printer. At this point, we all know this printer is targeted toward beginner 3D lovers, and for them, ease of use is super important.
  • Another important factor for beginners is that the 3D printer has a smooth operation. This way, the newcomers don’t get discouraged. I have to say Soliddoodle has done a great job of making the operation as seamless as possible.
  • The addition of extruder clam proved to be super useful for the Soliddoodle 3D printer. Now, reloading and changing broken filaments is easier than ever. I am sure everyone will love this clamp-on Soliddoodle 3D printer.
  • One common problem faced with these beginner 3D printers is that they have a small printing area. While that’s expected, it also limits your printing capacity. With the Soliddoodle 3D printer, you won’t have to face the issue anymore with a generously large printing area.

Cons

  • Despite all the goodness, the Soliddoodle 3D printer also has some inconsistencies. While printing, some users have complained about uneven printing surfaces, resulting in inconsistent printing performance.
  • The printing speed might feel a little slow for some users. If we look at the competitors in the same price category, faster options are available on the market.

Related: Best Cheap Resin 3D Printer

What is the Soliddoodle 4 3D printer like physically?

The Solidoodle SD-3DP-4 3D printer hasn’t seen any dramatic change in the design. We get to see the same typically Soliddoodle black enclosed construction seen with the previous generations. I particularly loved the enclosure because now you don’t have to worry about outside variables that can affect your printing. Also, it’s an added benefit to have if you have kids or pets running around the house.

From the aesthetic point of view, the matte black color looks fantastic on the metal construction. The printer itself is pretty compact but feels solid in hand. One thing to note here is that the printer is fairly heavy, so if you are looking for portability, think twice before purchasing a Soliddoodle 3D printer.

How is the printer used?

Using Soliddoodle 4 3D printer is pretty straightforward. The whole thing comes entirely preassembled. That means you don’t have to look for the instruction manual. You’ll find one Soliddoodle 3D printer, filament sample, power supply unit, USB cable, tool kit, and extruder clamp inside the box. The only installation you have to do is get the extruder clamp and snap it to the back of the printer. This will surely be a massive relief for people who lack prior knowledge of 3D printer assembly. The printer runs on a plug-and-play basis. So, all you got to do is just get the 3D printer out and print.

Soliddoodle 4 3D printer Key features

Print performance

Performance is the most crucial factor of any 3D printer, and initially, I was satisfied with the print quality. Though getting the optimum results needs some tweaking with the control, it’s worth considering the result you’ll get out of it. The basic prints were pretty solid, but when I moved to complex pieces, the print seemed to lack some details. To get a satisfactory result, you need to adjust the temperature and calibrate the bed. For dedicated hobbyists, that can be fun. But for beginners, the adjustments might not be favorable.

 I love the fact that Solidoodle SD-3DP-4 has decided to add the heated build plate in an entry-level 3D printer like this. This feature isn’t very common among entry-level 3D printers, and beginners now won’t have to spend more time extracting the print rather than printing. Filament loading often seems to be a challenge for entry-level 3D printers like Soliddoodle 4, but the manufacturer solves that problem with the extruder clamp. All you have to do now is simply press the clamp, and you can replace or reload filaments in seconds.

Print volume

The print volume of Soliddoodle 4 is pretty decent compared to other entry-level 3D printers. If we look at the large 200 x 200 x 200 mm printing area, it’s almost twice as big as the other competitors in the segment.

 I have tested a lot of budget 3D printers before. From that experience, I have to admit the experience of using such a large print volume was quite liberating. Whatever you plan to print won’t be limited anymore by the lack of printing area.

Design and durability

Soliddoodle 4 3D printer gives s boxy feeling right after taking it out of the box. Additionally, the steel construction with a black finish makes it more of a severe 3D printer. The printer is not the most durable 3D printer out there; I admit that fact. At the same time, the acrylic see-through front door makes the printer look like a high-end model. I love the fact that Soliddoodledidn’t opt for the previously open area configuration. As a result, there are no outside variables like temperature tampering with the print, and the noise level is also lower. Though the chambered construction makes the printer a little heavier, I think most of the consumers will be ready to make that trade the advantages. Inside the enclosed chamber, a lid allows you access to the extruder setup.

Software experience

The software experience of Soliddoodle 4 was nothing extraordinary. There is no control panel over the 3D printer itself, so a USB-PC connection controls it. For many, it’s a significant bump on the road to utmost convenience. Next, the printer is controlled by an open-source repetier host. You can easily download the software from the Soliddoodle website.

Moreover, it offers compatibility with both Mac and Windows, so your particular PC won’t be an issue. The user experience was not very polished and optimized as free, open-source software. You can also use other open-source slicing software if you are not comfortable with the Repetier Host.

Filament compatibility

Compatibility with different filaments makes the 3D printer versatile. It can also be a way of saving money in the process. But in this regard, Soliddoodle seems to fall behind a little. As of now, this printer is only compatible with PLA and ABS filament. Though I agree with the fact that these two are the most used filaments out there, compatibility with other filaments will undoubtedly be appreciated by many.  I tried printing using the ABS sample included in the package. The printing result was pretty solid.

Final Verdict

That’s a wrap for today’s Soliddoodle 3D printer review. As you can see, the performance of this 3D printer was pretty decent. But if we talk about actual upgrades over previous models, then there is not too much to discuss. The upgrades don’t necessarily justify the birth of a new generation alongside the price increase.

Besides that, Solidoodle SD-3DP-4 3d printer is an excellent option for people thinking about getting their feet into the 3D printing scenario. Considerably large printing rea and user-friendly operation will be a blessing for those beginners. The preassembled construction further indicates its effectiveness for those beginner home users.

Leave a Comment