- Fast print speeds up to 250mm/s
- Quiet printing
- Ample print space for small/medium projects
- Print directly from SD card
- Auto-stop and resume for filament and power outage issues
- Projects may stick occasionally
- Bed temperature can be finnicky
Thanks to 3D printing, you can create almost anything you can imagine. The SUNLU T3 3D Printer helps you achieve this faster, while operating quietly. The smaller size makes it ideal for hobbyists. The only question is how well does the T3 perform? I had the pleasure of taking this printer for a test drive in this review to answer that question.
This is a sponsored article and was made possible by SUNLU. The actual contents and opinions are the sole views of the author who maintains editorial independence even when a post is sponsored.
The SUNLU T3 3D Printer is perfect for crafting smaller 3D creations. A print size of 220mm (8.66 in) x 220mm (8.66 in) x 250mm (9.84 in) is ideal for making figurines, game pieces, decorations, and more. The Terminator 3, T3 for short, also features print speeds from 20-250mm/s. This lets you make quick work of small projects, shaving minutes and even hours off the average print time.
The full metal frame keeps the machine sturdy while it works. Even during fast prints, the machine itself stays perfectly stable.
The removable magnetic plate helps the surface heat faster, leading to better conductivity. Plus, it’s non-stick, letting items slide off easier.
Heat isn’t an issue with the T3 3D printer. Easily heat the nozzle up to 500°F/260°C, and the bed goes up 212°F/100°C. You’ll obviously need to adjust the temperatures based on the material and project. This printer supports 1.75mm PLA Meta, PLA & PLA+, carbon fiber, ABS (low temp), PETG, HIPS, wood, PCL, and TPU.
Even with fast printing, projects can still take hours, depending on the size, material, and complexity. The 32-bit high performance motherboard has an impressive operating noise of less than 45 dB. The printer runs almost silently in the background. If you notice any noise, it may be the X and Y axis belts, though they are adjustable to eliminate loose belts that occur over time.
The double metal gear extruder guides the filament smoothly. This aids in the faster printing speeds without as much of a risk of broken filament.
Should the filament break, the nozzle clog, or the power go out, the T3 is designed to stop printing immediately and go into a stand-by mode and resume when the issue is resolved. Even during power outages, the resume position is stored in the memory, so you don’t lose your progress.
The printer comes with Cura software for loading and prepping files. It’s compatible with STL, OBJ, and AMF formats and outputs projects in Gcode format. You’re able to print directly from a microSD card or a physical connection to a computer.
What’s in the Box
The SUNLU T3 3D Printer does require assembly, but it’s surprisingly easy to put together. It comes with all the components to put it together, including spare parts, just in case you lose something during the process. Different size wrenches are included as well.
In addition to the assembly components, you also get a scraper, cable tie snips, small spool of white PLA filament, computer cable, microSD card and card reader, and cable ties to secure excess cable. There’s also a user guide.
Getting Set Up
Assembly required may make you cringe, but it’s actually straightforward with the SUNLU T3 3D Printer. Use the included user guide or the handy tutorial video on the included SD card. The card has quite a bit of information, including the Cura software, a few sample projects, assembly guide, and user guide (a much more extensive version than the paper one).
It takes about 10 minutes to assemble the printer. The one thing to really pay attention to is the voltage on the power supply. By default, it’s set to European standards. If you’re in the U.S., you’ll need to flip the switch behind the sticker on the power supply. Otherwise, it’s not going to power up correctly.
Once assembled, I used the guide on the SD card to go step by step through adjusting the Z-axis offset and installing/configuring Cura to work with the Terminator 3 printer. I highly recommend using this guide versus just winging it to make sure everything’s right.
The last thing to do was load the filament. I used the clippers to snip the end of the filament at a 45-degree angle. You need this angle for it to load properly.
The First Print
When I first set Cura up, it already had a cute little robot file ready to go, so I saved the gcode file to the included SD card, inserted it into the SUNLU T3 3D Printer, and used the printer’s menu to select my file.
Before any project prints, the machine goes through a 16-point auto-leveling process to ensure everything is good to go before the print starts.
The robot was about 1 to 1.5 inches tall and a light, fast print that finished in roughly 10 minutes. If I’d selected more fill, which in hindsight would’ve been a good idea, it would have be far more solid, but as you can see below, it still looks like a robot.
The tiny 3D robot removed smoothly from the mat. The printing process was incredibly quiet.
Printing Other Things
It takes a little trial and error with the bed temperature to ensure the filament sticks properly to the bed. This also depends on your surrounding temperature. I found 10 to 20 degrees above the room temperature tended to work best.
The projects included with the SD card were a boat and a detailed cup. However, the estimated times on these were kind of long, so I opted to visit SUNLU’s website, where you can find around a dozen or so project files. These are designed specifically for the fast print setting, which you can turn off if you’re not getting the detail you want.
I went with the simpler cup and the shovel. The cup printed in roughly a hour, while the shovel printed in about 15 minutes.
I was really impressed with the cup. The thick sides and slight wave pattern look like a quality plastic cup you would use to get a quick drink of water in the bathroom at night or rinse your mouth after brushing.
The shovel looked more like a scraper but is solid enough to use.
The included filament is more than ample to print multiple small projects, even with some missteps. The only problem I ran into is that when I tried to get the bed temperature just right, the start of one project didn’t stick well at first.
The nozzle ended up moving it off center, but the filament that landed on the bed before I could stop the print stuck. It hardened and stayed stuck. It took a lot of scraping to get it off the mat, even with the mat heated. I had to use a little acetone to finish removing the excess filament before cleaning the mat and moving onto another project.
But that only happened once. Everything else slid off easily with just a little push from the included scraper tool.
Overall, the SUNLU T3 3D Printer is a powerful 3D printer for hobbyists. The print size is perfect for a wide variety of projects, and it prints quietly in the background. Thanks to the auto-pause and stop features, you never lose progress over filament issues or power outages.
I really love the fast print feature. While it’s not ideal for every project, it does work well for many projects.
Whether you’re a beginner at 3D printing or want a smaller machine for faster printing, you can try the SUNLU T3 3D Printer yourself for just $219.99.
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