Wanhao Duplicator 7 Review

Wanhao Duplicator 7 Review 1
8/10
Our Rating

The Wanhao Duplicator 7 is a very functional 3D Printer that produces quality prints with complex details that you don't often see​ in printers of this class.

Description

Tech Specs

Supported Materials

405nm UV Resin

Build Volume

120 x 68 x 180mm

Layer Thickness

 0.035-0.5mm

Print Speed

35mm/hr

Connectivity

USB

Searching for a quality 3D printer that you’ll purchase at a cost-friendly price is always a tough ask. You have to go through numerous models with the hope of finding one that best suits your printing purposes.
 
Luckily, there are a few printer models that simplify this task for you. The Wanhao Duplicator 7 is a promising 3D printer that would be a good option for mid-level enthusiasts looking to upgrade from their entry-level devices.
 
The following Wanhao Duplicator 7 Review will consider the strong features on the printer, as well as the drawbacks to determine whether it is worth investing in.

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Design

The Wanhao Duplicator 7 comes in a powder-coated metal frame with dimensions of 35.5*20*20cm. It is a strong printer that weighs in at around 12kg without the resin.
 
This printer is delivered when it’s already assembled so you only need to prepare the build plate and add the resin to get the process started. You can make use of open-source software, meaning the only thing to buy is the resin tank replacement, as well as the resins themselves.
 
The Duplicator 7 has a black color with red seal band along the base of the lid. It has a 70-watt internal power supply, heat sink, and a larger UV cooling fan compared to its earlier versions.
 
Generally, this printer has got sturdy and stable parts and promises to provide you with years of service.

The only notable weakness I see in the construction of this printer is the plastic bottom where the resin tank is placed; even though they’ll offer you an extra plastic sheet, I feel like it’s going to need replacing a handful of times.
 
You can control the Duplicator 7 directly using your PC or from the large built-in screen. The menus on this printer are precise and quite simple to navigate with large and visible icons that easily be read.
 
This machine also comes with WiFi connectivity, which is a rare feature for a printer in its price range. Furthermore, it has an Ethernet port, which shows you just how unique it is from the others.

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Printing

Unlike other printers, the Duplicator doesn’t melt plastic filaments in a heated nozzle to print. Instead, a UV-sensitive resin is activated and used to build the model. This process enables you to come up with more detailed prints, although you’ll have to bear with the slow pace.
 
The printer produces complex items with an impressive level of quality. Even models with internal structures, that are normally tricky to print, come out quite nicely.
 
The advantage of using a DLP printer is that you get to create quality models. The screen resolution, you will realize, is one of the most essential parts of any DLP printer. The Anycubic Photon provides 1440 by 2560 resolution, which is actually very good.
 
Nevertheless, there is one problem with this printer! You can’t halt the process to refill the resin basin, so you have to plan in advance by ensuring that the resin you have is adequate for the model before starting to print.
 
The build volume is also smaller-than-average, meaning that you’re limited when it comes to printing large models. Generally, resin-based 3D printers like the Duplicator 7 are not suitable for newbies.
 
It is not exactly a push-and-plug printer and involves post-processing whereby you wash the printed models with ethanol before curing them. Not only is it a messy affair, but also the smell is not pleasant.

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Features

The Wanhao Duplicator 7 uses industrial level sheet metal, as well as top quality CNC’d billet metal for its components. The print quality is better than most printers in its price category with the capability to offer a resolution of up to 35 microns.
 
The printer can also support a range of off the shelf resins. Whether you decide to print dental guides, jewelry, or tabletop figurines, the Duplicator possesses the reliability and precision to do a respectable job.
 
The device uses vat photopolymerization technology to print. Through Digital Light Processing, the Duplicator 7 selectively cures the resin layer in order to “grow” a model.
 
The 395-405nm wavelength it uses is compatible with a good share of resins in the market. This printer is also fitted with an HD LCD touchscreen that offers you 2560 by 1440 pixels resolution. The build speed on the printer is 15-35mm/hr.
 
Wanhao offers an array of resins that you can use on the Duplicator 7. However, there are additional options you can use aside from the ones provided by the company.
 
One thing to note is that if you decide to buy resins from other manufacturers, make sure they have an active wavelength of 405nm. 

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Cost

The Duplicator 7 will cost you around $400. However, the manufacturer is replacing it with the upgraded Duplicator 7 plus, so you will have to buy it from a retailer since it is no longer in production. Just be sure to find a reputable one.
 
The resins don’t come cheap!

A bottle will need around $40 and this may mean that your materials costs might end up taking a toll on your budget. It’s a good thing that the company has given you the freedom to use third-party resins.
 
The advantage here is that you have a wide range of choices for the printing materials you can use and the flexibility to buy whatever falls within your budget.

If you're restrained by your budget and are looking for something cheaper, there are some decent 3D Printers under $300 you can check out.

Support

Wanhao has a website where you can access crucial information regarding the Duplicator 7. There’s a quick start guide for every component on the printer, as well as a document with records of changes between each model.
 
Alternatively, you can go to the Duplicator 7 Facebook group page to access essential support and a number of ideas regarding modifications, printer profiles, resins, and overall troubleshooting.
 
Additionally, you can take a look at video tutorials available on the net, manuals, as well as model-specific FAQs on their site. You also get a one-year warranty that you can use to request for repairs in case of any repairs and malfunctions.


 

Summary

Overall, I see the Wanhao Duplicator 7 as a very functional printer. It produces quality prints with complex details that are rare in other printers in the under $500 class.
 
Except for the few drawbacks, it is a practical device that I would recommend to anyone with complex projects that need high-resolution prints.

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