The folks at Dagoma were kind enough to send me this printer to try out and use for cosplay – and I’m so excited to share my review with you! You can watch my progress on the below video, or you can read a bit more about the NEVA and my progress below.
About the NEVA
The NEVA is an easy-to-use, plug and play printer that’s small and quiet – perfect for families. It’s quick to set up and perfect for people who have no prior knowledge of 3d printing. It comes with free software, already configured. The print size is 7″ wide x 8″ tall.
Setting the NEVA up
Setting up my NEVA was SO easy – it really does come almost ready to go out-of-the-box. The main body of the printer was all put together and all I had to do was attach the magnetic arms to the printer head and supports. It took around 30 minutes total for me to set up.
Using the Cura software
The Cura software does exactly what I need, no frills attached. I’ve never had any problems figuring out the settings or not knowing what something does. For my first test print I imported a .stl I exported from Tinkercad and that was it. It was automatically placed in Cura in the center, but I could move the object, scale it, rotate it and even mirror it. Once I selected the filament type from a drop down list, the temperature automatically was automatically selected. If I wanted to change the temp higher or lower, I simply selected “other filament type”.
The NEVA comes with an SD card and when you “prepare the print” from Cura, it will automatically re-write over the file on the card (don’t change the name of your file!). This file is already prepped and ready to pop into the NEVA.
Printing & Troubleshooting
I want to be honest here: my journey with the NEVA was less than perfect. I’m very happy with it now that I’ve figured out my issues, but I want to go through each as they may be more common than I think.
Faulty Printer #1: First of all, the people that work at Dagoma are AMAZING and so kind. I was having issues getting good prints when I first got my NEVA and they invited me to a video call with them to troubleshoot. When some of their tips didn’t work they decided I had a faulty printer and actually replaced it with a new one.
Vibrations: I live in an old apartment and have downstairs neighbors. Unfortunately they complained about the vibrations from the printer traveling through the floor (I heard it and yeah, it was bad). So I had to think about padding the printer – I achieved a happy balance by adding a thick layer of EVA foam under the desk holding the NEVA. Similar to this, I had to move the NEVA to a sturdier table – any wiggle in the platform holding the NEVA will cause more vibration.
Calibration & Adhesion: One of the great features of the NEVA is that it self-calibrates each time before a print, and there’s no need to do anything after you insert the SD card. Unfortunately I kept having issues during calibration – the printer would stall at one of its checkpoints, the printer would calibrate outside of the build deck, and twice the printer head actually dented into the surface.
I was using blue tape over the build deck to improve adhesion (per the recommendation of the folks at Dagoma from my video call). I just folded the tape over the sides…don’t do this! I strongly believe the printer was registering these tape edges as a larger surface than it actually was. Once I trimmed the tape to the edge, my calibration issues were fixed! I only wish I knew that sooner :)
Once I was able to nail down and fix the issues I was having, I was beyond thrilled with the results. The prints are smooth, easy to attach together and look amazing. I’ve tried hollow prints all the way through .1mm and all the settings yield great prints. Honestly, I’m upset that I haven’t been using a 3D printer sooner than this!
The bottom line
I HIGHLY recommend the NEVA printer, whether you’re a first-time 3D printer or not; the NEVA creates easy and high-quality prints and at a budget cost, too. I have to admit, it was pretty amazing that I could literally just head to my printer and make DVa’s gun when they announced her new skin, instead of having to purchase something on etsy. Plus, I’ve printed all kinds of non-cosplay items already too, like a stand for my PS4! The possibilities are endless,
I’m so excited to use this printer more and see what kinds of cool cosplay accessories I can create! If you’ve ever thought about 3D printing…the NEVA is right for you. Be sure to check out their website!