The Sovol 3D printer catalog is growing with the SV03, a new Direct Drive 3D printer with a large printing area of 350x350mm, the first of its kind?
You may have already read my test last year on the SV01 which is a direct drive 3D printer, one of my favorite printers but with a relatively small printing area (240x280x300) compared to the Artillery X1 which is also a very popular direct drive 3D printer with its 300x300x400mm printing area.
The SV03 completes the Sovol range but this time with a very large printing area of 350x350x350mm which is equivalent to an Ender 5 plus.
This machine is sold for 379€ on their website Sovol SV03 (Official Store), a relatively interesting price for this size of print, and the options offered with this machine.
Main features of the SV03 :
– Hot plate with “ultrabase” of 350x350mm
– Direct Drive Extruder
– BL Touch auto-leveling sensor
– Silent motherboard with TMC2208
– Belt tensioners for X and Y axis
– Filament end detector
Direct drive 3D printers with such a large printing surface are relatively rare, and it is the only 3D printer of this size that I know of to date (feel free to comment if you know of other printers of the same type).
The direct drive extruder will allow you to print some flexible filaments (TPU for example) in a much simpler way, without any modification.
The machines equipped with the original direct drive are less common, Sovol seems to have specialized on this type of extruder, with the SV01 released in June 2019 and now the SV03.
Other manufacturers such as Artillery with the Sidewinder X1 also offers the same type of printer (with a 300x300mm platen), we will make a small comparison between these 2 machines at the end of the article.
On paper this SV03 seems very promising, I’m impatient to see what it has under the hood …
Unboxing the SV03 and assembling the machine
The package is relatively imposing, it’s a big baby 🙂 The machine is well packed, and partially assembled. Several accessories are provided with the machine, a micro-sd card, spatula, 250g filament, spare nozzle… The pre-installed BL Touch is an official product of Antclabs.
In general the components seem to be of quality.
Concerning the assembly, the instructions are in English, but easy to understand with the help of the different illustrations, the machine is partially assembled in 2 main parts, it will take about ten minutes to assemble it, no need to be a great handyman to assemble this machine.
It will be necessary to follow the following steps:
– assemble the frame with 4 screws
– connect the various cables associated with the motors and limit sensors
– make the bed leveling
Despite the presence of a auto-leveling sensor it is imperative to make a first manual adjustment using a sheet of A4 paper, to adjust the 4 corners of the tray, in order to avoid too large a gap, it is not necessary to be as precise as with a machine without a sensor, the BL Touch will adjust the difference.
Then you will have to find the right Z-offset value, there are several tutorial videos on Youtube about this, it is not very complicated.
First print with the Sovol SV03
I advise you first of all to print the test file provided on the micro-sd card of the machine, in order to make sure that everything works correctly, you are not obliged to print it entirely, but it will already allow you to check if your Z-offset is correct and if you have a good extrusion.
Here is the example file, a 40x40mm cube, it’s very clean, I had a good grip on the plate and the extrusion looks good with no apparent flaws.
Prusa Slicer profile for the Sovol SV03
I have been using Prusa Slicer as my main slicer for several months now, generally I have very good results with basic profiles without too many modifications.
For the SV03, I simply added a Creality Ender3 type profile, by changing the size of the tray and changing the shrinkage in the extruder configuration (1mm instead of 5mm), I did not make any other changes.
Prints made with the Sovol SV03
Here is my first impression made with this profile, with a layer height of 0.20mm, PLA Orange Sunlu filament at 200°C.
The result is really very clean for a first print!
One after the other, this time with a Pikachu, always with a layer height of 0.20mm, it’s also clean, I have some flaws at the front related to the stitching of the diaper change, having forgotten to set it at the back under Prusa Slicer.
Being satisfied with these first prints, I then launch into a very big print, this Deadpool bust, real size, more than 72 hours of printing in 0.20mm, PLA Black filament from the brand Hiprecy.
The photo rendering of the black color is not great, but the print is really very clean, and very solid.
For the next print, we will switch to TPU filament, from the Sovol brand, while waiting for the previous print to cool down I use the tray of my Ender 5 Plus on the SV03, whose dimensions are similar.
I reduced the speed to 30mm/sec for printing this TPU, I didn’t try faster… temperature at 220°C, and 10% filling.
The rendering is really clean! This TPU is easy to print and very flexible.
Here are other prints made with the SV03, I’ll update the gallery when I have more.
A small video if you want to see the printer in action!
So that’s it for the test of this SV03, but you may hesitate to take an Artillery X1, so here is a small comparison, the differences between these 2 machines in terms of features, the difference in sound, and the difference in print quality 🙂
First of all you may have read my article about the Artillery X1 last year, it was a Beta version, but for this comparison I use an Artillery X1 V4 (the last model).
The similar features between the SV03 and the Artillery X1 :
– Silent motherboard
– Direct Drive extruder type titan
– Filament end detector
– Pre-assembled 3D printer
– Double motor for the Z-axis
Extra features for the SV03 :
– Removable/replaceable ultrabase-type tray bigger 350×350 on the SV03 against 300×300 on the Artillery (glued non-replaceable tray)
– Auto-leveling sensor BL Touch on SV03, no sensor on X1
– Belt tensioners for X and Y axis
Extra features for the Artillery Sidewinder X1 :
– Synchronization belt for Z-axis motors
– Color touch screen on the X1 (Ender3 type screen on the SV03)
– Quieter ventilation
– Micro-SD card reader + USB key port on the X1 (only micro-SD reader on the SV03)
Concerning the quieter fans of the Artillery X1, here is a sound measurement between the 2 machines, the difference is noticeable when you are next to the machine, you can’t hear the motors in both cases, the SV03 is however quieter than a Creality CR10 or an Ender3.
Concerning the printing quality, on the left the X1, on the right the SV03, with a profile under Prusa Slicer, in 0.2mm, the printing quality between these 2 machines is similar, we have a slightly brighter effect with this filament on the SV03.
I think that globally these 2 machines are the same, you will have good printing results with these 2 3D printers, we are on the same price range too.
An advantage for the SV03 with its large platen and its original BL Touch, it will also be easier to modify/improve, like adding a belt synchronization system, or a touch screen.
On the X1 adding a BL Touch can be complex because of the cable layers, and for me having the ultrabase tray glued on the X1 is not a good point, this type of tray is a consumable to replace in time, if you have a hard to peel off impression you will not be able to remove the tray to pass it under the cold.
The Sovol SV03 is for me a good machine, easy to handle and perfectly adapted for a beginner, no tinkering to be expected, the printer is ready to use. It’s a big baby, you’ll have to plan some space, but with a 350x350mm surface you’ll have fun!
If I had to make improvements on this machine, I might install reinforcements for the Z axis, like what you find on the CR10v2.
I really liked this machine, even if I’m running out of space it’s a machine that I’m going to keep, it will take the place of the Ender 5 plus 🙂
To buy this machine, I strongly advise you to visit the official Sovol website, in order to get the best after-sales service possible. This machine should also be available via Amazon soon.