Sovol extends its 3D printer range with this new 3D printer, the SV04! It is a dual extruder IDEX type 3D printer with a printing area of 300x300x400mm
This brand has been around for almost 3 years now, of Chinese origin, I had the chance to test the whole range of this brand, from the SV01 to now the SV04. I really appreciate this brand, which really listens to its community, and comes out with new products that listen to its customers
This SV04 is a dual extruder IDEX printer, direct competitor of the Tenlog TL-D3 Pro and JGMaker Artist D (which I also tested). It has the advantage of being equipped with a 3D Touch sensor to facilitate the adjustment of the plate.
Technical characteristics of the Sovol SV04
– 300x300x400mm printing surface
– 3D Touch self-levelling sensor
– 32bits motherboard (silent drivers TMC2209)
– Touch screen
– Double motor for the Z axis
– Flexible metal magnetic plate (with buildtak surface)
– Double direct drive extruders
– Double end of filament detector
This SV04 has some interesting features, with a silent motherboard (Creality brand), and an auto-levelling sensor that is not found in competing brands, for a head-free adjustment of the plate. Its 300x300x400mm printing area should meet your needs, and its touch screen offers an intuitive interface. Its flexible metal tray with a buildtak surface is also a good solution, to make it easier for you to remove your prints without the risk of scratching the tray with a spatula (or even injuring yourself for the more clumsy ones).
What is an IDEX system and its advantages?
You may be looking for a multi-color 3D printing solution, there are different solutions, such as the Sovol SV02 with a double extruder for a single print head (the filament is purged at each change of colour), or the IDEX solution such as the SV04 with 2 independent print heads that can operate each in turn (without purging) but also at the same time to print in mirror mode or clone mode.
The IDEX system is more interesting because it will waste less filament, without having to purge filament at each colour change. Another advantage is that the 2 extruders can work at the same time, and thus print 2 models at the same time (they must be the same model), so if you want to print parts in series, it’s like having 2 printers in 1 !
Unpacking the machine and assembly
The Sovol SV04 is a partially assembled machine, which should take you about 20 minutes to be “ready to print”. The machine is well protected by its packaging and we find the usual accessories such as an SD card (large format), a spatula, keys, 2 small 250g rolls..
The instructions are relatively well detailed, the assembly is within the reach of non-do-it-yourselfers beginning in 3D printing. A few screws to assemble the gantry to its base and you are ready to turn on the machine!
The 1-ply wiring system is quite practical, it’s much more robust than the wiring systems I had encountered on competing machines like tenlog and jgmaker.
Before you start
It should be noted that at the beginning of its life, this SV04 encountered some problems related to its firmware, with some “layer shift” problems, it seems that some versions of Marlin (the basis of the firmware of this SV04) were not optimized for IDEX type printers. Sovol has taken this problem very seriously and has since proposed a firmware update that solves this type of problem
If you order an SV04 now, the firmware is most likely already up to date, but if you have come across a machine from the first series, you will probably have to upgrade!
Don’t panic, the procedure is very simple, just download a “.bin” file on the SOVOL website and copy it on the SD card. When you start the machine, the update will be done automatically
Setting the tray and first print with the Sovol SV04
Before starting your first print, it will be necessary to make a first adjustment of the tray. Even if this machine is equipped with a 3D Touch sensor (similar to a BL Touch), it will still be necessary to find the right setting of the “Z-offset”, a value to be adjusted to print perfectly your first layer and guarantee the grip of your print on the plate. You will have to do this adjustment with the help of a sheet of A4 paper, you must leave the equivalent of a sheet thickness with the nozzle and the plate. I have for example set the Z-Offset to -1.90 for my machine, this value may vary from one machine to another. This Z-Offset corresponds to the value for extruder 1, for the 2nd extruder, you will have to adjust its height using a wheel present on extruder 2
First print with the SV04
Before starting to print, you have to choose the print mode using the printer menu. There are 4 modes available: single mode (with choice of extruder 1 or 2), dual mode for double colour printing, duplicate mode to print a model in duplicate, and a mirror mode to print the model also in duplicate but in reverse mode.
Please note that for the duplication and mirroring modes, you only need to have one model sliced in your printing software, the printer will make the copy by dividing the printing surface in 2.
To be very original, here is my very first print made with the Sovol SV04, a benchy!
Print made with Prusa Slicer, having taken an original profile for Creality CR10, I only changed the shrinkage value, to 1mm this machine being in direct drive.
The rendering is clean for a print, I will do more tests with Cura (software recommended by Sovol) for future prints.
Mirror mode prints with the SV04
Here are a few prints made in mirror mode, the first one is a model present on the SD card provided with the printer, initially this model seems to be intended for flexible filament, I had no more in stock, so I used simple PLA.
The second print was made with Prusa Slicer, with an optimized profile (that I was able to download on the Sovol facebook group), printing with a layer height of 0,15mm, with Geeetech red filament, and Creality black, the rendering is really clean !
Printing in duplication mode with the Sovol SV04
Here is another possible printing mode with an IDEX printer, duplication.
I used Cura this time, the result is also very clean. For this type of printing, you don’t need to put the model twice in your slicing software, the printer will make the copy (this is also the case for the mirror mode). You therefore have a printing surface of 15x30cm available with this mode.
Printing in dual colour mode with the Sovol SV04
The duplication and mirroring modes are relatively easy to use on this IDEX printer, but for the dual colour mode, it will be necessary to make an additional adjustment, the alignment of the 2 print heads for the X and Y axes.
Here is a first test of printing in dual extruder without having made this setting.
We immediately notice a shift on the X axis (there is also a small adjustment of the Z-Offset to be redone). It will therefore be necessary to carry out several print tests in order to find the right setting
After a few tests, here is the result obtained in dual extruder mode, I did not need to adjust the Y value, as I had no offset on this axis. I did however have to set a value of 1.5mm for the X axis value. The final result is really clean!
Here are some other prints made in dual extruder mode.
This IDEX printing mode without a purge tower is really a plus compared to other multi-extrusion systems. The result is also very clean!
To conclude on this SV04
Sovol is for me one of the most reliable brands of 3D printers, quality material, and well thought out machines that meet the expectations of users and easy to use.
This Sovol SV04 also meets these expectations, and among the IDEX machines I have tested so far, it is probably my favourite! Despite some initial problems with the firmware, once the upgrade was done I had no more problems
This 3D printer is suitable for beginners, easy to assemble, intuitive screen interface, you will get the hang of it very quickly. It is a machine that I would recommend without hesitation