I was lucky a few weeks ago to receive a new 3D printer, the SV06, the newest printer from Chinese manufacturer Sovol, a test I had to keep confidential until today. So what is this printer worth?
Sovol presented me their new machine project a few months ago, a new design inspired by higher end machines, with components entirely developed by their engineers (no more Creality motherboards and components), with the aim of offering a very affordable machine
I found the concept interesting and was excited to test this new machine. I received the machine at the beginning of September, so I had to test this printer discreetly, as a Beta tester, in order to give them feedback, point out any problems encountered, and make suggestions for improvements
Note that the printer I received may be slightly different from the final version, we will see at the end of this test the improvements already planned for the machine that you could be strongly tempted to order!
Before going further in this test, let’s talk about the price of the printer and its availability. The official release of the SV06 is announced for October 10th (that is tomorrow if you are reading this article on the day of its publication), with initially 200 units available for pre-order at a price of $199 (about €205). The machines will be shipped to Sovol’s various warehouses (American, European…), and will therefore be shipped from a warehouse in your area, so no shipping from China, and no additional customs fees to expect.
Once this first batch of 200 units is sold out, the price will go to $239 for the next 500 units, and then to $299, excluding the promotional price.
The pre-order price of $199 is therefore very attractive, for this Ender 3 like 3D printer. By the way, is it really an Ender 3 like?
The Sovol SV06, has finally from the Ender 3, only the price… that is to say a price of entry-level, but on the technical sheet, we can quickly see that the SV06 is much more high-end than an Ender 3, we could almost talk about a Prusa MK3 like… and yes indeed, a much more high-end machine!
SV06 technical specifications
- Printing area 220x220x250mm
- Direct drive extruder + full metal hotend (printing up to 300°C)
- Silent 32 bits Sovol motherboard with TMC2209 sensorless drivers
- Inductive self-levelling sensor
- Flexible metal tray with textured PEI surface
- X/Y/Z axis guide on rod, with dual motor for Z axis
- Belt tensioner on X and Y axis
- Resumption of printing in the event of a break
The SV06 is a direct drive 3D printer with a completely redesigned all metal planetary extruder, with a higher drive ratio and a lighter motor, offering greater extrusion accuracy.
Big news on this SV06, Sovol has chosen to equip this machine with a rod guide like the original Prusa, unlike the other Sovol machines which are in v-slot guide, no eccentric to adjust on this machine, nor wheel to replace on the long term
For the self-levelling sensor, we have an inductive sensor, which strongly resembles a PINDA probe equipping the original Prusa MK3, we will see during this test the effectiveness of this sensor, which will however only work with metal plates.
No limit switch end-stop for the X and Y axis, this SV06 will detect the end of travel in “sensorless”, a feature also found on the Prusa Originale.
Unboxing and assembly of the SV06
Please note that the packaging of the final version for the SV06 has been optimized since the beta version, so the size of your package may be different.
When unpacking the SV06, we find a partially assembled 3D printer, an assembly manual with the usual accessories. At first sight, the machine looks relatively simple to assemble, you don’t need to be a great handyman to assemble it!
For the assembly, a few screws to fix the 2 main parts of the structure, the direct drive extruder to fix on the X axis carriage, and some cables to connect, and you will be ready to print! For me it took 12min to assemble the SV06, it was really simple, even if you are a beginner in 3D printing you should easily find your way.
Unlike the other Sovol machines, all the electronics and power supply are externalized on the sides of the printer (just like the Prusa Original)
First print with the Sovol SV06
Before starting your first print, it will be necessary to launch the calibration of the machine, it will be necessary to launch the automatic alignment of the Z axis (option “Auto-Z align”), which will make it possible to make the carriage and the extruder parallel to the buildplate, and to synchronize the 2 motors of the Z axis. Then it will be necessary to launch the auto-levelling of the plate (option “Level Bed”), while finishing by the adjustment of Z-offset, the procedure should take 2 minutes, all is well explained on the user manual.
Once these settings are completed, it is strongly advised to run the test model provided on the micro-SD card supplied with the machine, this will ensure that the printer is working properly, about 2 hours of printing for this print.
The result is really very satisfactory, I had a good grip on the plate, and no visible defects on this model, it’s a good start for this test.
Using Prusa Slicer with the SV06
As the printer is not yet officially released, there is of course no official profile available on Cura, or any other Slicer (Sovol provides a Cura profile on the micro SD card), having a preference for Prusa Slicer, I therefore performed my tests under this Slicer. I started with a “beta” profile for the Creality Ender 3 S1, being a machine relatively close to this SV06 (direct drive, with the same printing surface).
Very good first layer, printing with a layer height of 0.16mm, with a very good final rendering, so I will be able to keep this default profile without any adjustment for the rest of my test.
Other impressions with the Sovol SV06
In order to test the good grip on the whole board, here is a print of an articulated snake, with Rainbow PLA from Eryone. Printed with a layer height of 0.16mm, very satisfactory result.
For the next part of the test, a Pikachu printed with PLA+ from Sunlu, with a small area of support at the back, the result is really good, with a very smooth surface, I had no difficulty in removing the supports.
The next print, unfortunately incomplete, I was a little too optimistic about the amount of filament left in my spool… and I had no more spool of white PLA to continue with this print. However, the result was perfect!
So I used the same model again, this time with red galaxy filament from Eryone, with a layer height of 0.20mm, one of my favourite prints made with the SV06.
For the next step, I keep this spool, to print a small deadpool bust also in 0,20mm, a very good rendering.
After testing PLA, it is now time to try other materials, so here is a first print with PETG (from Sunlu), a little bit of stringing on this print, but the result is still satisfactory for a first print with a default profile (printing at 245°C).
Finally, to finish these printing tests, a TPU print (Sovol brand), after a printing failure with a temperature that was apparently too low (220°C), I was finally able to print this star at 250°C by reducing the speed to 30mm/sec. Very good first layer and also good final result.
Cod.e : SV063DST
To conclude, what can we say about this SV06?
Thanks to Sovol for letting me test this beta version before the official release. This is not the first time a manufacturer has sent me a beta printer, and it doesn’t always go well… I was waiting impatiently for this SV06, hoping not to encounter too many problems, and finally I was pleasantly surprised by this machine.
Its strong point? First of all its price, at 199$ for the first 200 units in pre-order, this price is really very aggressive, when you look at the technical sheet of this machine, which could be compared to the new Ender 3 S1 (at 350€), or even to a Prusa MK3 (at more than 800€), if you have the opportunity to pre-order it, you can go without hesitation!
Very reliable 3D printer, especially for a beta version, a very satisfactory printing quality
Its weak points? I found only one, the sheathing used for the platter cable, which tends to touch the rear part of the chassis and make a little rubbing noise, Sovol told me they have already solved this problem, by using another type of sheathing
Beware, there might be a very high demand, sale starts on October 10th, from 6pm (French time)