Review: Nova Elfin

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Review: Nova Elfin – Resin 3D Printing on a Budget

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Price excl. shipping / Last update on 2020-04-04 at 08:15 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Entry-level resin 3D printers have become the latest craze in 3D printing, making it possible for professional and amateur creators alike to bring their most detailed models to life using advanced resin curing technologies that just a few years ago were prohibitively expensive.

The Nova Elfin is the latest resin 3D printer in this category. Featuring a user-friendly design and an array of smart features, the Nova Elfin is quickly becoming one of the most popular entry-level 3D printers on the market. It comes with a large touch screen display and 8 GB of internal storage among a host of other excellent features.

In this review, I will focus entirely on what the Nova Elfin has to offer. I’ll be looking at the specs of these products, some of its standout features, its pros, and cons, and give you some additional information that may help you benefit fully from what ithas to offer.

Specifications

  • Build Plate: 130 mm x 70 mm x 150 mm
  • Layer Height: 0.025 – 0.1 mm
  • Printing Speed: 30 – 40 mm per hour
  • Connection: Wi-Fi, USD, Wired to Pc
  • Printing Precision: 50 X 50 um
  • Operating System: Android
  • Control: 4.3 Inch interactive LCD touchscreen display
  • Slicer: NovaMake (Available for Mac OSX and Windows 7 and above)
  • Processor: Quad-core Cortex A7 1.5 GB
  • Internal Memory: 8 GB
  • RAM: 1 GB
  • Filament Material: Resin
  • Printer Size: 10.24 x 10.63 x 16.54 inches
  • Printer Weight: 7.3 Kilograms, 8.9 Kilograms when fully packaged

Features

The Nova Elfin also comes loaded with some excellent features. Here are several highlights that I thought it worth highlighting for you.

  • The printer is loaded with proprietary NovaMake slicer software. The software feels easier to use and according to the manufacturer, it is also 50% faster compared to average slicer software solutions from third-party developers.
  • The Nova Elfin comes already leveled from the factory. This makes it so easy to set up especially for beginners. You just need to attach the build plate and the resin vat to begin printing.
  • The unit also features an interactive 4.3-inch touchscreen display for all your controls.  This high-resolution capacitive touchscreen is highly responsive and so easy to use as well.
  • The Nova Elfin also comes with a permanently fastened Z-axis. The axis is fastened with the printer’s top frame. This ensures that it remains in a permanent vertical position, which in turn helps to enhance print quality or accuracy.
  • The printer also offers a long-lasting and more durable uniform UV light source. This enhances the overall solidification process of the resin without taking too much power.
  • The Nova Elfin is also designed with a smart cooling system that features automatic temperature control. The feature detects temperature build-up on the printer and adjusts the cooling fan accordingly. This delivers efficient cooling which saves you a lot of power.
  • The printer offers a variety of connectivity options including USB and Wi-Fi. You can also wire the printer directly to your PC or utilize the 8GB in internal storage for your designs.
  • The Nova Elfin is made using a sturdy metal frame that adds to overall stability. It’s a durable printer as well that will deliver excellent service for a long time.

Pros

  • You get multiple connectivity options including Wi-Fi, USB, and wired connections
  • The proprietary NovaMake slicer software from the manufacturer is easy to operate for most users and relatively faster too
  • Bed leveling is done before the product is shipped to you, reducing the setup time for the printer
  • The printer is built with a sturdy and solid frame that will last for ages

Cons

  • Some users have had issues getting customer support from the manufacturer while others have found support to be good. This seems to indicate support is patchy, possibly not helped by time zone differences.
  • The touchscreen pictures used in the instruction manuals are not the same on the real printer which can make learning how to use the printer trickier than it should be. However, there are plenty of useful online guides, videos and community help.
  • The resin vat does not have any minimum or maximum resin quantity specifications. You’ll just have to guess the amount that works before you learn how much is best through practice.

Unboxing and Box Contents

The Nova Elfin comes in solid and sturdy packaging with protective foam inside the box. Overall, the printer weighs close to 9 kilograms when fully packaged. There are several accessories too included by the manufacturer inside the box. First, you will get a complete kit with all the tools you need to operate the printer.

The kit includes a pair of Tweezers, a spatula, a single funnel, a spray bottle, and a filter. You will also get one power adapter, a power cable, and 4 pairs of gloves to handle the resin. 

The manufacturer also gives you one U-Disk and a handy set of FEP film. Don’t also forget to check out the user manual inside the box.

The manual is available in different languages too. Since you will need to attach the build plate before using the printer, you will also notice that it is included separately inside the box as well.

Before you set up the Nova Elfin, remove everything inside the packaging and ensure you are not missing anything.

Setup

Setting up the Nova Elfin is relatively easier compared to many other 3D printers in its category. This is because the bed leveling is done at the factory. In essence, the printer is shipped when the bed is fully leveled.

The only thing you need to do is to attach the build plate included in the package and the resin vat.

There is also a protective film between the resin vat and the 2K screen on the printer. You must remove the film before you start using the printer. From the reviews we have seen, a lot of people have had an easy time setting up the printer so it shouldn’t be a problem even for a beginner.

Software

The Nova Elfin comes with proprietary NovaMake slicing software from the manufacturer. Based on user reviews, the slicer seems to be easier to use for most people.

The manufacturer also notes that the NovaMake slicer is 50% faster compared to traditional slicer software solutions from third-party developers.

The slicer is compatible with Mac OSX and Windows 7 and above. The Nova Elfin also runs on an Android-based system. According to the manufacturer, this gives the printer more stability and easy integration with additional new features.  

In Use

The Nova Elfin is an easy to use 3D printer that provides very good print quality. As you’d expect from a resin 3D printer, the print quality is incredible, and for printing detailed models such as gaming miniatures it is a match made in heaven!

Many users have noted that they were very impressed by their ability to print flawless models using the Elfin.

The slicer software, in particular, seems to be earning the plaudits of many users. According to the reviews, it is easy to use and relatively fast as well. We also noted that some users felt that the printing accuracy of the Nova Elfinwas much better compared to FDM printers.

Customer Service

Well, the customer support service offered by the manufacturer is somewhat mixed, to be honest. First of all, the manufacturer claims to have a comprehensive customer support team that responds to user queries within 24 hours. However, looking at the reviews of customers on Amazon, it doesn’t seem like swift customer support has been the experience of everyone.

While we have seen some reviews where customers claim they were able to get quick support from the manufacturer, some users weren’t so lucky. One user even claimed in their review that they were only able to get automated email responses from the manufacturer even after sending over five emails regarding an issue they had with the printer.

Nonetheless, in case you find it hard to secure the help you need from Nova’s support, there are dozens of YouTube tutorial videos that may be of help. We also loved the user guide provided by the manufacturer. It is so easy to use and may have invaluable information to help you fix general printer issues.

Conclusion

The Nova Elfin is an excellent entry-level 3D printer. Its user-friendly design, quick set up, and easy operation make it an ideal pick for beginner creators. However, the printer may also be a great choice for a professional creator as well.

The Elfin’s overall print quality makes it an ideal choice for 3D modeling, prototyping, and educational needs. The Nova Elfin also features an interactive touch screen display. The fast and easy to use proprietary slicer from the manufacturer is also a huge plus. We also loved that the printer is shipped already leveled. You just need to attach the print bed and the resin vat to start using it. 

But despite these amazing benefits, the Nova Elfin also has a few shortcomings. First, we could not verify how good the customer support is. Even though the manufacturer says that its team deals with customer queries within 24 hours, we found that the experiences of users in this varied a lot. Additionally, there is some confusion in the user manual. The pictures of the touchscreen used in the manual are not the same as the ones on the printer. Some users find this a little confusing.

Nonetheless, these are all minor shortcomings. If you are looking for a quality printer that features a sturdy design and an array of top of the line features, then the Nova Elfin is highly recommended. The unit will deliver excellent value for money.

-Dylan

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