Review – Qidi Tech Shadow 5.5 S UV LCD 3D Printer

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Review – Qidi Tech Shadow 5.5 S UV LCD 3D Printer

Qidi Tech Shadow 5.5 S

Dylan Miller @io3dprint

Easy to Setup
Easy to Use
Print Quality
Value For Money
Features

Summary

The Qidi Tech Shadow 5.5 S takes the popular UV LCD 3D printer format and adds a dash of Qidi’s legendary quality and design flair. With CNC machined components and precision dual Z-axis, this machine is a cut above the competition.

Combined with Qidi’s highly-regarded customer service this is a resin 3D printer you can buy with confidence.

4.3
$50.00 OFF

Price excl. shipping / Last update on 2019-11-18 at 19:35 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

I’ve been a fan of Qidi Tech for a number of years. They quietly joined the 3D printer market, releasing high quality enclosed FDM printers at a great price. Their printers always looked a bit industrial, but they feel like it too, with solid build construction a level above some of the more plastic competition. 

Now, Qidi has released its first SLA resin 3D printer; the Shadow 5.5 S is a UV LCD printer, similar in design to the very popular Anycubic Photon. 

It has many headline features that put it ahead of the competition so I’m keen to see if Qidi has managed to produce another 3D printer that beats the competition.

In this review, I’ll give you all the information you need about the new model including some of its features, pros and cons, usability, and additional useful information:

Features 

The Qidi Tech Shadow 5.5 S  comes packed with many useful features. Here is a full breakdown of each of them:

  • 2K resolution LCD screen – The screen is designed to achieve fast and precise curing, thanks to the innovative matrix ultraviolet light. This goes a long way in enhancing print precision and overall quality.
  • Double Z-axis linear rail design – This does a good job of enhancing printing stability and precision.
  • Activated Carbon Filtration – For reduction of odors, there is a dual fan ventilation system combined with activated carbon filtration which is the best filtration medium for ultrafine  particles
  • ChiTuBox slicer Software – This popular software slices faster than many other slicers and creates efficient supports to help you save on print time and resin use, it’s included with the printer. 
  • Sleek design – QIDI Tech has also done a pretty good job on the design and craftsmanship of the Shadow 5.5 S. The unit looks sleeker and more desirable than some of their previous models. 
  • Sturdy construction – Like all Qidi models, it comes with a sturdy and durable design that should deliver reliable service for a long time. 
  • Enviable customer service reputation – QIDI Tech also has a dedicated after-sales service team for Shadow 5.5 S customers. This ensures that any buyers who ran into issues with the printer can get timely fixes through comprehensive email and phone support. Qidi’s technical support is very highly regarded by owners, despite it being from China the staff goes above and beyond to give their customers a good experience.
  • Low odor resin – Qidi has developed its own resin with low odor and improved physical properties.

Pros 

  • Offers excellent print precision compared to other resin 3D printers in its category 
  • Sleek and modern construction with extra durability from CNC machined components for long-lasting service  
  • Easy to set up and use even for a beginner 
  • Smooth operation, with minimal settings required to get fine quality prints 
  • Very good customer service reputation from Qidi Tech

Cons 

  • The Shadow 55. S is fairly new, so there isn’t much of a community around it compared to the Anycubic Photon. 
  • No connectivity options other than USB. 

Specifications 

  • Build Volume:115mmL x 65mmW x 150mmH / 4.52″(L) X 2.55″(W) X 5.9″
  • Projector: 3.5 inch 2560 x 1440 pixel
  • Speed: 20 mm/h
  • Layer Resolution: 0.01 mm to 0.2 mm
  • X/Y Resolution: 0.047 mm
  • Z Resolution: 0.00125 mm
  • Control: 3.5 inch LCD touch screen 
  • Connection: USB pen drive
  • Materials: Resin and Dental resin
  • Package Size: 31cm x 29cm x 61cm when packaged 
  • Printer Weight: 7.3kg (16.1 lbs) with no resin

Unboxing 

QIDI Tech has done well to make sure that the Shadow 5.5 S arrives in one piece, with well-protected foam packaging.  The reviews of buyers we looked at as we wrote this review appear to corroborate this with no damage or missing parts reported.

Excellent packaging may seem like a no brainier when buying a 3D printer but it’s very important. We have heard so many cases where 3D printers are damaged during shipping simply because the packaging was not right. Well, the Shadow 5.5 S takes care of this. The solid packaging ensures you get your printer in one piece.  

QIDI Tech also includes several important accessories in the box as well. Make sure to look out for the print platform, Resin vat, three pairs of disposable gloves, and 5 funnels. 

The printer also comes with a USB Pen drive, a user manual, one extra FEP Film, a power cord, and a screwdriver. 

Before you start using the printer, it is advisable to make sure that you have fully unboxed it. Take a look at all the accessories provided and make sure everything is there. 

Finally, read the user manual before you begin any setup. It helps to complete the job as fast as possible. There are some helpful videos on YouTube that it’s worth watching to help understand the setup process. 

Set up 

The Shadow 5.5 S is not one of the easiest printers to set up but it should take less than 30 minutes to get it up and running. 

The reason why we say this is because we have seen some brands in this category that are shipped already pre-assembled and pre-calibrated, like the Epax SQ1. This allows you. to print straight out of the box. But this should not be a deal-breaker, if anything, leveling the build plate on this unit is very easy. 

QIDI Tech also gives you a very comprehensive user manual that guides you on a step by step basis.  For the best result, try and level the printer using a bubble level. 

This technique seems to be working for most users out there. But in case you ran into issues setting up the printer, no need to worry. 

Unlike many resin 3D printers in this price range, QIDI Tech also includes a bottle of resin in the package to ensure you can start printing right away. 

Loading the resin into the printer is also easy. Simply fill up the resin vat to maximum capacity, close the lid and you are done. 

You are given a pair of disposable nitrile gloves. Always wear them when handling the resin as it can cause irritation, especially if this is your first time buying a resin-based printer. Once the resin is loaded, you can start printing your test prints and see how everything goes. 

In use  

The Shadow 5.5 S comes supplied with ChiTuBox slicing software. ChiTuBox is very fast and helps you save time and resin due to its efficient support generation. 

The printer also offers a very smooth operation. Once the setup is done, there isn’t a lot else left. Just load in the resin, select your test print and you are done. All the controls on the unit are also displayed clearly. They are properly labeled as well to ensure you can easily find what you are looking for in no time. 

We also loved that QIDI Tech has made some improvements to the resin to get rid of the odor. This makes the experience using this printer quite satisfying.. 

The user interface on the touch screen is also something anyone can work out. It’s so simple. Even an average user who is just getting started with 3D printers will be able to work it out quickly.

Print Quality

Just like a majority of resin-based 3D printers in the market, the Shadow 5.5 S provides incredibly impressive detailed print quality. 

You will notice that printed objects feature very fine detailing. Besides, the unit also comes with a layer resolution of 0.01 mm to 0.2 m, which is slightly better compared to many other models in this price range. 

The general consensus from owners of three Shadow 5.5 S is that the print quality is beyond their expectations. 

Customer Service 

QIDI Tech has an enviable reputation in the 3D printer community for fantastic and protective customer service.

The company says that it has comprehensive email and phone support, and looking at the reviews of people who have tried it, it looks like a pretty solid support system. 

Qidis notes that it has a dedicated team designed to handle any customer queries related to the Shadow 5.5.  People who have issues with the printer can get possible fixes in a matter of hours through email.

Verdict 

There are so many budget resin 3D printers available now that come in at the same price point as the Shadow 5.5 S. But there is no doubt that this unit has a lot to offer. 

From high-end 3D printing specs to a sleek more modern design, the Shadow 5.5 S seems to have it all. Even the noise levels are relatively low compared to other similar printers.

QIDI Tech has done very well to get rid of the odor in the resin too.  Even though the Shadow 5.5 S may not be the ultimate printer for industrial prototyping, it is surely a great choice for everyday printing needs such as gaming miniatures, architectural models, and jewelry. 

Affordable resin 3D printers are becoming more common these days. However, the Qidi Tech Shadow 5.5 S is one of the least expensive options and it comes with so many high-end features. With its impressive construction and the comfort of Qidi’s great customer service, you can buy the Shadow 5.5 S with confidence. You will most likely love it!

-Dylan

FAQs

How long does it take to set up the Qidi Tech Shadow 5.5 S 3D Printer?

Well, it depends on whether you have any experience setting up these printers. The user manual is pretty explanatory though. Even a newbie can be able to set up the unit in about 15 minutes.

What types of objects should I print with my Qidi Tech Shadow 5.5 S 3D Printer?

The Qidi Tech Shadow 5.5 S 3D Printer features some advanced industrial-grade precision printing capabilities which make it perfect for printing highly detailed models. You can print jewelry, gaming figurines, and any other everyday objects. 

Is the resin included in the package?

Yes, the manufacturer has included a single bottle of resin in the package to ensure you can start printing right away.

Where can I get refills for the activated charcoal filters?

You can buy sachets of activated charcoal on Amazon

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