Review: Tiertime Cetus MK3 Standard 3D Printer

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Review: Tiertime Cetus MK3 Standard 3D Printer

The Tiertime Cetus MK3 is a highly compact yet well-engineered 3D printer that has clearly been made to last. Unlike most 3D printers, the Cetus is built around a modular framework that you can expand with upgrades as you get more experienced, these upgrades include a heated bed and auto-calibration probe.

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If you prefer to buy the printer with all the extras already fitted, then the Extended model is available for a little more money with every upgrade pre-fitted.

In this review, I’ll show you exactly what the Cetus has to offer and help you decide as to whether it’s the right 3D printer for you.

The technology needed to do 3D printing has evolved massively over the last two or three decades. 3D printers are now available in many different sizes and prices. From professional creators to hobbyists who love to bring ideas to reality, there is a printer out there to cater to their needs. 

Well, for those of you looking for an entry-level 3D printer, the Cetus MK3 is probably one of the best options. Featuring a simple yet very well constructed design and an affordable price point, the printer is perfectly suited for beginners or professional creators with basic 3D printing needs.

Specifications

  • Print Technology: Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF)
  • Build volume: 7” x 11” x 7”
  • Layer Resolution: 50 Microns
  • Print Speed: 100 mm/second
  • Nozzle Diameter: 0.2 mm, 0.4 mm, and 0.6 mm
  • Filament Diameter: 1.75 mm
  • Filament Type: PLA, PET, PETG, TPE, PETG and others
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi, USB, and USB
  • Weight 6 Kgs
  • Supported OS: Windows 7 and later, MacOS, iOS.

Features

The Cetus MK3 Extended 3D Printer also comes loaded with several high-end features, a huge plus when you consider the price. Here are some of the most notable highlights:

  • The Cetus MK3 offers outstanding precision. It features stainless steel linear rails that enhance overall stability and accuracy.
  • The printer also comes with a quality direct drive extruder that features a compact construction. The extruder is well-tested in the market and adds excellent value to the printer itself.
  • The unit is constructed using high quality and durable parts that will last for years with very little maintenance.
  • You will also get three ready to use nozzle options to cater to your different needs. There is a 0.2 mm Nozzle for finely detailed printing, a 0.6 mm one for structural parts, and a 0.4 mm option for all the general-purpose printing needs you may have.
  • The Cetus MK3 is also very versatile. It can support a wide range of filament materials including PLA, Nylon, ABS, PETG, TPU, and others.
  • The Cetus MK3 also comes with a compact modular design that takes a very small footprint. It’s so easy to maintain and use the printer as well.
  • You will also get versatile connectivity options. The Cetus MK3 can connect via WI-Fi for remote printing or through a USB disk.
  • The Cetus MK3 is also capable of printing different parts in one single run. Each part will be printed using its parameters, at the same time, without affecting the final print quality.
  • The Cetus MK3 also features a special coating on the build plate that makes it easier to remove the object after printing. The surface also offers excellent adhesion for PLA, PETG, TPU, and other types of filament.
  • You will also love the 9-point matrix leveling feature that allows you to divide the print platform into nine different regions before leveling. This will enhance accuracy in bed leveling.

Pros

  • Modular and compact design that will require only a little desk or countertop space.
  • It offers excellent precision printing compared to other 3D printers in its category.
  • Constructed using high quality and durable components that will last for a long time.
  • Modular design allows you to upgrade features such as a heated bed and auto-calibration in the future.
  • You get an easy to follow Quick Start Guide from the manufacturer to help you set up the unit as fast as possible.
  • You also get three different nozzles to cater for different printing needs from fast structural models to detailed prints.

Cons

  • Some users complained that it took a while to get a response from the customer support services.
  • If you want to print ABS you’ll need an enclosure.
  • Does not have an interface and so it may be relatively harder to use for people who are not used to such printers

Unboxing and Box Contents

The Cetus MK3 arrives in very good protective packaging. The entire unit weighs about 12 pounds when fully packed in the box. The box itself is also not that huge, measuring 13.1 x 13 x 9.4 inches. Unpacking the printer is pretty easy. There are several accessories included inside the package including three rolls of filament and three different nozzles in there.

The manufacturer also includes a power cable and an adapter. Screws and tools to set up the printer are also included in the box. There is also a spatula, a USB cable, and the print bed which will be attached to the printer before first-time use. You will also get a Quick Start guide in there to help you with printer setup and operation.

Set-Up

Setting up the Cetus MK3 is an easy job. From the reviews I have seen on Amazon, most people did not have any issues assembling the unit for first-time use either. The quick start guide provided as part of the package is also a helpful addition. You get access to a step by step guide on how to put together different printer elements. All the tools you will need to assemble the printer are also included in the box.

The printer is partly assembled and already pre-calibrated at the factory. You will only need to attach a few additional parts including the nozzles and the print bed. The manufacturer describes the printer as a plug and play model, and it seems this claim has been backed by dozens of reviews on Amazon. Besides, once you level the bed, you won’t need to do it again unless you change the nozzle. This kind of ease when it comes to operation is a big plus for new users.

Software

The Cetus MK3 operates using proprietary software developed by the manufacturer called UP Studio. Once the unit is fully set up, you will need to go to the Cetus website to download the software.  The site for the software download is also included in the QuickStart guide provided in the box. 

The software includes automatic support generation and a nice zone leveling system that ensures the bed is perfectly flat for reliable printing.

You will not be able to connect the printer through Wi-Fi without the software so make sure you get it as soon as possible. The software is simple to use and very intuitive.

In Use

Before using the printer, make sure the print bed is aligned to the build platform. The included Cetus software will assist with this. In case you run into issues aligning the print bed, go back to the QuickStart guide for reference. You may also check out YouTube videos for a more hands-on guide.

You will also notice that the Cetus MK3 comes with three different nozzles. You will need to decide which nozzles are perfectly suited for your printing needs and attach them at that given moment.  A huge section of reviews on Amazon from users who have purchased the printer shows that overall print quality is very good too.

Customer Service

Tiertime claims it has a comprehensive support team offering assistance to customers and this is born out by the amount of positive comments owners leave about them. Some users have even reported being sent a completely complimentary replacement 3D printer when theirs has failed even after months of use. Overall, Cetus seems prepared to go the extra mile to keep their customers happy and ensure they keep coming back, which is great to see.

Conclusion

The Cetus MK3 is built purely for functionality. It does not have any fancy aesthetics such as plastic covers, LEDs, or even an LCD screen! But the industrial-looking unit surely is designed to do its job with reliability and longevity in mind.

I love that the print quality is so good. Set up and assembly is also very straightforward. Most users take less than 30 minutes to get the printer ready for first-time use. The printer may not have an interface on it but can easily be controlled using a digital interface once it’s connected to the Wi-Fi.

The Cetus MK3 is a very compact printer. For people limited by countertop space, this would be the unit to go for.

If you prefer a heated bed for your 3D printing needs, you will also need to buy additional accessories to make the Cetus MK3 work.

The Cetus MK3 is a solid option for most 3D printing needs. It has so much to offer, especially when you consider its very affordable price.

If you’re after a machine that is built to get the job done reliably and repeatedly without the sleek design of its competitors then I can wholeheartedly recommend the Cetus MK3.

-Dylan

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