Introduction to the Dremel 3D45
For the past month or so we’ve been testing the new Dremel 3D45 3D printer. Dremel is a well-established brand in the USA for makers of all kinds and is renowned for its excellent customer support. In Australia, however, Dremel is currently more known for its rotary tools.
Back in 2015, Dremel made a little splash into the 3D printing scene in Australia, but there has been little activity from Dremel in Australia since then until now. The 3D45 3D printer is Dremel’s new juggernaut, made to enter the Australian market in the same space as higher-end desktop 3D printers like those made by Makerbot, Afinia and Flashforge.
What you need to know about the Dremel 3D45
- Price: $3,095 AUD in Australia or $1,799 USD in the USA.
- Process: Fused Deposition Modelling
- Build Volume: 255 x 155 x 170 mm
- Heated bed: Yes
- Particle Filter: Yes
- Assisted levelling is quick and easy.
- Responsive and detailed touchscreen.
- Ethernet port for extremely simple network connection.
- You can also connect to the printer via Wifi – again, this makes it incredibly easy to use.
- Built-in camera used to monitor prints from your internet browser.
- With a rigid glass build platform, it can be difficult to remove prints.
- Print time estimates can be incorrect by up to two hours.
- Camera feed is jerky and sometimes freezes.
- Wifi connection is only possible through the cloud: there is no local option.
- Only Dremel brand filament rolls fit in this printer.
- It’s a little noiser than we would have expected.
How Is the Dremel 3D45 To Use?
The Dremel 3D45 is a fairly large printer. There are some great features and some that could use a revision or two. It can be a little tricky for beginners to print with so it is probably better suited to experienced users.
One of the great features is the assisted bed levelling, which only uses two thumbscrews at the front. This makes it really quick and easy!
On the negative side, the build surface attached to the 3D printer bed is made of glass and you need to apply a generous amount of glue to it for prints to stick properly. Once finished, the prints themselves can be hard to remove. The printer comes with an ultra sharp spatula and you’ll need to wedge it under the prints to remove them. I actually ended up damaging some of the prints while trying to remove them.
Loading of the filament is easy as you’re given clear, graphical instructions on the LCD touchscreen. However, the filament holder only fits Dremel brand filament. If you’d like to use a third-party filament, you’ll need to get or fashion a filament holder to sit on the side of the printer (as is the case with similar printers). There will be a rather large hole left in the side if you do this.
Finally, the Dremel 3D45 can be added to an internet network via ethernet or Wifi so it can also be used via the Dremel Print Cloud. The Dremel Cloud is web-based and user-friendly. One neat feature of the Dremel Cloud is that it automatically emails you when a print finishes and also records a timelapse of the printing process for you.
How Did the Dremel 3D45 Print?
There are two parts to this section. The first of which is how the pre-loaded models printed. These are designed to be the ‘show-off’ files that you print when you first set up the printer to show what the printer can do. The files themselves produced pretty standard results. Below you can see a frog and a mechanic girl. The frog was printed with the included ECO-ABS filament, and the Mechanic Girl was printed with Flashforge White PLA.
Next, I attempted to send a print from the Dremel Cloud. Using the Dremel Cloud slicer, I sent two sample prints. One was our famous trophy, and another was our submarine design. As you can see below, these came out really well! The trophy is just about perfect, apart from a little bit of drooping on the centre pointed section and the submarine was equally as excellent, despite some very obvious cooling issues on the underside of the model. Support removal was also pleasantly simple.
Overall, I’m happy with the print quality. The issues with print quality that are present are fairly normal across most printer brands and models. The prints I sent from the Dremel Cloud were left at ‘default’ settings, and I didn’t change anything. Print speed is also slow on default settings, with the submarine taking a little over 11 hours, and the trophy taking 8 hours and 38 minutes.
Dremel 3D45 – The Verdict
The integration to the Dremel Cloud works really well, and if you are able to connect the 3D printer to Wifi or ethernet, you’ll have a blast with this printer.
Cost-wise, this printer is more expensive than entry-level printers suitable for schools. However, in the USA, people buy this printer partly because of the excellent customer support that Dremel is famous for. We’re hoping that this level of customer support is the same for Dremel’s Australian customers. If Dremel’s Australian customer support matches the quality of support offered to US customers, then this 3D printer is reasonably priced.
For use in an elementary or primary school, I’d consider getting some sort of removable build surface so you don’t have to worry about trying to remove prints from a glass build surface with the spatula.
This printer meets all Department for Education (SA) requirements as of March 2019.
As usual, we will keep this review updated as we learn more about the printer.
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Luke Tansell is Makers Empire’s Hardware Expert. He has a Bachelor of Industrial Design from the University of Adelaide and has also volunteered at Fab Lab Adelaide for many years. Luke has been using 3D printing as an industrial design tool for many years. He enjoys sharing his 3D printing journey via the videos he makes for Makers Empire and his own Youtube channel. He believes 3D printing is a technology that will go far and unlock doors we never knew were there, and he is stoked to be at the forefront, doing what he loves.