Introduction – Sindoh Company Background
In this post, I review Sindoh’s DP 200 3D printer. At a price of $1299.00 it competes directly with the Replicator Mini+ offered by MakerBot.
Sindoh (pronounced shin-dow) 3D Printer is a division of Sindoh Corporation which was established in 1960 and introduced the 1st copiers and fax machines into Korea.
Sindoh Headquarters are based in Seoul, South Korea and the company employs approximately 3600 employees at plants and offices in Asan, Korea; Qingdao, China; and Hanoi, Vietnam.
3D printers are manufactured at their Qingdao, China facility.
DP 200 Technical Specifications
Print Technology (aka ‘Modality’) Fused Deposition Modeling
Print Head Single nozzle
Nozzle Diameter 0.4mm
Max Build size (WxDxH)200 x 200 x 185mm (7.9”x7.9”x7.3”)
Material PLA, ABS
Connectivity USB Flash Drive, Ethernet, WiFi, USB Cable
Layer Thickness 0.05 ~ 0.4 mm
Print Speed 40mm/s recommended – 200mm/s max
Filament Diameter 1.75mm
Size (W×D×H)421 × 433 × 439mm (16.5”x17”x17”)
User Interface 5” color touch screen
Print Bed Heated; Aluminum
Leveling Auto leveling measurement + manual thumb screw adjustment
Auto-loading Cartridge Automatically loads filament into nozzle
LED Lamp For internal lighting and print monitoring
Monitoring Camera Check print status remotely with laptop or smartphone via WiFi connection
Operating System Windows 7 or above / Mac OSX 10.10 above
Software Sindoh slicer supporting .stl, .ply and .obj file formats
Note Standard VGA driver on operating system, or a graphics card doesn’t support OpenGL 2.0, may cause unknown error in 3DWOX Desktop.
The video below, provided by Sindoh, provides a good overview of the DP 200.
The DP 200 is designed for ease of use and will appeal to home, business or school users that do not want to ‘tinker’ with the printer to get it up and running. It’s essentially designed to print components right out of the box.
A few of the features that I like include:
Magnetically mounted extruder nozzle. This make for easy removal and replacement.
Auto filament loading. You simply install the filament cartridge and it automatically loads into the extruder. This functionality will be especially helpful for school users but it requires Sindoh’s proprietary filament cartridge.
Larger build volume compared to other printers in this price range.
Heated bed which allows for printing ABS material in addition to PLA material.
PLA is a perfectly fine material for test prints and objects that will not be subject to a lot of wear and tear. The material, being derived from plant-based materials, is also environmentally friendly. However, if you want to print objects that have some toughness, then you will need ABS material which requires a heated bed.
The heated bed could be a safety issue for younger users so you may want to factor this in if you are considering this printer for school use.
5″ color screen with intuitive tap, swipe and scroll user interface functions just like a smartphone.
Wide range of connectivity options including USB flash, USB cable, Wi-Fi and Ethernet.
LED lamp located within the build compartment. A well lit build compartment is essential for monitoring your builds.
Print Monitoring via a camera mounted within the build chamber. The DP 200 enables remote, real time monitoring of your builds and, through an Ethernet connection, users can monitor multiple printers from a single computer. It can take hours to fabricate larger objects and the remote monitoring feature will allow users to carry on with their lives while their print jobs finish. The multi-printer monitoring will be useful for both school and business users that may have more than one printer running at a time.
Assisted Bed Leveling which automatically checks the orientation of the print bed. Large thumb screws at the front edge of the bed can be used to manually adjust bed orientation based on feedback from the user interface screen.
1 year warranty
Easy to read user manual. This may not seem like a stand out feature but manuals for printers from other Asian manufactures are not necessarily easy to understand.
The Sindoh website contains video tutorials and a troubleshooting FAQ page with answers to 50 questions.
Replacement nozzles, print beds, filament and filament cartridge cases for all of Sindoh’s printer models are available on their website with links to Amazon.
Sindoh is also a Solidworks Certified Solutions Partner and offers an add-in feature that Solidworks CAD users can install and use to print directly to the DP200 without first having to translate your 3D model file into a printer-understandable g-code file.
The printer also comes packed in a wooden shipping crate! Though the shipping crate is not a printer feature per se it does highlight a certain commitment to customer satisfaction and complements the overall customer experience.
Some Noted Drawbacks
While I really like the auto filament loading, this function only works with Sindoh’s custom filament cartridges with 0.5 or 0.7 kg filament rolls. Sindoh’s filament rolls are less than half the size conventional 1.5 kg filament rolls commonly available. Users are paying for the convenience of auto filament loading by having to buy replacement filament more frequently.
Some have equated Sindoh’s proprietary filament spools to corporate greed and while revenue from replacement filament spools certainly ads to the company’s coffers, it also provides funding for improvements to their 3D printer product line. All businesses need a steady source of income to stay alive and proprietary filament spools is one way the Sindoh has chosen to fund its operations.
Beyond the original purchase of the printer, replacement filament costs are the next largest expenditure for the typical home user. You will want to consider if the auto load feature is worth the extra cost especially if you plan on using your printer on a daily basis.
In my opinion, at this price point, the single extruder head is a slight drawback as there are less expensive printers available with dual nozzles. A dual extruder configuration provides for multi-color, multi-material prints not possible with a single extruder.
The assisted bed leveling feature is stand out but it could be improved if were fully automatic. Having fully automatic print leveling, however, would require quite a bit more infrastructure including sensors and actuators connected to the build plate adjustment screws. I list this as a drawback but it’s really only a slight inconvenience as upgrading to a fully automatic print bed leveling system will come with a higher price tag.
What Users Are Saying
The DP 200 has received mostly positive review though, as with almost anything, there are a few disappointed customers.
“Excellent … nothing but stellar results … perfectly engineered and well thought device.”
“Amazed by it’s capabilities … problems with the auto-loading – replaced it quite prompt … customer service is very “
“Decent printer … cannot use other 3rd party filaments … limits a large part of what I want to venture into … these limitations are simply here for profit and greed.”
“The 5th 3D printer I have owed … this will be the company I stick with in the future.”
“Difficult to print ABS correctly … expensive filament and case … material keeps jamming … awlul customer service”
I like to check for patent protection because it provides a measure of the technical innovation a company is investing in. Sindoh has 1 granted US patent and 2 pending US patent applications. For some perspective on patent protection, MakerBot has over 100 patents related to their 3D printing technology.
The issued patent and one of the pending patent applications cover the auto filament feeding technology indicating that the company is serious about protecting this market space and revenue stream.
US20180207869 Apparatus for Driving Filament Spool of 3D Printer
US20180141269 3D Printer Using Linear Laser Source
US9862178 Apparatus for Feeding/Discharging Filament for 3D printer
I like this printer and recommend it if you want to start printing right out of the box. Sure, there are a few drawbacks and some negative customer reviews but I find that with almost any product. You simply cannot please all the people all the time and you cannot offer “Cadillac features for a Chevy price tag”.
Compared to the nearest competing printer, MakerBot Replicator Mini+, the DP 200 offers more options like a heated print bed, larger build volume and a 5″ touch screen user interface for the same price – $1299.00. It’s clear that the DP 200 is intending to compete in the same market as MakerBot for entry level, easy to use printers.
If you have used the DP 200 or the Replicator Mini+ or if you are considering buying a new 3D printer and have some additional insight to offer others – please comment below. I’d love your input.