Science

Weedo Tina2 Review: An Inexpensive Gem for Beginners

Getting started with 3D printing can be a daunting prospect. In addition to choosing a printer, there is the painstaking work of building it, ensuring it is level, finding a place where it will fit and not get in the way, the list goes on. The Weedo Tina2 is designed to make this whole thing easier and, as a quick look at the company’s website confirms, it’s aimed at beginners and kids alike.

Also sold under several other brand names including Monoprice Cadet, the Weedo Tina2 is available in two models; the Tina2 Basic model (the one we tested) comes with a microSD slot (for direct printing) and PC connectivity via PC. The Upgrade model adds nozzle protection for finger protection and WIFI, though we’re not sure if the latest upgrade is worth it.

Set-up is easy on its own, not least because the entire compact unit is encased in a roughly ten-inch-tall metal frame, ready to be moved around at a moment’s notice. The trade-off is that the print platform is suitable for figurines and small busts, but not for large items.

But if you’re taking your first steps into the world of 3D printing, it’s unlikely that you’ll do your very best until you’ve mastered the technology. The Weedo Tina2, while lacking some of the bells and whistles of the best 3D printers, definitely knows its audience. But how well does it work?

Weedo Tina2: Design and customization

The Weedo Tina2 is clean and compact, and unlike some bulkier 3D printers that feel like a piece of industrial equipment, it can easily be tucked away in a corner of a room or on a particularly wide shelf. Yes, the noise it makes while printing can give it away, but visually it’s just as intrusive as a regular inkjet printer.

Setup is very easy, and when using models with the included Micro SD card, you can start printing within five minutes. Once you’ve unpacked the Tina2, plug it in, remove the piece of cardboard from the nozzle area, connect the filament tube (one end is already attached), turn on the power, and you’re done.

The only thing we don’t like, in terms of design, is how tiny the PLA spool holder is, designed to hold the smaller, thinner, and less economical 500/600g spools. You can simply mount a 1kg spool onto the holder , but luckily there are some larger spool holders that you can print out and attach to the Tina2, or you can purchase a standalone holder. (will open in a new tab).

Weedo Tina2 3D printer

(Image credit: Future)

Weedo Tina2: characteristics and features

At first, we were not happy with the monochrome display of the Tina2, which, controlled by the dial, seemed unwieldy. But we got over it very quickly, to the point where navigating the interface became second nature.

Key Features

Operation: 2.5 inch LCD screen

Software: WiiBuilder 2, Cura 3

Connectivity: USB/MicroSD

Technology: FDM

Layer Resolution: 0.1-0.4mm

Print speed: 40mm/s

Printer size: 215x200x270mm

Assembly volume: 105x105x105mm

Material: PLAFilament Diameter: 1.75mm

Maximum. Nozzle temperature: 260℃

Tina2 is supremely portable and has features you wouldn’t expect from such a slick device. Not only does it perform automatic alignment before each print, but it also allows you to save your print in the middle of a run and then return to it later. So, if you have it on your desk and you suddenly need a place, this is not a problem.

The included Micro SD card contains two different slicing programs: WiiBuilder 2 and a custom version of Cura 3. Both programs are easy to use, though we found Cura 3 to be a bit more intuitive. WiiBuilder 2 will allow you to print from your PC (via a USB cable), but given the Micro SD slot is on the top of the printer, we found it more convenient to bring a card (you can use any Micro SD card) up to the printer. . Yes, the upgraded version of Tina2 is wireless, but Weedo requires you to use their mobile app, which suggests it’s not the right Wi-Fi, or at least not as easy as Wi-Fi connection should be.

Tina2 has a printable area of ​​100mm x 120mm x 100mm (maximum model size), which is smaller than most but encouraged us to learn the basics of 3D modeling. Using the Autodesk Meshmixer and Microsoft 3D Builder, we experimented with splitting the models in half, adding tabs so the pieces could be reattached, and making a spider with Clint Eastwood’s head (don’t ask).

Weedo Tina2 3D printer

(Image credit: Future)

However, there is a catch with the printable area, and it has nothing to do with its size. Most modern printers have a heated print bed to help the first print layer adhere to the bed, and while you can print a base or “raft” for the model it will sit on, this is not always necessary.

However, the Tina2 print bed does not get hot; instead, it uses an adhesive square of masking tape material to ensure that the removable build plate adheres. The sticker wears out at some point, in which case you can buy additional stickers from Weedo ($15 for 10) or use masking tape instead.

You will need to print the raft using the Plate Bonding field in Cura, which is automatically enabled by default. You will then have to manually remove this layer from the bottom of your model – the easiest way to do this is immediately after the print is complete – but this is a relatively minor inconvenience.

Weedo Tina2: print quality and speed

Like all FDM printers, using Tina2 means living with layer lines, although the visibility of these lines depends on the quality you print at. Using Cura 3’s default “Fine” setting, we got great results with printouts where the layers were only visible at a distance of 40cm or so. Increasing the quality to Extra Fine made them almost invisible, although given the tripled print time, it’s not worth the trade-off.

At an average speed of 40mm/s, a 9-10cm model takes five to eight hours to print, although this will depend on how many removable supports it needs. Cura 3 helpfully highlights the overhangs and, if ticked, will add supports to the model, though knowing if you can do without supports is a matter of practice.

Due to the smaller print platform, we had to downsize a few models – easy to do with the Cura 3 interface – but we had good results in every way. Witch Ranny from Elden Ring (her hat was printed separately) looked fantastic, as did nemesis Luigi Waluigi, though we had a moment where we had to remove the props from his mustache.

We printed out a detailed model of the Apollo 11 astronaut and, measuring 6 cm, we were able to make out the hose connectors on the suit. It wasn’t until we started going below 5cm that we lost a small detail; even in Extra Fine, Neil Armstrong’s crow’s feet didn’t make it to print, even though they were in the original file we downloaded.

Weedo Tina2 Review: Price and Warranty

Weedo Tina2 Basic is available from Weedo. (will open in a new tab) Amazonian gold (will open in a new tab) for $149.99 and Amazon UK (will open in a new tab) for around £135 making it one of the cheapest 3D printers out there. It seems a little unfair to make heat protection exclusive to the Tina2 update, but it’s up to you to decide if pinky (or careless adult thumb) protection is worth the extra £40.

Other companies sell Tina2 and sometimes they can even be cheaper. The Entina Tina 2, which looks almost identical, is on sale on Amazon UK. (will open in a new tab) for £119.99 (including £30 voucher discount). If you decide to buy, it is worth keeping an eye on similar promotions.

Weedo Tina2 3D printer

(Image credit: Future)

Should I buy Weedo Tina2?

If you are looking for a cheap and easy way to 3D print, or if you want to teach someone else, you should definitely go for it. Yes, the build area is small, but it should be suitable for beginners. And thanks to its compact size and the ability to automatically level, it can be taken out and put away at will, without the need to tie a specific area.

The use of stickers on the baseplate may seem a little low-tech, but it’s a reasonable concession to keep the price of the Tina2 down. At some point, you may need a bigger, faster car, but by the time you move on, you will have learned a lot.

If this 3D printer is not suitable for you

If you already have a lot of experience with 3D printing or want to print larger parts, a large bed FDM printer like the AnyCubic Kobra ($269 from Amazon (will open in a new tab) / £269 from Amazon UK (will open in a new tab)) might be more appropriate. It’s a more expensive purchase, but its print area and print speed are double that of the Tina2.

Or, if you want to go even bigger, the AnyCubic Kobra Plus (currently $447.99 on Amazon) (will open in a new tab)) has an array of 350 x 300 x 300 mm; You can read our review of the Anycubic Kobra Plus.

On the other hand, if you want to create small but detailed, durable pieces, like tabletop game figures, a resin printer like the Elegoo Mars 2 ($225 from Amazon). (will open in a new tab)) might just be a job. You can check out our Elegoo Mars 2 review to see all of our thoughts.

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